Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects 2023 Recap: Yodany De Los Santos struggles in cup of coffee with Bradenton

After a strong start to teh season in Rookie ball, Pirates infielder prospect Yordany De Los Santos struggled in his cup of coffee in Bradenton
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Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Yodany De Los Santos made his Single-A debut in 2023 but struggled with his short stint in Bradenton

As we continue to prepare for the Pittsburgh Pirates 2024 season, we also continue to look back at the seasons that were for many of the Pirates' top prospects. Today, we continue that series by taking a look at shortstop / third baseman Yordany De Los Santos.

One of the ' top signings during the 2022 international signing period, De Los Santos was ranked as one of the top 20 prospects on MLB Pipeline's top 50 international prospects at the time of signing and signed for $1.2 million. As of the new year, he ranks 16th on MLB Pipeline's rankings of the Pirates' top 30 prospects and seventh on FanGraph's rankings of the Pirates' top 40 prospects.

At the time of his signing, De Los Santos projected as a shortstop with the potentaial ability to slide over to third base if needed. Through his first full year within the organization, questions remain where he projects long term. After playing mostly shortstop in the Dominican Summer League in 2022, De Los Santos saw a much bigger split of time between short stop and third base in 2023 playing 35 games at short and 22 games at the hot corner.

From a fielding perspective, it was a quality season for De Los Santos at shortstop, recording just four errors over 110 chances. Third base he had a few struggles with the increased playing time, recording five errors in just 54 chances.

At the time of signing, his fielding was something that did lag behind some other portions of his skillset, so the errors early on are not of major concern. Described by MLB Pipeline as "rangy and athletic," there is quite a bit of optimism that the 6-foot-1, 170-pound infielder can still develop into a plus defender.

De Los Santos started his 2023 season off strong in Rookie ball with the Pirates Florida Complex League team at the plate. Across 17 games, he posted a .328/.397/.463 slash line with one home run, six doubles, and 15 RBI while walking six times in 78 plate appearances and striking out 11 times.

On July 4, De Los Santos got the call-up to the Low-A Bradenton Marauders. Significantly younger than most in the league at just 18 years old, the Dominican Republic native to little surprise struggled in his time with Bradenton.

In 38 games and 153 plate appearences, De Los Santos was able to hit just .184/.322/.256 with one home run, four doubles, and one triple while knocking in 10 and scoring 20 runs. He walked at a 14.3% rate with 22 walks across his 153 plate appearences but struck out at nearly a 40% clip with 60 strike outs.

While the early results of his time in Single-A are not pretty, there is little reason to be concerned about De Los Santos development so far. As mentioned above, he was significantly younger than most of the competition he faced in the Florida State League with the average age of pitchers in the league being 22.2 according to Baseball Reference.

Expect De Los Santos to start his 2024 season with Bradenton and will likely spend the entirety of the season with the Marauders.

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