Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Josh Palacios Turning Heads in the Minors
By Marty Leap
Josh Palacios is a player that many Pittsburgh Pirates fans may not even realize is in the organization, but he is absolutely raking at Triple-A
The Rule 5 Draft is pretty extensively covered and talked about part of every MLB offseason. Well, the major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft that is. Often times, the minor league portion of the draft goes unfocused many seasons. Hell, many fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates and baseball in general may not even realize there is a minor league portion of the draft.
In addition to the draft often times going unnoticed, so do the players who are selected in it. Well, there is one player that the Pirates selected in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft this year that is turning heads in the minors. That is outfielder Josh Palacios.
The left-handed hitting Palacios started the season at the Double-A level. After just 37 plate appearances with Altoona, Palacios was promoted to the Triple-A level. With Indianapolis, Palacios has been raking.
Through his first 60 PAs with Indianapolis the outfielder is hitting for a .434/.500/.774 slash line and a 221 wRC+. He's drawn walks at a 10.0% rate and struck out at just a 11.7% clip, owning a 6:7 BB:K ratio.
The most impressive part of what Palacios has done at Triple-A is the power. He has an isolated slugging (ISO) of .340, and has already hit 4 home runs, 4 doubles, and a triple. This gives him a healthy 15% extra base hit rate.
What does all of this mean for Palacios? Well, that remains to be seen. If the Pirates need outfield help Palacios could put himself in the conversation for a promotion if he continues to hit anywhere near the way he has at Triple-A. Those numbers are truly impossible to ignore.
Palacios actually has 91 MLB PAs, coming in 2021 with Toronto and last season with Washington. In these 91 PAs Palacios hit for a .207/.267/.232 slash line with a wRC+ of 41. Obviously these numbers are not good, but at 27-years-old it's possible that Palacios is finding something with his swing.
That said, it's also possible Palacios is just in a really good place at the plate right now and is having a career year in the minors. Regardless of the reasoning, Palacios is putting together a great season in the Pirate farm system and turning heads in the process.
It has since been reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Jason Mackey that Palacios is being promoted to the majors. That scorching hot start in the minors did indeed turn plenty of heads.