Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Most Surprising Performer at Each Level

These Pittsburgh Pirates prospects have been the most surprising this season

Second baseman Alika Williams (7) throws to first for an out during the Montgomery Biscuits vs
Second baseman Alika Williams (7) throws to first for an out during the Montgomery Biscuits vs / Gregg Pachkowski / gregg@pnj.com / USA
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High-A Greensboro - Tres Gonzalez

Tres Gonzalez is another early/mid-round draft pick I thought highly of. Like Glenn, Gonzalez was another fifth-round pick, coming a year later in 2022. Gonzalez was a high-contact hitter, batting over .330 while rarely striking out for Georgia Tech. Gonzalez’s brief introduction to professional players in late-’22 went extremely well, and so far this year, he’s continued to be a productive minor league hitter.

Gonzalez started the year out at Bradenton, where he batted .299/.427/.403. Power was never a part of Gonzalez’s game, but his ability to get on base with hits and walks carried over from college. He had an astounding 18.3% walk rate with a strong 13.4% strikeout rate. Gonzalez may have had an isolated slugging percentage barely over .100 at .104, but his OBP was well over .400.

Gonzalez was then moved up to Greensboro. His first few weeks didn’t go so well, but he eventually figured things out and has been on a hot streak since the last day of May. That stretch saw him hit .294/.414/.405 with a .388 wOBA and 134 wRC+. The only negative is that his walk rate is down to 14.4%, and his strikeout rate is up to 19%. Both are still solid remarks, however.

Gonzalez is considered an above-average defender in the outfield. He’s mostly taken up center field, though he also has a handful of games in the outfield corners. He’s also a good runner and has swiped 21 bases in 25 attempts. Gonzalez has been pretty aggressive on the basepaths, which wasn’t something he was in college.

While he will likely never hit for power, Gonzalez could be an Adam Frazier-type hitter with a higher walk rate and on-base percentage. Gonzalez should soon get the bump to Altoona. He’s already 22 (turns 23 on October 4th), and given his strong performance so far at Greensboro, it wouldn’t be a shock for him to go up three levels of the minor leagues in one year.