Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Outfielders Who Can Build Off a Strong 2023 Season

While outfield may be the shallowest part of the Pirates' minor league system, they do have some outfield prospects who could build off of a good last season.
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Tres Gonzalez

Tres Gonzalez was drafted in 2022 in the 5th round of the draft out of Georgia Tech. Gonzalez batted over .330 with nearly double as many walks (45) as strikeouts (27). He only had five home runs, but it was a good season overall. Gonzalez got a hot start to his pro career in 2022, where he had 26 hits, including nine walks with just a dozen strikeouts in his first 95 pro plate appearances. Gonzalez carried that quality production into 2023.

Through 531 plate appearances with Bradenton and High-A Greensboro, Gonzalez slashed .289/.405/.402 with a .381 wOBA, and 129 wRC+. Gonzalez continued to show off great plate discipline with a strikeout rate of just 17.9% and a walk rate of 15.1%. His BB:K ratio of 0.84 ranked in the top 30 among the 221 minor league players in ‘23 with 500+ plate appearances. He still ranked in the top 10% of players if you expand that to players with 300+ plate appearances in 2023. The only thing negative you can say about his season is his poor .113 isolated slugging percentage.

Gonzalez’s profile is the opposite of White Jr. While White Jr. may hit for plus power with questions about his hit tool, Gonzalez has a great hit tool, but he lacks power. His isolated slugging percentage was the 8th lowest among any of the Pirate prospects with 300+ plate appearances. But as long as his hit tool keeps up and continues to bat .280+ with a good walk rate, he’ll continue to be an above-average batter.

Gonzalez is a great runner as he swiped 28 bases, albeit in 36 attempts. He started the year with 17 straight stolen bases without getting caught. Gonzalez saw time at all three outfield positions and looked good while playing the field. He definitely could be an above-average defensive center fielder in the future. But his arm is on the weaker side.

If Gonzalez ends up as Adam Frazier 2.0 with the stick but with some walks, I don’t think anyone would complain. Gonzalez should be one of Altoona’s starting outfielders. He played nearly 100 games at Greensboro, and nearly 85% of his plate appearances were at High-A while having a 127 wRC+. He also struck out (33) nearly as often as he walked (32) in the second half of the season.