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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Los Angeles Dodgers v Pittsburgh Pirates / Rick Stewart/GettyImages
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Charles McAdoo

Calling Charles McAdoo an outfield prospect is a little disingenuous. Most of his innings in the field after he got drafted were in left field, but he’s more of a utility prospect. Still, because he has a decent amount of experience, both in his brief look in pro ball in the second half of last year and as an amateur for San Jose State, I think he deserves a look today.

Throughout his final season at San Jose, McAdoo batted .325/.409/.543 in 269 trips to the plate. He hit for good pop, collecting 30 extra-base hits (19 doubles, 10 home runs, 1 triple), coming to an isolated slugging percentage of .218. Along with good pop, McAdoo walked at an 11.9% rate with a strikeout rate a touch over 15% at 15.2%.

One very promising aspect of McAdoo’s amateur career was the time he spent in the Northwoods League in 2022. This is a wood bat league, and he had ten homers in 190 plate appearances. His isolated slugging percentage was .270. He did strikeout 40 times, but his power didn’t dissipate going from a metal bat to wood bat.

After the Pirates drafted McAdoo, he went on to bat .302/.412/.510 with a .431 wOBA and 151 wRC+. McAdoo had a quality 14.9% walk rate and 19.3% strikeout rate. He also went yard five times, had a .208 ISO, and stole five bases. Do keep in mind it was in a small sample size of 114 plate appearances.

McAdoo’s actions in the box may be simple to a fault. There’s not much movement, but his swing is a little stiff. He struck out under 15% of the time throughout his college career, which amounted to 578 plate appearances, and can generate good raw power from his 6’2', 210-pound frame. Defensively, he could end up in left field, second base, or an infield corner. He has an okay arm, but his athleticism is fringy. He was primarily a second baseman throughout college but saw a lot of time in right field, first base, and a few games here and there at shortstop and third base during his amateur career.

I could see McAdoo taking a similar track to Gonzalez next year. 2024 will be his age-22 season (same age as Gonzalez was last season) and could start the year at Low-A once again even though he hit well in the small sample size. But if he keeps hitting well, like Gonzalez did, McAdoo could find himself at Greensboro by May. The Pirates will probably keep using him in a utility role, using him wherever he is needed.

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