Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Potential Future Position Changes

These Pirates prospects could move positions in the future

Jun 19, 2022; Omaha, NE, USA;  Notre Dame Fighting Irish third baseman Jack Brannigan (9) drops the
Jun 19, 2022; Omaha, NE, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish third baseman Jack Brannigan (9) drops the / Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
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Jhonny Severino

Jhonny Severino was one of the prospects the Pirates acquired at the trade deadline. The Milwaukee Brewers sent him Pittsburgh’s way in a one-for-one swap for first baseman Carlos Santana. Severino has a high offensive ceiling, but given how he projects physically, there’s a chance his current position doesn’t remain his final position.

Severino only stepped to the plate 61 times this year, collecting 15 hits. But of those 15 hits, eight went for extra bases. A third were home runs, two more were doubles, and he added a triple to his line. Although he only struck out 11 times, he drew two walks. It is a small sample size of less than 100 plate appearances, so take it for what you will.

The infielder projects to have plus power in the future. However, his hit tool is fringy, which could impede his power production. Still, at just 18 years old, there’s plenty of time for Severino to improve his game. Plus, he cut his strikeout rate down from 27.8% in 2022 in 198 plate appearances to below 20% this season (again, albeit in a much smaller sample size). Severino drew comparisons to Miguel Sano, another slugger who was signed as a shortstop but moved to third base.

Severino, like most position players signed internationally, is primarily a shortstop. He’s seen some games at third base, as well as second base, but as of right now, the left side of second base has been his main position. Severino has shown some defensive prowess and a strong arm, but he’s already considered a fringe-average runner a few years before his 20th birthday. There is major concern about how his speed will develop long term and if he will be able to stick at short.

If Severino must move off of shortstop, third base also seems like a potential destination for him. His arm would be wasted at second base, so third is still possible. If third base is still occupied if or when he makes the Majors, he might also see time in a corner outfield spot. Again, this would let the Pirates utilize Severino’s strong throwing arm.