Liover Peguero made a brief cameo in 2022. He appeared in just a single game before being sent back to Double-A Altoona. He was sent back to Altoona to start the 2023 season, and while it might seem like a quick move to go from Double-A to the major leagues, especially for a 22-year-old, Peguero has made some massive gains and looks much better than he did last year, and has been red hot since late-April.
Peguero’s early April numbers were horrid. The first three weeks of the month did not treat him well. However, Peguero seemed to find something that worked for him and has been on a tear since. Over his last 233 plate appearances, which dates back to April 21st, Peguero is slashing .292/.361/.507 with a .386 wOBA and 133 wRC+.
Peguero is walking at a healthy 9.9% rate with a strong 17.2% srikeout rate. Keep in mind the league average strikeout rate in the Eastern League is 24.1%. In the month of June alone, he has an OPS well over .900 at .963 and wRC+ over 150 at 156.
There were questions about Peguero’s fielding going into 2023. To his credit, he’s significantly upped his range factor numbers, both in a per-game and per-nine innings rate. In 2022, his RF/9 at shortstop was 3.67, but that’s now up to 3.92. His RF/G sat at 3.54 in 2022 and is now up to 3.74. Granted, range factor is not very advanced, but it is the most advanced defensive metric we have for minor leaguers.
Peguero, like Triolo, is already on the 40-man roster, so the Pirates wouldn’t have to make any significant DFA or release in order for him to get the call to the big leagues. While Peguero is young, you also have to take into consideration the fact he’s done so well in a league where he’s nearly two-and-a-half years younger than the average pitcher.