Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Three Underrated Breakout Candidates for 2023
By Noah Wright
Greensboro Grasshoppers - Rodolfo Nolasco
Rodolfo Nolasco has a very high offensive ceiling. The outfielder has a ton of power, and projects as a good hitter. Last year, while Nolasco was hurt for a good portion of the season, he showed a ton of talent. Greensboro could be a big season for him.
Nolasco was injured for a portion of the 2022 season, only playing in 77 contests and stepping to the dish 321 times. Overall, he batted fairly well, slashing .239/.330/.425 with a .351 wOBA, and 116 wRC+. The outfielder had a solid .186 isolated slugging percentage and an 11.5% walk rate but struck out at a rate well over 30% (34% to be exact).
On the plus side, Nolasco had a pretty solid run from May 21st through the end of the season. During that time, he hit .279/.379/.527. That comes out to an OPS over .900, meanwhile, his wOBA hits .413, and his wRC+ clocks in at 155. In an advanced statistical sense, hitting the .900/.400/150 marks is impressive. He also had a 13.3% walk rate, though was still striking out more than you’d like to see with a 34.4% strikeout rate.
Hitting for power is no issue for Nolasco, but he needs to cut the strikeouts down. He projects as a solid fielding LF/RF but is an average runner as of now. Once he grows, he will slow down. He could fit an LF/DH/RF role. Either way, the bat is what is carrying Nolasco. But Nolasco receives a 50 grade for his hit tool and 60 grades for his game and raw power.