Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Two Break Out Candidates for 2023

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Outfielder Rodolfo Nolasco

One thing the Pittsburgh Pirates lack in their farm system is hitters with plus power potential. One hitter in their farm system who still has plenty of untapped potential when it comes to plus power is outfielder Rodolfo Nolasco.

The 21-year-old Nolasco spent the entire 2022 season with Low-A Bradenton. This was Nolasco's first professional season playing for a full-season minor league affiliate. In his first taste of full-season ball, Nolasco hit for a .239/.330/.425 slash line to go with an isolated slugging (ISO) of .186. Nolasco posted a 116 wRC+, and while he struck out at a 34.0% rate he did have a strong 11.0% walk rate.

After a slow start to the season, Nolasco took off offensively in the final four months of the season. From June 1st through the end of the minor league season Nolasco hit for a .278/.384/.556 slash line with an ISO of .278 and a 162 wRC+. He collected extra base hits at an 11.3% rate, while hitting 9 home runs. Nolasco continued to struggle with the strikeout (35.2%) but his 13.8% walk rate was higher than his overall walk rate for the season.

Finding a way to improve his swing-and-miss issues will be vital for Nolasco in 2023. Even if this does not happen he can still put together a big season due to his raw power, but cutting back on the swing-and-miss needs to happen in order for Nolasco to reach his full potential.

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If Nolasco can carry over his success from the second half of 2022 into 2023 he will put up huge numbers for Bradenton and/or Greensboro. If this were to happen then Nolasco could shoot up Pirate prospect boards next season.