Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Underrated Player to Watch at Each Level

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High-A Greensboro - OF Rodolfo Nolasco

Among the Pirates' most underrated prospects, Rodolfo Nolasco is up there with the most talented. Nolasco has consistently hit throughout the minor leagues. Last season an injury kept him out for a portion of the season. But he could be in for an offensive explosion next season.

Nolasco had just 321 plate appearances for Bradenton. He had a quality .755 OPS, .351 wOBA, and 116 wRC+ with an 11.5% walk rate. But he struck out at a 34% rate. But from June through the end of the season, the outfielder had a .940 OPS, .424 wOBA, and 162 wRC+. Like his season numbers, he had a great 13.8% walk rate but a poor 35.2% strikeout rate.

Nolasco is a powerful outfielder. With 60-projected raw and game power, Nolasco had a .278 ISO from the start of June. He hit nine home runs in just 159 plate appearances, which is a pace of about 34 across 600 plate appearances. 

Nolasco is an average runner at best but likely will slow down as he grows. He also plays a solid corner outfield. He has mostly played right field with a little center and left field sprinkled in. But long term, he’ll likely move to left. He has the arm to play a corner.

The young outfielder will be given a great opportunity at Greensboro. He’ll be thrown into a hitter-friendly environment, and a full season could do him plenty of good. He needs to cut down on the strikeouts, but if he does that, he could make serious prospect gains in 2023.