Pittsburgh Pirates: Prospects Who Could Force Themselves Into Long Term Plans

These Pirates prospects could make their case to be involved in the team's long term plans.

Philadelphia Phillies v Pittsburgh Pirates
Philadelphia Phillies v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages
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Tres Gonzalez

Tres Gonzalez was far from the flashiest player in the 2022 draft. Taken out of Georgia Tech, Gonzalez was the Bucs' 5th-round pick. He's a hit-over-power kind of batter, but he's shown off a solid glove in the grass. The Pirates don't have very many top outfield prospects in their system, and while the outfield looks to be set for the time being with Bryan Reynolds, Henry Davis, Jack Suwinski, and Connor Joe, things could obviously change, and at the very worst, Gonzalez could make his presence known as a 4th outfielder.

In his first full minor league season, Gonzalez is batting .288/.402/.405 with a .380 wOBA and 128 wRC+. Gonzalez has only struck out 18.4% of the time, and he's combated that with an outstanding 14.8% walk rate. Gonzalez has an elite OBP and is one of 80 players in the minor leagues with 300+ plate appearances and an OBP of .400 or greater. He's also used that ability to get on base to its fullest, swiping 28 bases.

Gonzalez hits for a high average and draws a ton of walks, but there are some weak areas in his games. Gonzalez has little raw power, and while he has 22 doubles, he also only has five homers and a .117 isolated slugging percentage. Along with the lack of raw power, he hits more ground balls than you'd like to see. His GB% is over 50%, which is slightly concerning. Plus, he doesn't have a strong outfield arm.

But Gonzalez is a good defensive outfielder. He can play center field, as well as left and right field. The fringy arm will be something to keep in mind, but his good speed helps him track down flyballs and line drives, and he's displayed good instincts for the outfield grass.

Gonzalez projects like an Adam Frazier-type batter, but potentially with more walks. If he bats .270/.350/.400, Gonzalez will hit more than good enough to make up for the flaws in his game. Gonzalez could find himself in PNC Park's outfield by the end of 2024. He could very well be a long-term platoon outfielder for the Pirates, if not a regular, depending on how his bat develops.