Pittsburgh Pirates: Three 2023 Draft Picks Who Could Quickly Climb Through the Minors

The Pittsburgh Pirates could see these three 2023 draft picks speed run through the minor leagues.
West Virginia pitcher Carlson Reed (17) throws a pitch against the Texas Longhorns at UFCU
West Virginia pitcher Carlson Reed (17) throws a pitch against the Texas Longhorns at UFCU / Aaron E. Martinez / American-Statesman /
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Garret Forrester

The Pirates took Garret Forrester with their 3rd round pick. The corner infielder out of Oregon State brings a balanced approach to the plate. He is a contact hitter, first and foremost. But that doesn’t mean he’s like Kevin Newman, with little to no power projection. He can also draw some walks and projects to have average power.

In his last year at Oregon, Forrester slashed .341/.485/.522 with ten home runs through 304 plate appearances. Forrester walked (59) more often than he struck out (51), marking the second college season in a row he accomplished that feat. In 2022, he also drew 64 walks with 48 strikeouts. 2023 was the first year he collected double-digit home runs and doubles (12).

Forrester continued this trend into Bradenton, where he drew ten walks to oppose seven strikeouts. None of his five hits went for extra bases, however. But it was a small sample size, so take it with a grain of salt. Forrester only stepped to the plate a total of 29 times. For what it’s worth, he did have a 167 wRC+ in the microscopic sample size.

Forrester’s hit tool could end up as a plus weapon in his skillset. His BB:K ratio throughout college was 1.14, and he got a hit in over a third of his at-bats in 2022-2023. He has excellent bat-to-ball and pitch recognition skills that both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline praise. He isn’t a physical monster, standing at 6’0”, 208 pounds, but he can generate solid raw power numbers with his bat speed. He has a quick swing that includes a short leg kick. His swing isn’t built for big home run pop, but he showed an outstanding ability to drive the gaps to all fields in 2023.

Forrester is a corner infielder with experience at first and third base. The Pirates drafted him for the hot corner, but most of his college games were across the diamond. Forrester can play third but lacks good range. That could make him a candidate for the Pirates’ next first baseman.

Forrester’s pure hitting ability could help him move through the system with some authority. He will likely start the year at Low-A Bradenton once again but could move to High-A Greensboro if he gets off to a good start, akin to Tres Gonzalez last year.