Pittsburgh Pirates: Three More Super Sleeper Prospects to Watch in 2024

Here are three more super sleeper prospects in the Pirates' system to watch in 2024.

The Florida Complex League (FCL) Orioles played their first night game against the (FCL) Pirates at
The Florida Complex League (FCL) Orioles played their first night game against the (FCL) Pirates at / THOMAS BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE / USA TODAY
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Eddy Rodriguez

Not to be confused with Endy Rodriguez, Eddy Rodriguez was one of the Pirates’ international signings during the 2020-2021 off-season. He appeared in both the 2021 and 2022 seasons for the Pirates’ Dominican Summer League affiliate teams. In both seasons, he showed some hitting ability, but 2023 was his breakout campaign at the Florida Complex League.

Through 159 plate appearances, Rodriguez batted .295/.409/.442 with a .410 wOBA and 126 wRC+. Rodriguez struck out in just 16.4% of his plate appearances, a 4.4% drop from 2022. But his 11.5% walk rate is a single-season low for him. Rodriguez hit for more flyballs and line-drives as he posted a sub-40% ground ball rate (compared to 44.9% in 2022). But he hit two fewer home runs compared to the year prior and saw his isolated slugging percentage fall to .147.

Now, some of this could rebound next year. His HR/FB ratio was just 9.8% when it was at 17% between 2021 and 2022. Even a rebound to 12.5% would have led to another home run. It is
this possible this is a small sample size caveat as he’s never had 200 plate appearances in any single season yet.

Rodriguez is a first baseman/corner outfielder. Given his quality campaign at the FCL last season, he should be one of the starters for Low-A Bradenton this season. Rodriguez will be 20 for all of the 2024 season, and it should be the first year he plays at a full-season level. He could definitely get more attention if he continues to perform well over a larger sample size.

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