Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Under-the-Radar Breakout Candidates

Pittsburgh Pirates v Milwaukee Brewers
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Utility man Jared Triolo

One of the most overlooked prospects in the Pirate farm system is utility man Jared Triolo. Selected 72nd overall in the 2019 draft out of the University of Houston, the now 25-year-old Triolo has hit and gotten on base throughout his minor league career, and now is on the doorstep of the majors.

To be honest, had Triolo not lost the entire 2020 season due to the COVID pandemic cancelling the minor league season he may have already made his MLB debut. Now that Triolo is on the 40-man roster, his major league debut happening in 2023 is a question of when not if.

Triolo spent the entire 2022 season with Double-A Altoona. He hit for a .282/.376/.419 slash line, to go with a 121 wRC+. He walked in 21.7% of his trips to the plate while striking out at just a 17.6% clip. He also stole 24 bases while spending a lot of time batting leadoff for Altoona.

Triolo could begin to carve out a Josh Harrison like role with the Pirates. That is, a player who can play nearly every position on the field and play most of them at a high level. If it were not for Hayes, Triolo would likely be the team's long-term answer at third base where he is a Gold Glove caliber defender. However, he also plays shortstop, second base, and the outfield at a high level.

The difference between Triolo and Harrison is that Triolo gets on base at a much higher level. In 1232 minor league plate appearances Triolo owns a 10.7% walk rate and an on-base percentage of .360. While he does not hit for a ton of power, he also has a higher power potential than what Harrison brought to the table.

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