4 players the Pittsburgh Pirates should acquire using their pitching talent

The Pittsburgh Pirates should use the vast amount of pitching talent in the organization to pursue these four hitters.
Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels
Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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Final potentialtarget for the Pirates: Isaac Paredes

Isaac Paredes has developed into one of the most underrated players in baseball, but still received some trade rumors last off-season. After being acquired by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2021-2022 off-season. Paredes broke out with a solid 2022 campaign. But he got even better in his second season with the Rays last year and looks like he’s taken another massive step forward in 2024.

Last year he hit .250/.352/.488 with 31 home runs. Paredes had both a quality 10.3% walk rate and an 18.2% strikeout rate. Parades had a .238 ISO. Between his outstanding power output, above-average walk rate, and ability to get hits at a slightly above average rate, Paredes posted a .362 wOBA, and 137 wRC+.

Paredes looks even better this season. It’s only been 150 plate appearances, but now he’s hitting .300/.387/.523 with a .396 wOBA, and 163 wRC+. He already has eight home runs on the year. Parades are still walking at a strong 10.7% rate, but he’s striking out even less frequently. His strikeout percentage clocks in at just 15.3%.

Paredes has lined up at third base most frequently for the Rays where he graded out as an above-average defender in 2022-2023. He hasn’t looked as sharp there this year, but third isn’t the only position he is familiar with. Paredes also has over 450 innings at the keystone where he has -3 DRS, but +4 OAA, along with 275.2 innings at first base with -2 DRS/+2 OAA.

Paredes is controlled through 2027, so he comes with three and a half years left on his contract. A plus hitter with solid defense at three positions, and control remaining? What’s the catch? Paredes probably has the least amount of power I’ve ever seen from a 30-home-run hitter. He was in just the 13th percentile of exit velocity (86.9 MPH) and the 26th percentile of barrel rate (5.9%). 

He is all about pulling flyballs, and that works well in Tropicana. It’s just 315 feet down the left field line and 370 to right field. Meanwhile, it’s 325 feet down the right field line and 380 feet to right field at PNC Park. According to Baseball Savant, only 16 of his 30 home runs last season would have left PNC.

Still, 16 home runs are solid for the amount of walks he draws and how infrequent he strikes out. Plus he obviously wouldn’t play every game at PNC. The Pirates’ home turf and the Marlins’ park are the only two National League stadiums where fewer than 20 of his home runs would have left. Being able to play three positions well, including first base, would make him valuable to the Pirates. The only thing left to be afraid of is trading with the Tampa Bay Rays.