Gift Ngoepe is Starting to Learn His Identity at the Plate

Gift Ngoepe's offense is the only thing keeping him back from the majors. Photo Credit: David Hague
Gift Ngoepe is Starting to Learn His Identity at the Plate

INDIANAPOLIS -- Gift Ngoepe hit a home run in the season opener, but in an odd way that could have been an ominous sign.

He’s not a power hitter. Ngoepe has enough power to hit home runs on occasion, but in the past that has gotten him in trouble because he starts swinging for them more frequently. The average drops. The strikeouts rise. The productivity falls. That’s not the type of hitter Ngoepe needs to be in order to reach his future potential. And that’s not the hitter he has been so far this season.

Ngoepe is hitting .263, opened the season with a six-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in eight of 10 games. That follows a spring training when he hit .429 in 42 at-bats over 21 games.

This is a stark difference from last season when Ngoepe hit .217. His ineffectiv...

To continue reading the rest of this article, subscribe to Pirates Prospects. Subscribers get access to every article on the site, along with all of our exclusive live coverage of the Pirates' minor league system, all for a very low monthly or yearly rate.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail


More in Analysis

Gajtka: There’s a Lot Riding on George Kontos … And His Go-To Pitch

Matt GajtkaMarch 23, 2018

Pirates Notebook: Cervelli is Swinging a Hot Bat; Taillon Stretches Himself Out at Pirate City

Alan SaundersMarch 22, 2018

Rule 5 Pick Jordan Milbrath Fitting In, But Will He Be Sticking Around?

Alan SaundersMarch 22, 2018

Prospect Notebook: Luis Escobar Leads a Strong Pitching Group in Bradenton

Tim WilliamsMarch 22, 2018

Saunders: Can Less Be More For Francisco Cervelli?

Alan SaundersMarch 22, 2018

Pirates Notebook: Can Trevor Williams Be a Strikeout Pitcher?

Alan SaundersMarch 21, 2018

Pirates Prospects is an independent media outlet, and is in no way affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates, their minor league affiliates, Major League Baseball, or Minor League Baseball.

Copyright © 2017 Pirates Prospects