Pirates reporters, much like pitchers and catchers, have reported to Bradenton with eyes looking towards the future. With big-name prospects like Henry Davis, Quinn Priester, Nick Gonzales, and so on, some prospects might not get as much buzz. Below are some sleeper candidates to keep an eye on in 2022.
Maguire signed with the Pirates during the 2019-2020 international signing period for a near-record $594,000. At the time of the signing, most people agreed that Maguire had several plus tools, including speed, power, and above-average fielding ability.
Unfortunately, Maguire suffered a nagging oblique injury during his first season with the Pirates in 2021, hindering his ability to play in most of the games in the Complex League. In 59 plate appearances, Maguire slashed a .146/.288/.292 while striking out 15 times while walking on ten occasions.
Despite those numbers, Maguire will have just turned 19 (March 3rd) at the beginning of the 2022 season, and with a clean bill of health and a determined mindset, Maguire could very well see himself challenging an eventual spot in the Bradenton outfield. Speed kills, and Maguire could quite literally run himself into a Low-A lineup.
Thanks to his sister Maddie, we have Solomon Maguire’s last AB before heading to Florida for spring training. Can’t get over his speed! pic.twitter.com/OfaYZ7gFWZ
— Cody Potanko (@2HG013) February 18, 2022
Shadowed by a stud in Adrian Florencio, Ortiz had himself a sneaky good 2021 campaign. In 87.1 innings pitched, Ortiz carried an ERA of 3.09 and a slightly higher xFIP of just 3.23. Most of the numbers from 2019 to 2021 improved tremendously, including his K/9 at 11.65 and his BB/9 at 2.89.
Like most prospects, Ortiz found himself a little older than usual for Low-A at 23, but due to the COVID year, many prospects were slightly older than usual for their level. The big test for Ortiz will be the next level at Greensboro A.K.A “pitcher hell.” Given his age, Ortiz will most likely start in Greensboro, and judging the way he was used; he will be a starter.
Ortiz is a prospect where you will need to look at the home/away splits come 2022. If Ortiz can effectively use his three-pitch mix (fastball, slider, changeup), maybe he will shoot up through the system faster than others.
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Interesting look at 22 yr old RHP in the #Pirates system, Luis Ortiz. FB up to 97 tonight, with a tighter late breaking SL and a well tunneled CH. 4 K’s so far in 3 IP. #LetsGoBucs pic.twitter.com/T4i3K7zuGJ
— Prospects Worldwide (@ProspectsWorldW) September 16, 2021
Now here is a guy that shot onto the scene in 2021. Triolo had one of the more odd years in terms of the infamous Greensboro home/away splits. At home, Triolo slashed .262/.335/.418 with an OPS of .752. Away from First National Bank Field, Triolo slashed .336/.398/.517 with an OPS of 915. Hell, Triolo even hit one more home run away from home.
The speed also shocked many people, and it’s not like Triolo is Speedy Gonzalez, but he showed intelligent base running skills that made up for the lack of “super” speed. Triolo finished 2nd best with 28 steals for Greensboro in 2021. Will those same base running intangibles translate to Double-A? Who knows, but it is something to look for.
Triolo is one of the many Pirates’ prospects from the 2019 draft class who is starting to make splashes in the system. By being drafted in the 2nd round, the Pirates obviously saw something in Triolo to take a shot, and maybe the now 24-year-old can make a splash in the 2022 season and fight his way onto the 40-man roster. (He is eligible for the Rule-5 come December of 2022.)
The #Pirates took infielder Jared Triolo with the 72nd overall pick in 2019. He's got an .852 OPS with 14 HR and 24 stolen bases this year in Greensboro. pic.twitter.com/vhRT3oRSYO
— Tim Williams (@TimWilliamsP2) September 9, 2021
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