While Matt Fraizer got a lot of the recognition for his breakout 2021 season, and for just cause, he wasn’t the only 2019 draft pick to take a big step forward.
Drafted out of Houston with the 72nd overall pick, Jared Triolo not only won the Minor League Gold Glove at third base in 2021, but also led the High-A East division in hits and came close to a 20-20 season (15 home runs, 25 stolen bases).
Making the jump the jump to Double-A has been a difficult one for Triolo, and a stern reminder at just how much a hitter’s haven it can be at Greensboro. Triolo has struggled to generate any power, with five doubles being the only extra-base hits he has registered this season. He’s also recorded just one RBI.
A slow start out the gate had Triolo holding a .161/.235/.226 batting line and strikeout rate of 32% a week and a half into the season. Not the ideal start for a player that Baseball America picked to ‘click’ in 2022.
Triolo warmed up quickly, closing out the month of April with hits in eight of the last nine games, going 14-of-34 (.412) in the process.
The reason for the resurgence? A sign of faith by being slid into the leadoff spot, where his approach at the plate has allowed for him to succeed.
Setting the table has been a big key for Triolo, as he is third on the team in runs scored and is 10-for-33 (.303) when he leads off an inning, walking (6) more times than he has struck out (5). Two of those five doubles have led off innings.
Overall, when Triolo bats first in the lineup he put together a slash of .295/.394/.328, drawing ten walks and striking out 16 times.
Jared Triolo hasnt posted the power numbers youd like but there has been quite a few things that have impressed me The first 2 pitches are from his 2nd AB whiffing on a breaking pitch watching another Next at bat he identifies waits and drives up the middle when they try it again pic.twitter.com/v1Z2f9r3AL
— Anthony Murphy (@__Murphy88) May 16, 2022
Watching Triolo this season, one of moments that stuck out was this sequence above. It starts off with a plate appearance in the third inning, where he swings and misses on a breaking ball away, then looks at another.
Fast forward to later in the game, Triolo sits back and reads another breaking ball coming from the same pitcher, waits on it and drives it up the middle. The last hit he went down and away to slap a breaking ball the other way for a base hit, something that Curve hitters were struggling with this past week against Somerset.
The base hit by Triolo on Sunday. Fell behind 0-2, fought his way back, fouled off a pitch, before again staying back and drilling a breaking pitch up the middle. #LetsGoBucs pic.twitter.com/ZIU6lAS0CD
— Anthony Murphy (@__Murphy88) May 16, 2022
Another at-bat came this past Sunday, Triolo falls down 0-2 before fighting back to even the count before, again, staying back on a breaking pitch and ripping it up the middle.
A common theme with the videos? His ability to stay back and make contact as the ball comes into the zone. Triolo has gone the other way 42.5% of the time, according to Fangraphs, and that number is up nearly ten percentage points from 2021 (33.5%).
An RBI-double from @JaredTriolo makes it a 6-4 ballgame!
— Altoona Curve (@AltoonaCurve) May 5, 2022
Some of the power numbers we knew weren’t going to translate, Greensboro is that hitter generous, it still has to be a small surprise it hasn’t carried to this extent. It’s still May, so there’s still plenty of opportunities, but in the meantime Triolo has made an impact in other aspects offensively.
He’s also second on the team in stolen bases with six, trailing only Liover Peguero.
While Triolo is still getting the majority of his playing time at third, he also started at shortstop and, for the first time in his professional career, centerfield this past week.
Triolo’s true value will always be with the glove, but the more he evolves his game at the plate, the easier it will be to continue to climb up the organizational ladder.
THIS WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS
Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.