Matt Gorski Has Been Getting Work at First Base This Year

The Pittsburgh Pirates are giving all of their minor league players secondary positions.

Though he has spent his professional career roaming the outfield, Matt Gorski is one of those players working at a different position.

While Gorski’s bat has him as one of the most talked about players in the system right now, and even his athleticism certainly plays a lot better in the outfield, he has embraced the opportunity to work at first base, a position he played some in college at Indiana.

“Being at first base is a lot different. I did it a lot in college, so I’m pretty used to it,” Gorski told Pirates Prospects. “It’s a different speed, it’s a different focus, and I like doing it. It’s a good switch up to go over there once a week and play.”

With his previous experience at the position, along with his natural athletic ability, Greensboro Manager Callix Crabbe isn’t surprised at how easy the position is coming for Gorski.

He recounted an instance in how natural Gorski looked at first, ranging to his right while holding a runner, scooping the ball and making the throw to the shortstop to get the lead runner.

“When you look at someone like that, you ask a question ‘Can he move around and create some defensive versatility and value not only for himself but for the Pirates?’ He’s been able to display that,” Crabbe said of Gorski’s abilities.

Gorski’s time at first base has been limited, as the Grasshoppers have also worked in Endy Rodriguez, Abrahan Gutierrez, and Jacob Gonzalez, among others, at the position. He’s started just three games there but has yet to commit an error.

Gorski is now in Altoona, where he’s started in the outfield each game so far. The Curve have a deep enough outfield that they could explore Gorski at first a little further.

Altoona has had Brendt Citta and Aaron Shackelford split time at first base, but Gorski getting some additional time would allow them to continue to get players like Andres Alvarez and Lolo Sanchez into the lineup.

Right now people are taking notice for the insane offensive numbers he is putting up, but Gorski can show off even more of his skillset with added opportunities moving around the diamond.


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Wilbur Miller

I like the idea of Gorski at 1B. That position has been such a dumpster fire so often for them over the years that having a lot of options can’t be bad. The tradeoff is, Gorski should a plus defender in an OF corner and could be legit in CF. I guess it’s a win-win.


Speaking of the “dumpster fire”, the present group of 1B at AA are Citta 26, Shackleford 25, and Mathiessen 24. I doubt that any of the 3 are going to make it to AAA at 1B, other than as backups/depth players.

Gorski needs to be getting serious PT at both OF and 1B at Altoona, but nothing yet at 1B. Maybe just an attempt by Mattison to allow Gorski to get comfortable at AA before moving him to 1B.


Would’ve been nice if they were doing this early in Cruz career. Instead they were stubborn and made it a point that he could plat SS…….


Cruz wanted to stay at SS and said so publicly. To get that bat in the lineup, I would also have tried to keep him happy on defense, but SS may not be in his future with the Pirates and LF has been an adventure also. I think DH/1B may be in his future.


Only thing missing in the article is his #’s


Cross training Gorski to play 1B. Promoting Marcano when 1B Tsutsugo goes on IL. If I’m Mason Martin, I have to be wondering what I’ve done to become BC’s red headed step-child?

John Fluharty

He needs to hit better than 250 and strike out in less than a third of his at bats.


We can wish for that (what’s that saying?), but we have no better consistent power hitter than Mason Martin. An excellent year at AA last year where he batted .242 with 29 doubles, 2 triples, 22 HR, 75 RBI in 414 AB, and was the team leader in all of those categories. So far in AAA he is hitting .241 with 11 doubles, 5 triples, 11 HR, 36 RBI in only 166 AB. He leads the team in all of those categories at AAA except doubles where he is one behind Smith-Njigba.

His OBP at AA was .318; his OBP at AAA this year is .318. Biggest change is that at AA he Slugged .481 (VG), and this year at AAA he is Slugging .566 (Exc). Moved up to the highest level and is doing as well or better. We are currently paying ‘sugo $4 mil for his .281 OBP and .538 OPS. Time for a change.


Well he’s not on the 40 man roster. But that goes back to BC’s assessment that he wasn’t going to make any MLB team’s roster in 2022.


Excellent read and a point I was making on another thread about why Gonzalez should not be promoted to Altoona – Gorski needs to be getting reps at 1B. A proven CF/OF background, the ability to play 1B, and also be a RH power hitter, he has the full toolbag.


A testimonial to good scouting and good development. Both NH and BC get credit.

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