P2Daily: So, About That Positional Flexibility Thing…

The Pirates went into the season deciding that they wanted to get the majority of their minor leaguers playing time at positions other than their natural one.

In theory this works out perfectly, there are only so many starting spots available at the major league level, and the best way to ensure you get on the field as much as possible would be the ability to play multiple positions.

That plan, however, traditionally goes to the players that are going to be competing for a spot on the team’s bench. Not exactly the ideal scenario for a player ranked as a Top-100 prospect in all of baseball.

Liover Peguero is viewed as one of the better shortstop prospects in all of baseball, and at 21-years-old, one of the youngest players in Double-A. He’s been one of Altoona’s better hitters this season, and make some of the most difficult plays at the most premium position in the sport.

He’s also been prone to some mental lapses, and has committed 23 total errors this season. As a part of the Pirates push for ‘positional flexibility’, Peguero has found himself playing second base here and there this season — a total of 10 games.

It hasn’t gone well. Six of those 23 errors has come on the other side of second base. That’s six errors in 10 games, 46 total chances.

His error on Saturday came from second base, and while at first look it wasn’t another errant throw, I started to think about it a little more. While he does air mail it, it’s still a catch, turn, and throw he’s made only a handful of times

That’s not excusing the 17 errors that Peguero has made at shortstop. Then again, having to bounce back and forth between the position you’ve played your whole life and the new one you are picking up, while also having to hit in a league that you are one of the youngest players in — that all just might be enough to force some small mental errors.

Maybe it is making an excuse for his play, but Peguero is far from a finished product at his natural position, so why push him to learn footwork for a whole new place on the infield?

Peguero isn’t the only one that has error issues in small sample size away from their natural position.

— Dariel Lopez has eight errors in 19 games at shortstop. Granted, he’s been just as wild at his natural position, but he’s nearly matched his error total at shortstop as he has at third base in less than half the games played.

–If Lopez was an easy answer to go with, then Jared Triolo may be the one that really drives this home. While he’s played some shortstop previously, this is the most looks he’s gotten there since college. While making a good case for another Minor League Gold Glove at the hot corner this year, Triolo has five errors in 14 games while playing shortstop, including one on Saturday that broke up a potential double play.

Triolo probably fits in the mold as someone who is going to need that added position in their tool belt to stick in the majors, but if that’s going to be the case it may be something that is done on a more consistent basis.

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adicesa14

I’ve thought for a while that many of the prospects (i.e., Castro, Castillo, Mitchell, Park, Smith-Njigba, Madris, Marcano, and even Suwinski) added to the major league team this year were auditioning for long-term bench roles, or eventual ‘trade-bait’ while the potential ‘starters’ were in ‘finishing school’ in the upper minors. Sidebar: Jack Suwinski may have altered his original plan. If that’s trued, it’s obvious that most of them have been forced (?) to play multiple positions. One hopes that a prospect of Peguero’s pedigree isn’t one of these.
 
Meanwhile, the Pirates current roster is a puzzling array of misfitting parts. Unfortunately, except for Jose Quintana and Daniel Vogelbach, this years low-priced free agents have not contributed to respectability. Understandably, prospects making their first appearance in ‘the show,’ aren’t contributing much toward winning either. What’s most disconcerting is the lack of balance amongst the newcomers. There are too many left-handed hitters on this team. I understand the Pirates have been power deficient in recent years, and they want to take advantage of the ‘short-porch’ in right field but opposing teams are starting every left-handed pitcher they possess to ‘rack-up’ easy wins against this inexperienced left-handed lineup. How is it possible to develop young players with this built-in disadvantage?
 
And of late, I’ve become perplexed regarding the performance of Pirate prospects (the players, not this site) in the upper minors. First round picks Travis Swaggerty, Nick Gonzales, and Henry Davis are often hurt or underperforming. Are these guys being coddled? Brittle? Or just unlucky? It’s been calming that the Pirate system is rated so highly but results are necessary.
 
 I will say the performances of Roansy Contreras, Mitch Keller and JT Brubaker (except for today) are reassuring. It seems a formidable pitching staff may be developing. How about some hitters!

NMR

Individual developmental approach for each prospect, except for the dogmatic parts they’re forcing every player to do.

You could write the same narrative about this front office as we did of the last in many, many ways.

All in the eye of the beholder.

NMR

Snark aside, seems fair to wonder if every kid is cut out for this test.

Peguero is already notably short on attention, often failing mentally in the field and at the plate to consistently execute a game plan. Maybe this type of dude has enough cut out for him before trying to learn different positions on the fly?

Gurganus

Hoping some one could help me — I’ve msged this site multiple times through the subscription help request.. not response. I’ve msged through the Facebook page. No response. I’ve emailed Tim directly no response. I made a comment on a p2daily with no response. I’m just looking for help with my subscription as it seems to have been paid but I can get access to the premium site. There’s no phone number to contact and I’ve been trying to get a hold of someone for a month- maybe longer. If anyone can help me access someone who can help me sort this out I would sincerely appreciate it. Thank you..🤷🏽‍♂️

joesolo6181

It is hard enough to become a good fielder at one position so why not allow them to do that before making them feel inadequate at another position.

john_fluharty

Playing multiple positions and struggling at a new one may also help them to learn to not carry their outfield struggles to the plate with them.

bradlej31

somehow it’s ALWAYS the Pirate management’s fault when players don’t play well.

Peggy started off red hot and is having a down stretch. If he gets credit for the red hot stretch he needs to own his cold stretch and errors.

PS – Cruz is staying at SS so Peggy better learn not to boot balls at 2B

leefieux

Who cares if the can field multiple positions? I just want to know if they can hit. We have a dearth of hitters at the MLB level and not a lot of promising offensive prospects at this point.

skliesen

After watching IF butcher plays in the OF, and crappy 1B play on occasion by JVM & Chavis, I’m ready to be done with cross training. However, if I’m a player I would work hard to learn multiple positions.

What we’re seeing this year is likely the growing pains associated with a new program.

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