Pirates Prospects Daily: Alexander Mojica Enters A Unique Situation In 2023

The Pittsburgh Pirates took a gamble that ended up paying off with their Single-A team back in 2021. They decided to give an aggressive push to a lot of players, on the other side of the lost 2020 minor league season.

It paid off, as the Bradenton Marauders won the then-named Low-A Southeast Division championship.

Part of the youth movement on the team came from Alexander Mojica, who played the majority of the season with Bradenton at just 18-years-old.

He showed off some of that raw power, belting nine home runs in 339 plate appearances, as well as a decent approach at the plate with a 12.1 BB%. However, Mojica slashed just .209/.322/.341 while striking out 26.5% of the time.

Mojica was still young, and was a name to watch in 2022, even with a return to Bradenton.

Unfortunately he struggled, with his average dipping, along with his strikeout rate spiking up to 31.8%. Mojica continued to draw walks, actually improving to a 14% rate, but that wasn’t enough to offset the rest of his troubles. The raw power continued to show up when he made contact, with four home runs in less than half of the plate appearances from a year ago.

While his power potential is always going to be intriguing, Mojica is going to have to find a way to make more consistent contact. His swinging strike rate jumped up from an already concerning 16.4% in 2021 to 20.5% combined between Bradenton and the Florida Complex League this past year.

In a lot of cases when a player is staring down a third straight season starting in Single-A, their outlook isn’t the greatest. Mojica is still just going to be 20-years-old for the majority of the 2023 season.

A lot of players that will be his same age are going to be getting their first taste of the level, but Mojica has nearly 500 plate appearances, which again, in theory, could give him an advantage. 

Mojica is in an unique position we don’t see too many prospects go through, and he’ll have to hope the third time is actually the charm for things clicking.

Highlight of the Day

Pirates Prospects Daily

**A few transactions took place today, as the Pirates acquired RHP Scott Randall for Diego Castillo, while the Texas Rangers claimed Nick Mears.

**Jeff Reed has the latest Pirates Discussion, and I’ll be honest, this was my thought when he mentioned how a team needs to plan beyond Plan “A”:

why-cyclops-doesnt-have-a-plan-b.jpg
“That’s why I am a leader. The blind leading the blind, maybe… but a leader nonetheless. A leader because I’m prepared to take the fall, and because I’m prepared to make the hard decisions. And leading with certainty into an uncertain future doesn’t require sight. It requires vision. It requires holding on. And no matter what happens, never letting go.” – Scott Summers, aka Cyclops

**Andres Alvarez is now leading the league in Colombia in hitting. John Dreker has the latest Pirates winter league update.

**Missed yesterday? I looked at whether it really would have been better if the Pirates won more games in 2022.

Song of the Day

Pirates Prospects Weekly

In this week’s Pirates Discussion, Jeff Reed looks at how the Pirates are bridging to their prospects compared to the last time a big wave of prospects hit in 2016.

Pirates Discussion: The City of Bridges

John Dreker will have his latest Pirates Winter Report on Saturday at noon.

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.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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steve_zielinski

Mojica has a nice stroke….

When he played in the DSL, Mojica spent a good bit of the season with an average near .400 before a late season slump brough his average down to .355 or thereabouts. His slump has lasted approximately 2.5 seasons. That fact does not point to future success.

Last edited 1 month ago by steve_zielinski
Wilbur Miller

It’s worse than that. He was supposedly going to get in better shape last offseason, but didn’t. In late May, he went into a 0-for-37 slump, with 18 Ks, which got him demoted to the FCL. In his first game there, he went deep twice, only to fall into a 1-for-16 slump with eight Ks. That got him two months of developmental work before he got into a game again. He finished the season 2-for-12 with seven Ks.

So, counting the two-HR game (he struck out his other two times up), he finished the year 5-for-69 with 35 Ks, half of that in rookie ball. And, despite good hands and a pretty good arm, he’s a liability in the field because he’s too immobile. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t get released in spring training.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wilbur Miller
steve_zielinski

Self-sabotage

steve_zielinski

I expect the Pirates will release him. I wonder if his problem is mental.

Wilbur Miller

The out-of-shape part, I guess you can call it that.

At the plate, he’s one of several low-level hitters they’ve had who are very tentative, struggling to make swing decisions and taking too many hittable pitches. Hudson Head is the same, Sammy Siani, too. The lower-level guys who haven’t come through for them are divided between that and guys who are just hackers, like Maikol Escotto.and Juan Jerez. It’s a treat to see the guys who just seem to have a plan, like Endy and Cheng.

RAS TN

Mets concerned with Carlos Correa’s physical. Story with @DanHayesMLB:

How about that…

b mcferren

if Bellinger can get a one year deal for $17, then so can Correa

leefieux

A unique but not enviable position? Let’s hope that the third time IS the charm!

Merry Christmas, everyone!!

Scam likely

Merry Christmas and a happy new year, happy holidays for you non Christians and have a nice Sunday for you atheist.

leefieux

I think you covered them all.

timbre21

We need some big time power, hope he develops

skliesen

Merry Christmas Eve to all my fellow Pirates fans. Even those who want BC to trade Hayes away or sign Trevor Bauer if he becomes available.

SouthernBuc

Can’t we just trade Hayes for Bauer so we are sure to get him? Merry Christmas to all.. hope everybody is safe, warm, and with power.

leefieux

I want no part of Bauer. He is right up their with that former RP who Kyle Crick punched out.

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