If you had to make a bet on who would led the Pirates system in home runs last season, you would have probably cashed in big if you had picked Aaron Shackelford.
He hit 26 home runs in Altoona, before wrapping up the season in Triple-A, playing four games with Indianapolis.
That total made him one of four players to hit the 20-home run plateau for the Pirates, with Endy Rodriguez finishing one behind him.
First Home Run of the season for Aaron Shackelford @indyindians pic.twitter.com/8zijr8u65X
— Pittsburgh Pirates Player Development (@PGHplayerDev) April 29, 2023
It was going to be interesting in how the Pirates would utilize Shackelford, and at what level. He began in Triple-A, and is showing an improved approach at the plate, all the while still hitting for some power.
Through 24-games this season, the lefty has slashed .301/.441/.534 with ten total extra-base hits. He’s picked up seven hits in the last three games, and has reached safely in 13-of-the-last-16 as well.
He’s also walking at more than double the rate he did last year, while also cutting back on the strikeouts.
He picked up his third home run of the year on Sunday, while also walking twice and even stealing a base – all in Indianapolis’ big win on the day.
The Triple-A team has been hit pretty hard by injuries early on the season, forcing some into a bigger role than previously expected, Shackelford being one of them. He’s played every position in the infield except for shortstop.
Injuries slowed the Indians a bit to start the season, but they won five in a row to close out the series against the Toledo Mud Hens. Shackelford has been a big part of that, and he’s forcing an issue where he could still see plenty of playing time even as the team gets healthy again.
— For as hard as I want to believe that injuries is what has held back Nick Gonzales this season, I just can’t buy into someone with a 36.8% strikeout rate yet.
With the added tracking in Triple-A, I’ve been keeping track of how he’s fared against fastballs, breaking, and off-speed pitches, and it’s been quite the tale of two stories. He’s raked against fastballs, but looks like he’s been lost against anything else.
Will he get fastballs at the next level? Absolutely, and he’ll probably hit those as well, giving some signs of hope.
After another three strikeout game, his fifth such with that amount, I’m just not sure on how I feel about him as a prospect at the moment.
— Rodolfo Nolasco picked up his seventh double in his 11th game played this season. Strikeouts are really keeping him from thrusting into legitimate prospect status, but if he strings together more extra-base hit games to go along with three walks, that’s enough to leave you intrigued.
Daily Video Rundown
Wasn’t the best of outings for Bubba Chandler but he gets this swing and miss for a strike three to end the inning #LetsGoBucs pic.twitter.com/JpJ1CKhzAd
— Anthony Murphy (@__Murphy88) May 7, 2023
Bubba Chandler didn’t have the best of outings on Sunday, as it was his first pitching twice in the same week. He did finish on a strong note, getting this swing and miss for a strike three.
Chris didn't miss. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/dG7O8nqEmT
— Indianapolis Indians (@indyindians) May 7, 2023
Chris Owings hit his second home run of the season, extending Indianapolis’ lead to 3-0.
Pirates Prospects Daily
By John Dreker
Colorado Rockies are coming to town for a three-game series, starting tonight.
**Pirates Drop Seventh in a Row on Sunday, As Blue Jays Sweep the Series
**Prospect Watch: Eight-Run Inning Leads Greensboro to Victory
**Our weekly look at how the draft is shaping up. There will be another draft article this morning at 10 AM.
**Anthony Murphy takes a look at the Greensboro outfield.
Song of the Day
When the Pirates lose seven in a row…
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.
Who picked King Solomon? Great choice!
Updated my tracking this morning, here’s what I have for Nicky G so far this season when it comes to whiffs;
28/85 (32.9%) Fastballs
40/77 (51.9%) Breaking
6/12 (50%) Off-speed
3/14 (21.4%) Undefined from the Louisville series where some tracking data was incomplete.
I may have missed a game around when he came back, trying to go back and double check, even so, don’t think one game really sways these one way or another at this point.
Even the fastballs are getting to a point where it’s an issue to an extent. He crushes them, when he makes contact. Even Oneil Cruz during his rookie year was at a 15% whiff rate on fastballs, while being over 50% on the other two.
Gonzales is more than double that at Triple-A.
He’s going to be the biggest bust since Tony Sanchez.
Flip him now for some pitching lottery tickets imo
Nick and Priester are on every trade proposal I make!!!
It’s Chris Owings time, yippee.
Nick G is Bo Gentry circa 2012 Clint Eastwood ‘Trouble with the Curve’. No one thought to check if he had trouble with non-fastballs…
Shack a deep sleeper to make an impact at the next level? Also was out of town last week and didnt find much to be excite about surfing box scores, lets hear some reasons for optimism at any level
Endy’s arm is still attached to his body.
Went to a few Curve games last year and he really stood out by hitting the ball hard constantly. Would be great to have a sleeper pop up
And whiffed at 3 of 4 4-seamers to top it off.