Pirates Prospects Daily: With Jared Triolo Back, Where’s The Best Fit For Him?

After a four game rehab stint in Bradenton, Jared Triolo found himself in the Indianapolis Indians lineup for the first time this season on Tuesday.

One of the best defensive players in the minors at third base, Triolo has also racked up the hits over the past two seasons working his way up the ladder.

Now in Triple-A, he finds himself one step away from a Major League team that seems like it could use a spark – both offensively and in the field.

So, what would be the best way to use the former Minor League Gold Glove third baseman?

His best position is obviously blocked. He saw time as at first base in the spring before his injury, and he has previous experience at shortstop and center field throughout his minor league career.

With Oneil Cruz out currently, the Pirates have struggled to find an short-term answer at shortstop, cycling through a combination of Rodolfo Castro, Tucupita Marcano, and more recently, Chris Owings.

Although Triolo is an elite defender at third base, that doesn’t mean it translates automatically – remember in most cases you end up at third if your range can’t handle shortstop. 

Triolo committed five errors in 70 total chances across 155 innings last year in Altoona while playing shortstop. For his career, he’s played 349.1 innings at short, with his previous experience going all the way back to 2019 in the New York Penn League.

For him to take on a full-time role, at least until Cruz would get back, at a position he’s played 41 games in his minor league career – on a team that’s still currently fighting to stay in first place, seems unrealistic.

He has been a hitting machine over the past couple of seasons. Since the 2021 season, Triolo has picked up 236 hits across 225 games played, including this year.

Triolo, has a great approach, can hit the ball into the gaps, and has long as he doesn’t have any residual effects from his surgery, will be knocking on the door to the majors very quickly.

If the last couple of games have shown anything, the Pirates could use a spark – both offensively and defensively. Right now, when fully healthy, there aren’t many other players in the upper levels that could provide that kind of impact more than Triolo can.

Prospect Notes

Owen Kellington was fantastic in his three innings of work Wednesday night. He’s still working on a pitch limit, so throwing 20+ in the first inning limited how deep he was going to be able to go.

Regardless, he allowed just two hits, one run, and one walk while striking out five. His curveball, which I talked about the other week, got three whiffs on eight swings and had a 48 CSW% (called strike/whiff rate). So, nearly half of the 21 curves he threw were either a called strike, or a whiff.

— Making his first start in a couple of weeks, Jared Jones made it back-to-back appearances without allowing a walk. A weird play in which he ran into the Akron player that was stuck in the rundown extended the inning and cost him the run, as well as his ability to go deeper into the game.

Jones has made four starts now this year, the first two he walked seven total batters – and now has zero in his last two.

— I thought a brief break to reset would be really beneficial for Javier Rivas, who has really been struggling with strikeouts this season. Turns out he just needed to play a couple of games at home again.

In the first two games of this series against Lakeland, Rivas has gone 5-for-8 with a home run and five RBI. He also hasn’t struck out while walking once. He’s played really well at third base as well while Termarr Johnson has taking the shortstop duties for the first two games of the series.

Daily Video Rundown

I’ve talked about how the Greensboro outfield have really been playing well early on, and Sammy Siani furthered that cause, hitting a three-run home run on Wednesday.

Another outfielder in the lower levels, Rodolfo Nolasco has been mashing since coming back from an injury. He picked up his second home run on the season Wednesday.

Pirates Prospects Daily

By John Dreker

The Pirates are off today, on their way to Baltimore for a weekend series. All of the minor league action is at night

**The Pirates lost a tough one yesterday.

**Last night’s Prospect Watch, highlighted by some huge offense from the Bradenton Marauders

**Jared Jones returned, plus news on two players joining Bradenton

**The schedules have been released for the Florida Complex League and Dominican Summer League. Less than a month before they get into action.

**Yesterday’s P2Daily looked at a potential sleeper prospect in Bradenton.

Song of the Day

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.

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If you want to run up the comment total on here, just say that Hayes needs replacing. 😹😹😹😹


Probably not going to be a popular opinion, but if you’re wishcasting Triolo will hit better than at any of Hayes, Bae (if you include baserunning), Marcano or even Mathias at the major league level, there’s a really good chance you’ll be disappointed. He can almost certainly solve ONE of the two glaring problems on this team that have been exposed the last 10 games (horrid defense) but he just doesn’t profile as even an average major league hitter. I prefer him to Owings, who is generally bad at the plate AND below average in the field, but that’s about it.


Noting here that the Pirates rank 29th in Fangraphs defense at SS (-2.4 runs) and dead last at 2B (-10.5).


Triolo has the glove and has always been a high contact hitter with impressive BB/K numbers. Worst year was at A+ where he had numbers of 42/94 BB/K. At AA last year 63/87 BB/K numbers, and also stole 24 bases.

Voted best 3B by opposing Managers the past two years, and he can definitely play SS just as well as Castro, Hayes, Marcano, and Peguero. He played SS right out of the draft in 2019 at WV, in ’21 at GBO (5 games), and 19 games last year at AA.

The .795 OPS last year at AA was decent, but not as outstanding as the BB/K rate. At 6’3″ 210 he definitely has the build to hit for power, but has only one year hitting more than 10 HR’s. He is another of the guys who can be a solid Utility player, but SS is a different animal altogether. Cruz is our SS.

b mcferren

neither did Delay


Which delay? The one who put up a 53 wRC+ in 167 plate appearances last year or the one who’s running a .415 BABIP in 1/3 as much playing time this year?


Off topic but Bae is sitting on 129 ABs and ready to leave prospect status.


Now the Reds might jump to the top of the Fangraphs team lists


Hopefully, the injury has no lasting effects! The team will look different after the All-Star break. Best song choice ever! I saw Ruch live 14 different times!

b mcferren

Have yinz seen the list of free agent shortstops this coming November?

Its pretty lame

Smartest thing BC could do right now would be to audition KeBryan at shortstop immediately to increase his marketability for a december trade

if mookie is playing shortstop, then it should not be above hayes to do so as well


Yeah after we sign ohtani there wont be much left to do


My gut feel is if they thought he was truly a ‘real’ shortstop he would have been moved there earlier. Since he has ‘mastered’ third, I do see the logic in giving him a lot of time at shortstop now just to see if he can be another stop gap or backup in the future. IMO if your starting shortstop is Cruz (and he is handling the position), I would rather have the backup be somebody who has other redeeming qualities (hit?, play other positions etc.) which is how the Pirates started this season. Maybe Triolo can be that guy in the future.

For this year, let’s see him hit in AAA before we start plugging him into the stop gap shortstop role. He is coming off an injury that sometimes impacts the bat and his job now is too get healthy and force his way to the majors.

If he crushes it then Pirates have a good dilemma.


I would like to see Triolo play …period. His elite 3b defense may be ok for SS, but I haven’t’ heard anyone talk about 2b. Castro is hitting lefties great, but is below average to near unplayable against righties.


It doesn’t matter where he plays if he can’t hit ML pitching. Tucapita, Palacios, Owings all hit well in Indy.

He does have the advantage that he’s already on the 40 man


Marcano is already a good hitter in the MLB


I’ve been trying to like Rush for probably 30 years. I just can never do it. I know many people who think they are sliced bread but I don’t know why I never felt that way. Here is to another 30 years of trying. Hopefully the Bucs make it to the WS by then.

John Dreker

I saw them once, it was an okay concert. I like two of their songs a lot more than the others (XYZ and Tom Sawyer). I wouldn’t have gone if my dad didn’t want to go. That video was recommended for me on YouTube. Not sure why, but I went with it.


I worked with a guy at the now demolished New Kensington Kmart in the mid-late 90’s that worshipped them. He’d break down their songs and whatever. I was obsessed with Led Zeppelin at the time so I tuned him out. I think it is Rush’s lead singers voice. I respect Rush. Just like I do Van Halen. Just never got into them.


I’d try him at short for a few weeks, if he looks competent or better, leave him there. If it isn’t working, put him back at third. He either becomes a backup option or trade bait.


Great topic. I’d Put Triolo as Indy’s full time SS and see how it goes. If OCruz recovery has setbacks, we probably need a better plan than the status quo


Tough call…I fear the hamate injury may mess up his hitting this year (it usually takes a year to get strength back in the hand,)

On one hand 3b is his elite position. He probably can play anywhere but may not have the range for ss or the power ro project offensively at 1b or the outfield.

I see him as a super utility guy and a good one.




i’d give him some runway at short, sure.

calling up owings seems to be their way of telling us that they dont think that Tucupita or Castro can do it.

and if he can’t do it either than put Owings back.


He needs to play his best position and for me, he is not blocked at 3rd base, may the best player play…

Long contract or not Hayes is not a player that the Pirates can build on and is a replacement complement for any team…His contract was very premature but I am guessing sellable to others…


People are reacting to Triolo the same way they do to the backup QB in football. He’s always the most popular player on the team especially if the starter isn’t playing up to some standard they expect until he’s put into the game of course. Hayes is too good to toss aside for the unproven.


So, keep carrying a 3rd baseman who can’t hit? You have a third baseman who is almost Hayes’ equal at fielding. If Triolo can’t hit, what have you lost?

And sometimes that backup QB plays better than the starter. See Pickett, Kenny (among MANY others).


Oh yeah…sometimes. But not most times. The idea to just cast Hayes aside is predictably foolish by commenters here.


Was trying to articulate this exact post, but my ESL ass couldn’t come up with the words.


Please don’t let facts cloud your opinion. Hayes may not play the position to your standard, but he is in fact currently the third best 3B by WAR in NL.


I never said that he couldn’t field. NEVER.

BUT, Triolo is almost his equal at 3b. Let’s see if HE can hit.


How do you know Triolo is almost his equal in the field? With a team that is this bad in the field, I’d see if Triolo can handle something else first (like short).

Last edited 22 days ago by ArkyWags

Because that is what I read on here. I have only watched him a few times in person.


Hayes is normally a 3+WAR player, if Triolo was view as that type of player he would be a top 20 prospect in all of baseball. Hayes is not the problem, he’s obviously not the solution, but he is far from the problem.


Hayes is really good IMO

His WAR / 162 games is Hall of Fame level



Best money spent by nickels, not so sure BRey will be, but I hope!


Yes. Let’s not try to improve the club. I repeat……what do we have to lose? It is worth a shot. Triolo probably won’t hit as well, but you never know until you throw him in the mix. Btw, not comparing the two, but Altuve was never a Top 10 prospect. Nor was Suwinski.


So many people don’t get that, maybe they just take his elite defense for granted.


I don’t take it for granted. Isn’t Triolo supposed to have elite defense? If so, maybe he can do something Hayes can’t. HIT! It is worth a shot.


Elite defense isnt best defender in the league defense. The amount he would have to hit to make up for lost defensive value isnt a worthwhile tradeoff


So elite defense isn’t good enough? Got it. Sheesh. The Hayes defenders are out on force today. And how do you know that Triolo can’t replicate or improve on a below average OPS+?


Triolo would have to have an above average ops+ with elite defense to rival how good hayes is as a defender alone if i had to guess


They’re out in force because this is a bad take to replace Hayes. Look, Triolo is undoubtedly a good defender and given how the defense is awful right now, I’d have no issue having him at a different position.


Put Triolo at 3b for the Bucs and see if he can hit better than someone whose OPS+ hasn’t cracked 90 in the last three years.


Triolo is an elite defender, too. Maybe he can actually, gasp, hit, if not, put Hayes back at 3b.


The name of the game is to score runs and prevent runs.

There is nobody as good as Hayes when it comes to preventing runs. he’s a generational talent with the glove.


Triolo is an elite defender, too. Maybe he can actually, gasp, hit, if not, put Hayes back at 3b.


I think I’m detecting a pattern with your comments on this page LOL. I say take whichever of our elite 3B gloves has better range and move him to SS. Problem solved.

Last edited 22 days ago by john_fluharty

That’ll work, too. He won’t have great range, but at least he’ll catch everything. Hmmmmm….sounds like Kevin Newman.


Hayes currently has the third best WAR for NL 3B at 0.9. Roughly a 4 WAR player over an entire season.

Pirates management isn’t benching or trading him. Nor should they.


I agree, they should not be thinking about benching him, or trading him, but he has no business batting leadoff. They need to try someone like Joe, or I might even consider McCutchen in the leadoff spot. Someone who is getting on base. As for Triolo, I see him being a Super Utility guy when he comes up. Similar to Josh Harrison when he first came up.


His OBP is over .360 from the leadoff spot, he really doesnt need to be moved off there


Hayes had better AA numbers than Triolo, (can’t look at AAA yet as he’s only played 1 game) what makes you think he’d hit better that Hayes in the big leagues?


So? He has LOUSY MLB numbers.

Bryan Hall

I’d also add that while Triolo is a good defensive player, Hayes is quite possibly the best defensive player in Baseball. If you use bWAR, Hayes was the best player on the Pirates last year and is the best position player on the team this year. A lot of the keys to those early wins were great plays he made in key situations.


Just to emphasize all these Hayes comments – I fully agree. I thought one of the advantages to Cruz being able to handle shortstop is that there is now power at that position which may mean you can have less power elsewhere. Yes, at Hayes current hitting line he is a better candidate for batting lower in the order, but it is VERY easy to see him being the 3rd basemen and 6th or 7th hitter on a championship team.

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