Pirates Prospects Daily: Power Continues To Come Through For Liover Peguero

Repeating a level usually isn’t the best of signs for a prospect, but it does happen from time to time.

For Liover Peguero, it may not have been the most ideal scenario to start back in Altoona, but after a slow start to the season, has really taken off into one of the better bright spots when it comes to hitters in the upper levels.

With a double and home run over the span of Altoona’s doubleheader on Wednesday, Peguero is now up to 28 extra-base hits on the season, which is nine less than he had in more than double the amount of games he played last year (37 XBH in 121 games in 2022).

With his strikeouts down, as well as walks up, seeing the power really come through is huge for their former Top 100 prospect, especially given the current situation of their major league roster.

They have several intriguing pieces trying to pick up the slack created by the injured Oneil Cruz, but the longer the season as gone on, the more exposed they have become.

While no one can match the raw skillset that Cruz has, Peguero would actually be the closest when it comes to potential stop gaps at shortstop.

Tucupita Marcano has filled in admirably, but again, the long he’s played there the most the defensive metrics play against him.

Peguero has had his issues at times in the field, but possesses all of the physical tools to play shortstop, and right now Marcano and Rodolfo Castro currently occupy two of the bottom five spots when it comes to Outs Above Average on Baseball Savant at the position.

He may not have Ji-Hwan Bae‘s top end speed, but his 15 steals is just outside the Top 10 in the Eastern League, and fourth overall in the Pirates system.

The power will never be the the same as Castro, but Peguero’s reverse splits (far better against righties than lefties), the two could still form a decent platoon option while providing the better 1-2 punch when it comes to extra-base hits.

Nick Gonzales looks like he’s slowly starting to get the strikeout rate down, and could be an option eventually down the road, but Peguero is already on the 40-man roster, and if the Pirates aren’t truly shy about pulling straight from Double-A, the young shortstop is making as good a case as anyone when it comes to a potential promotion.

Prospect Notes

— Braxton Ashcraft made his first Double-A start this season on Wednesday, pitching three innings, allowing an unearned run on two hits while striking out four. The fastball/curve is a really strong pairing, especially with the velocity in the mid to upper 90s, and when he’s attacking the top of the zone.

He was the biggest jump on Baseball America’s Top 30 update, and if the Pirates are really trying to limit his innings this year coming off of Tommy John, it may not be crazy to see him make another jump this season.

As he gets closer to any type of inning limit, they could wind him down in the bullpen, or in a piggyback situation, even in Triple-A, who is still running thin on starters.

— He’s translated to more of an organizational depth role at Altoona, but since coming off the Development List Omar Cruz has been solid for the Curve. The changeup is still good, and he’s posted scoreless relief outings in six of eight games this season, while going multiple innings in five of them.

Daily Video Rundown

Another game, another Connor Scott defensive highlight. He’s also turned it on with the bat as of late.

A great slider from Pittsburgh native Justin Meis to get the inning ending strikeout.

This was Endy Rodriguez‘s fifth double of June, which is the same amount he picked up the first two months of the season combined.


By Tim Williams

The Pirates have now lost nine games in a row, and have dropped from first to fourth in the NL Central. At the other end of the division, the Reds have won 11 in a row, and are 1.5 games up in first place. Check out the recap of last night’s games, including the minor league action.

**P2Live: Pirates Play Badly in Every Phase of Game in Ninth Straight Loss

Our new Prospect Watch looks closer at three players a day. Yesterday’s article was led by last year’s first round pick, Termarr Johnson.

**Prospect Watch: Termarr Johnson, Connor Scott, Enmanuel Terrero

Missed yesterday? Anthony looked at how the changeup helped Jared Jones in his debut.

**Pirates Prospects Daily: Changeup Helps Jared Jones In Strong Triple-A Debut


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 is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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