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Monday, December 5, 2022

GCL Notes: First Impressions of Shortstop Trae Arbet

2013 5th round pick Trae Arbet
2013 5th round pick Trae Arbet

The GCL Pirates played the GCL Phillies this afternoon at Pirate City. The Phillies scored six runs in the fourth inning, which was enough to lead them to a 6-3 win. For the first week of the GCL season I’ve been focused more on getting pictures of all of the players down here, so that I’ll have those for the rest of the season. However, I did take some notes today. I also got to see Trae Arbet in the field for the first time.

Arbet was a fifth round pick this year, and was given a slightly over-slot deal to sign. The prep shortstop was said to have some great defensive skills, and the potential to stick at the shortstop position. I definitely agree with that assessment. I saw Arbet make a few plays today that were a bit more than routine. Two of those players were charging grounders where he displayed the arm strength and accuracy to make the off-balanced throw to first. The most impressive part about these two plays was how smooth Arbet looked when he made the plays. He also had a third play where he ranged back to catch a pop up near foul territory in shallow left field, calling off the third baseman and left-fielder.

He made some good contact at the plate. In one at-bat he reached low and away and lined a single opposite field over the second baseman’s head. You can check that out on my Instagram video below.


The next at-bat he popped one up to right field, which can be seen below.


In each at-bat he showed a lot of speed, which is something I’ve noticed from him the entire week. He gets out of the box quickly, especially for a right-handed hitter, and flies down the line. Hitting is probably going to be his biggest concern going forward, and seemed to be a bigger knock against him than his fielding skills when he was drafted. That’s not a surprise. If he didn’t have question marks hitting, and had strong defensive skills at shortstop, we’d be talking about a first rounder. It’s still really early, and he could change his game as he grows and his body matures. Right now he’s a quick, athletic shortstop with smooth moves, and the arm strength and accuracy needed to stick at shortstop.

Game Notes

**Arbet’s single was part of a seventh inning rally that fell short. The Pirates loaded the bases with two outs and Luis Urena stepping to the plate. Urena lined a nice shot to the gap, but Phillies center fielder Cord Sandberg made an impressive diving play to rob Urena of what would have easily been a bases clearing, game tying double (or probably a triple if the ball would have gotten past the diving Sandberg). Sandberg is a local player, and brought the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen at a GCL game. And by that, I mean there were people in attendance today.

Melvin Del Rosario
Melvin Del Rosario

**Melvin Del Rosario was pitching well in the first three innings of work today, but ran into trouble in the fourth, giving up four runs. Two of those were inherited by Cristian Santiago. Del Rosario was 85-89 MPH with his fastball, sitting at 86-87 MPH. His changeup was in the 79-81 range, and his curveball was 76-77 MPH.

Cristian Santiago
Cristian Santiago

**Santiago had the opposite day. He came in looking shaky, and gave up the two inherited runners, plus two more to make it a six run fourth inning. After that he settled down. Santiago was 89-91 MPH and had a 78-79 MPH slider. After the rough first inning he bounced back, striking out two batters swinging in his second inning of work, and ending up with four strikeouts in three innings on the day.

**Candon Myles has been making good contact so far, and came up with a big two RBI single in the seventh, making the score 6-3. Myles is 11-for-22 so far.

**I spoke with Reese McGuire today, and he mentioned that he expected to make his pro debut next week. McGuire had strep throat last week, and now that he’s over that he’s been working on drills and getting prepared for game action.

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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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Tim: Thanks for the update. With Arbet signed, and JaCoby Jones today, my thought is that they will abandon any attempt to sign Frazier, a lesser middle inf, and concentrate that extra money on trying to sign Borden – what do you think? Adding Meadows was huge, and the Pirates staff has done a great job identifying the talent and signing that talent.


My bad, I thought it could be combined, just so a team did not exceed the total. Borden did a lot better this year than expected and that may mean a little more than slot for him, but I doubt that he would want to press his luck and stay in school for his Senior year. Any longshots left in the remaining draft picks?

Susanne Klich Langford

Del Rosario reminds me of Shane Youman on first look. Similar bodied lefty.

– Fred Langford

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