With His Bat on Fire, Liover Peguero Looks to Fix Throwing Issues

It’s fun watching Liover Peguero play baseball.

The shortstop prospect, acquired prior to the 2020 season in a trade for Starling Marte, currently has a .322/.352/.525 line in 125 plate appearances for Altoona. Peguero has added three homers and seven stolen bases. This all comes after a big season last year, where he had a .776 OPS, 14 home runs, and 28 stolen bases in Greensboro.

Peguero has an easy swing and the ability to put the ball in the air to all fields, as shown in the video below.

 

Peguero has been putting the ball in the air a lot more often this year, with a big reduction in his ground ball rate. The latter currently sits at 36.6%, after hovering around 50% ground balls for most of his career. The reduction in grounders has been matched with an increase in line drives (18.6% in 2021 to 23.7% in 2022) and fly balls (31.6% to 39.8%).

“He’s being on time,” said Altoona manager Kieran Mattison. “The contact point is more on time and not as deep. He’s just been able to slow the game down at the plate, and have a good approach consistently, and getting off a good swing.”

The increase in fly balls and line drives is naturally leading to an increase in power. Peguero has a career-high .203 isolated power, up from .174 last year.

Peguero’s bat, with his potential to add power through extra base hits and home runs, makes him valuable as a shortstop. He’s had some issues at the position, largely limited to throwing, as seen below. (Big thanks to Anthony Murphy for putting both of these videos together.)

Mattison said that the Pirates are focusing with Peguero on the right spot to target when he’s throwing to a base. There have been a few games I’ve watched where he has been bailed out by his first basemen, so this is an issue that isn’t fully shown with his ten errors. The Pirates are working with Peguero, but aren’t concerned about this issue long-term at the moment.

“He’s been doing a good job in his work day of having a consistent focus,” said Mattison of the defense. “That’s nothing that we’re concerned about. We just want to keep learning from everything that happens, and be students of the game.”

If Peguero had no flaws to his game, he’d be in the Majors right now. As it stands, he’s one of the youngest players in Double-A, at 21-years-old, and is having a very impressive season, outside of the throwing errors. Those might be the only thing holding him back if he continues hitting the way he’s done this year.

“He’s young, he’s learning a lot,” said Mattison. “For me, a guy like that, he grows a ton as he continues to grow and gain experience.”

THIS WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS

Williams: The Build Begins in Altoona

With His Bat on Fire, Liover Peguero Looks to Fix Throwing Issues

Mike Burrows Looks Like He’s Taking Another Step Forward This Year

Prospect Roundtable: Which Altoona Prospect Will Have the Best MLB Career?

Kyle Nicolas: Pitch-Mix Has Transformed Righty Into Starting Prospect

Jared Triolo: Leadoff Spot Allowing Hitting Skills To Shine Through

Despite His Recent Success, Noe Toribio Isn’t Done Making Changes

PROSPECT WATCH

DAILY VIDEO RUNDOWN

PIRATES DISCUSSION

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redwards60

One of the few prospects living up their hype. At least with the bat.

PiratePrimate

He’s 21 and he’ll be up by July, next year. Hopefully, Cruz is up by then but I imagine Peguero will be replacing someone at SS other than Cruz.

chappy

So if he could be in the majors now, except for the throwing issue, and Cruz is going to be in the majors soon, once he hits, what the heck is the plan when they both are here???

emjayinTN

A very nice problem to have – a SS who leads the team by a wide margin – in extra base hits, and RBI’s, but has defensive issues to work out. Most of what I saw in the video’s are minor issues.

He gets to the ball and can sometimes just not be in the right position to finish the play. And, there were a few where he made a decent throw that was not caught by the 2B or 1B. Noticed also that sliding through the bag to take out the 2B is not considered interference in AA – am I seeing that correctly?

Thanks for the study and the video’s – I had asked a week or two ago if the defensive issues with Peguero were serious or just youth. Would it help to have a fielding coach dedicated to working with him and Gonzales, and just talking with them? Why is Triolo not working at 1B ?

Scrappy2499

Why would you want Triolo working at 1st? He is a gold glover at 3rd.

roberto

Good question. There may be a concern about his power despite his production at Greensboro.

roberto

Triolo’s that is.

roberto

That’s the concern at FanGraphs, anyway.

roibert.kasperski

What I am wondering in looking at the video, some of his attempts at a double play may well have been better to make the throw to first after the extra step to set himself instead of rushing, throwing off balance to make what would be a bang bang play at 2nd and probably would not have gotten the guy at first anyway. Might just need some teaching how to better recognize when to let a play go and take a sure out and to not rush the throw to first if you have some time to set and throw.

jeffw3000

The second one would have been close, and probably shou1ld have gone to first. On the first one though he definitely had time to get the lead runner with a good throw.

ricramer

I agree. With Hayes at 3rd, Tripoli can be the plan at 1st if Martin fails to work out.

roberto

Makes sense, but the Plan B for Davis includes first.

jeffw3000

Triolo could play a lot of places. I think if and when he gets here you worry about where he plays. He might wind up being the next Josh Harrison. He could be a backup plan at 2B, if Gonzalez does not work out, as well as in the outfield. He is not really your prototype hitter for a Firstbaseman. Not that you have to fall into a certain category of hitter based on position, but if you want a power guy, it is easier to find one at 1B than 2B, just because there is a larger supply of them at 1B.

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