The Pirates went into the season deciding that they wanted to get the majority of their minor leaguers playing time at positions other than their natural one.
In theory this works out perfectly, there are only so many starting spots available at the major league level, and the best way to ensure you get on the field as much as possible would be the ability to play multiple positions.
That plan, however, traditionally goes to the players that are going to be competing for a spot on the team’s bench. Not exactly the ideal scenario for a player ranked as a Top-100 prospect in all of baseball.
Liover Peguero is viewed as one of the better shortstop prospects in all of baseball, and at 21-years-old, one of the youngest players in Double-A. He’s been one of Altoona’s better hitters this season, and make some of the most difficult plays at the most premium position in the sport.
He’s also been prone to some mental lapses, and has committed 23 total errors this season. As a part of the Pirates push for ‘positional flexibility’, Peguero has found himself playing second base here and there this season — a total of 10 games.
It hasn’t gone well. Six of those 23 errors has come on the other side of second base. That’s six errors in 10 games, 46 total chances.
His error on Saturday came from second base, and while at first look it wasn’t another errant throw, I started to think about it a little more. While he does air mail it, it’s still a catch, turn, and throw he’s made only a handful of times
That’s not excusing the 17 errors that Peguero has made at shortstop. Then again, having to bounce back and forth between the position you’ve played your whole life and the new one you are picking up, while also having to hit in a league that you are one of the youngest players in — that all just might be enough to force some small mental errors.
Maybe it is making an excuse for his play, but Peguero is far from a finished product at his natural position, so why push him to learn footwork for a whole new place on the infield?
Peguero isn’t the only one that has error issues in small sample size away from their natural position.
— Dariel Lopez has eight errors in 19 games at shortstop. Granted, he’s been just as wild at his natural position, but he’s nearly matched his error total at shortstop as he has at third base in less than half the games played.
–If Lopez was an easy answer to go with, then Jared Triolo may be the one that really drives this home. While he’s played some shortstop previously, this is the most looks he’s gotten there since college. While making a good case for another Minor League Gold Glove at the hot corner this year, Triolo has five errors in 14 games while playing shortstop, including one on Saturday that broke up a potential double play.
Triolo probably fits in the mold as someone who is going to need that added position in their tool belt to stick in the majors, but if that’s going to be the case it may be something that is done on a more consistent basis.
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