Matt Gorski is the Pirates Prospects Breakout Prospect of the Year

Matt Gorski did exactly what he needed to do this year to put himself on the radar for Pittsburgh in the future. In the process, he was the Pirates Prospects Breakout Prospect of 2022.

Gorski entered his age 24 season heading back to High-A Greensboro, two years after being drafted out of college in the second round of the 2019 draft. The center fielder struggled at the plate in 2021, in what was his first full pro season.

Those struggles didn’t carry over to the 2022 season. Gorski lit Greensboro on fire the first two months of the season, batting .294/.377/.754 with 17 homers in 146 plate appearances. He moved up to Altoona at the end of May, and continued hitting, but was cut short with a quad injury.

Greensboro is a very hitter-friendly environment, although Gorski had success at both home and on the road. What was encouraging was when he returned to Altoona at the end of the year, he continued hitting at the higher level. Gorski hit .277/.354/.489 in 159 plate appearances in Double-A, and was moved up to Triple-A briefly at the end of the year.

Gorski is an excellent center fielder, although he’s been getting work at first base, and showed off the power this year needed at a corner spot. When he was drafted, the hope was that he could be a power/speed option in center field, with concerns about his strikeouts. He did strike out 29.6% of the time in Altoona, but combined for 23 homers and 19 stolen bases on the season.

The Pirates don’t have as big of a need in center field with Bryan Reynolds on the team, though Gorski might be the better defensive option. His ability to move to first base gives an even better chance of reaching the big leagues in Pittsburgh, where first base is a bigger hole.

Gorski could have easily been sunk by the lost 2020 season and struggles in his first pro season in 2021. Instead, he rebounded and put himself on the radar for Pittsburgh in 2023.

2022 Breakout Prospect of the Year Voting

  1. Matt Gorski, OF

2. Blake Sabol, C

3. Javier Rivas, INF

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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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