The Pittsburgh Pirates took a gamble that ended up paying off with their Single-A team back in 2021. They decided to give an aggressive push to a lot of players, on the other side of the lost 2020 minor league season.
It paid off, as the Bradenton Marauders won the then-named Low-A Southeast Division championship.
Part of the youth movement on the team came from Alexander Mojica, who played the majority of the season with Bradenton at just 18-years-old.
He showed off some of that raw power, belting nine home runs in 339 plate appearances, as well as a decent approach at the plate with a 12.1 BB%. However, Mojica slashed just .209/.322/.341 while striking out 26.5% of the time.
Mojica was still young, and was a name to watch in 2022, even with a return to Bradenton.
Unfortunately he struggled, with his average dipping, along with his strikeout rate spiking up to 31.8%. Mojica continued to draw walks, actually improving to a 14% rate, but that wasn’t enough to offset the rest of his troubles. The raw power continued to show up when he made contact, with four home runs in less than half of the plate appearances from a year ago.
While his power potential is always going to be intriguing, Mojica is going to have to find a way to make more consistent contact. His swinging strike rate jumped up from an already concerning 16.4% in 2021 to 20.5% combined between Bradenton and the Florida Complex League this past year.
In a lot of cases when a player is staring down a third straight season starting in Single-A, their outlook isn’t the greatest. Mojica is still just going to be 20-years-old for the majority of the 2023 season.
A lot of players that will be his same age are going to be getting their first taste of the level, but Mojica has nearly 500 plate appearances, which again, in theory, could give him an advantage.
Mojica is in an unique position we don’t see too many prospects go through, and he’ll have to hope the third time is actually the charm for things clicking.
Highlight of the Day
Pirates Prospects Daily
**A few transactions took place today, as the Pirates acquired RHP Scott Randall for Diego Castillo, while the Texas Rangers claimed Nick Mears.
**Jeff Reed has the latest Pirates Discussion, and I’ll be honest, this was my thought when he mentioned how a team needs to plan beyond Plan “A”:
**Andres Alvarez is now leading the league in Colombia in hitting. John Dreker has the latest Pirates winter league update.
**Missed yesterday? I looked at whether it really would have been better if the Pirates won more games in 2022.
Song of the Day
Pirates Prospects Weekly
In this week’s Pirates Discussion, Jeff Reed looks at how the Pirates are bridging to their prospects compared to the last time a big wave of prospects hit in 2016.
John Dreker will have his latest Pirates Winter Report on Saturday at noon.