Pirates Prospects Daily: Josh Palacios Fitting a Trend For The Pirates

If there is one thing that the Pirates have plenty of, especially in the upper levels, is left-handed hitting outfielders.

Regardless, Josh Palacios seems to fit a growing trend within the system, and not just that he is another left-handed bat that plays the outfield.

At 27-years-old, Palacios is not a prospect anymore, but his skill set on the field matches a very familiar theme that the Pirates have going on in their system. While they don’t have a lot of big-time power prospects in the minors, they have made up for that with their aggressiveness on the base paths.

Palacios stole a career high in stolen bases in 2022, swiping 21 bases while playing for Toronto and Washington’s Triple-A teams. He’s failed to reach double digits in stolen bases twice, 2016 and 2021 – the first of which was his draft year and the latter he only played in 19 games.

He has hit for some power, with nine home runs in 2022, most of which after joining the Nationals’ system.

The addition of speed shouldn’t be a surprise for the Pirates, as if there is a common theme in the system it’s the aggressiveness on the base paths. There are several players, especially in the upper levels, that seem capable of stealing 20+ bases. 

Ji-Hwan Bae led the system in the category last year, and Oneil Cruz certainly seems capable of that mark. Jared Triolo and Liover Peguero both stole more than bases in Altoona last year, and even Canaan Smith-Njigba has multiple years of double-digits swipes.

When your team isn’t built to compete with others by trading home runs, you have to generate runs anyway that you can, which it looks like that’s what the Pirates have recognized and are building towards.

With so many outfielders on the 40-man roster, Palacios getting any playing time in the majors probably means that something went wrong. The outfield in Indianapolis is going to be a little crowded, but adding Palacios does allow a roster spot to be filled while some of the prospects from Altoona who struggled in 2022 look to get back to their form when the upcoming season gets started.

In the greater scheme of things, Palacios may not make the biggest impact (he did have a wRC+ of 122 last year in Triple-A) but it does show the organizational philosophy continues to fall into place.

Highlight of the Day

Pirates Prospects Daily

By Tim Williams

**There was a lot going on at the winter meetings this week, and still so much for the Pirates to do this offseason. Jeff Reed wraps up the winter meetings in this week’s Pirates Discussion.

**Tsung-Che Cheng continues to hit in Puerto Rico. John Dreker has the latest on the Pirates infield prospect in the latest winter league update.

**Missed yesterday? Anthony broke down where the 40-man roster sits after the MLB Winter Meetings.

Song of the Day

Pirates Prospects Weekly

The MLB Winter Meetings wrapped up this week, and Jeff Reed had a rundown of the events in this week’s Pirates Discussion.

Pirates Discussion: Winter Meetings Wrap-Up

John Dreker will have the latest Pirates Winter Report on Saturday at noon.

Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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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postal911

Pirates seem to be behind on how small market teams can compete. Pitching, defense and putting together a lineup that can manufacture runs by making contact and stealing bases. Another idea they should look at is pushing the fences back and making PNC a pitchers park. We will never be able to afford power hitters so why not try and neutralize our opponents? Baltimore pushed their fences back and their team era went down by 1 run.

enriqueromo

Would not Jared Oliva fit this description?

Wilbur Miller

They’re pretty much the same guy. Kinda weird to exchange them.
Palacios hits LH, which is a negative, although he hasn’t had typical splits. The scouting reports have him as avg defensively. I think Oliva is better than that. IMO, Oliva has more upside with the bat but probably a lower floor.
In the end it’s not important.

leefieux

I thought the same thing!

DangerWilRobnsn

So what you’re saying without saying it is: The Pirates are looking to exploit a perceived weakness in the market by going after guys 29 other teams are trending away from. Certainly cheaper that way and entirely predictable. Now maybe they can corner the market on abacuses and slide rules too.

leefieux

I still have my slide rule in some box somewhere….I think.

Wilbur Miller

Got any RH-hitting OFs in there? BC wants to know.

DangerWilRobnsn

They’re in the box labeled Failed Middle Infielders.

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

There are no “points” in baseball. Only runs.

leefieux

I remember Vincente Paladins from 90-92. He’d be one of our better pitchers on THIS staff.

b mcferren

Palacios

leefieux

D**n auto correct. I didn’t catch that,

JimEastTennessee

I used to dream of Mr Lefty McThump and the Allegheny River; still ain’t seen him yet.

Wilbur Miller

BC is looking for Lefty McBip.

PirateRican21

Bell gave us half a season imitating one!

JimEastTennessee

…but then cratered, got paid with this contract, though. (crazy $$)

robertkasperski

He has made a career of being hotter than Hades the first half of a season then cratering like the moon for 2nd half. Did it again last season too. What remains to be seen is if he is still in the crater like he was when he did the same thing with the Bucs his last two years here.

leefieux

Laroche was just the oppo. Would’ve made a great, untraditional ‘platoon’ partner.

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