Pirates Prospects Daily: Liover Peguero A Reminder All Development Isn’t Linear

After setting the table during the 2021 season, there were some prospects in the Pirates system that many had high hopes on when 2022 rolled around.

One of them was Liover Peguero, who was a part of the first big move made by General Manager Ben Cherington, being acquired in the Starling Marte trade.

After a successful season in Greensboro in 2021 at just 20-years-old, many had high hopes for Peguero, who was ranked among the Top 100 prospects by most major outlets.

Peguero got off to a great start, posting a 152 wRC+ in the month of April. He played so well, he put himself in position to make his major league debut when the Pirates needed a shortstop. He played in one game, picking up his first big league hit in the process.

It was a different story once he was sent back down to the minors, and Peguero struggled to close out the season. He started to right the ship towards the end a bit, but still finished with a wRC+ of 70 after getting sent back down.

What Went Wrong

Peguero has the arm strength and athleticism to play shortstop but has also thrown 46 errors over the last two years at the position. Sliding over the second base for 19 games in 2022, he committed eight more errors, giving him a total 31 on the season with Altoona.

While he has never drawn a lot of walks, he saw another dip in his rate, finishing at 5.6% this past season. He had an overall walk rate of 7.74% going into this season.

The strikeout rate actually improved in Altoona, dropping to 21.3% (down from 25.2% in Greensboro), but he did see a slight increase in his swinging strike rate, barely. The 13.2% rate isn’t too alarming at this point, but Peguero isn’t going to want it to climb too much more beyond that going forward.

What Went Right

His prolonged stretch aside, Peguero was able to flash an ability at the very least, gap power after getting out of the power alley that was Greensboro. He finished with 35 extra-base hits (14 home runs) across 417 in High-A last year and while he saw a decrease in his overall power numbers in Altoona, he still flashed some power to the gaps.

The error problem is an issue, and it’s something that has caused talk about whether or not his long-term position is at shortstop but he still flashed some big play ability and there were a good amount of throws that seemed to be more mental than physical issues.

If not, he does still possess the athleticism and arm to potentially be a fit in the outfield, opening up all sorts of possibilities with his versatility.

What’s Next?

The good news is that Peguero is still just 22-years-old, so there’s still plenty of time to figure things out. He was really good the last 15 games of the season, with a 122 wRC+ to go along with a walk rate of 12.7%, so there’s something to work off of.

Pittsburgh has plenty of middle infield depth to allow him to work on his craft. There are many that are down on Peguero, but there is still a lot of bounceback potential from the infielder.

Highlight of the Day

Pirates Prospects Daily

By Tim Williams

**In our first Roundtable of the year, we looked back at our favorite articles from the 2022 season.

**Recently acquired outfielder Chavez Young had a big game in winter ball.

**Missed yesterday? Anthony looked at how much the Pirates lineup has improved.

Song of the Day

Pirates Prospects Weekly

We had a lot of links to our favorite articles that we wrote in 2022. Check it out and see what you missed.

Pirates Roundtable: What Was Your Favorite Article in 2022?

We’ll have our latest Pirates Discussion on Friday.

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.

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john.benedict

DK “Peguero, i just don’t see anything there”

Here’s what i see DK:

A kid SIGNED at 16 with under 400 PA before the next line
2020 -Jan 27th TRADED few weeks after turning 19
2020 First full year CXL age 19
2021 Age 20 assighed to GBO
2021 Nov 10th ADDED to the 40 man
2021 Dec 2nd LOCKED OUT
2021-Dec 31st celebrated his 21st bday
2022 Assigned to ALT
2022 June MLB DEBUT

Really DK, turned 22 3 weeks ago

ArkyWags

Do you think each prospect is going to be the absolute best version of themselves they’re going to be? That all of them will hit their 90th profile? Prepare to be disappointed.

john.benedict

There isn’t any surprises or disappointments because unkike DJ, i watch all the games. DK knows nothing about LP, QP, or NG except a list he used as a tool to pick apart 3 of the brightest pirate futures. If he had any clue on how the kids progressed he wouldn’t have stirred a pot that was never there. Read a few concerns about where are all the big names? Are they regressing? Weeks ago I missed the bold statement conversation so here is 3 more to stir the pot.

Endy Rod- BUCS next NL MVP, MAYBE 2025-26?

Yes he’s that good. Hard to believe some still questioning if he is for real? Answer- better than for real. Endy, age 20 won the FSL
batting title while carrying the Marauders to a Class A World Series victory sweep in his first year. Everywhere he goes he wins
Lastly, I’ve seen Endy at all 4 levels over the last two years he’s a smart kid determined to no end. Nothing he does surprises except how did he make every level look easier than the previous
I was hoping Altoona to start, nope they throw GUTT and DAVIS
Top 3 backstops ih High A
As bad as catchers are i’m surprised GUTT made it thru rule 5
We need him

Termarr Johnson

-MASHES BRADENTON SKIPS>>> GBO >>>ALTOONA

needs two weeks to loosen and then he picks up where he left off last year RAKING!!!
BC decides to move TJ to ALTOONA stating his bat is to advanced
to be tested at High A hitters heaven GBO
Good glove at SS, GREAT glove at 2B, best defensive 2nd baseman in the organization, some time in 2024, you never know?
Smart kid, knows how to adjust, and one of the sweetest swings you will ever see

Ji-Hwan Bae

10 HR
30 2B
50 SB
100 R

Bae and Cruz never get talked about they are easily the best and most familiar combo
They have played over 100 games together last 2 years
Alot of wishlists want Bae CF and Castro 2B
Tough to justify weakening two def spots up the middle to get an inconsistant bat in line up
But than again, we ARE talking about sheltless
Bae is all over the place he is one player that will make 5 insane plays not in the box score
You cant take your eyes off him
3 things every night from Bae

  1. 5 AB’s–add 25 to PC
  2. On base always will draw 2 throws
  3. He is going to bring it every night and usually do something out of the ordinary

Cruz, Hayes and Bae, it doesn’t matter “WHO’S ON FIRST”

.”THATS WHAT IM ASKING YOU”

NMR

The wisdom of our elders strikes again.

Up until about a decade ago, conventional wisdom was for patience with getting too far over our skis on how good a prospect actually is until the exact stage where Liover was met with resistance.

We now look at teenagers with barely any experience, take a huge guess at how good they’ll end up, rank them accordingly, then increasingly backtrack and look for justifications of failure.

Prospect development certainly is not linear, but I also wonder how much “failed” development really just comes down to being wrong in the initial projection of how good a kid may be.

Wilbur Miller

A lot of it is just overreacting to prospect lists. It’s nice as a guideline, but it’s just people’s guesses. And there are definite biases in the process, especially toward players with loud tools and big bonuses. (Call it the Curse of Tommy Edman.)

Dejan put a podcast up after the new BA top 100 came out. I didn’t listen to it, but the title, “More Prospect Plunge,” seems pretty clear. Like, all of a sudden Priester, Peguero and Nick G suck? Is there something about them we know now that we didn’t know last week, just because a list came out?

steve_zielinski

We know that BA and MLB Pipeline are not impressed with the Pirates’ development system.
I suspect the toxic aura that now surrounds the PBC accounts for some 9f the problem.

robertkasperski

I still wonder that after the promotion and subsequent demotion that Peguero had the mindset that he had to try to do much more to show that he deserved to be in the mix for the 26 man. Tried too hard instead of keeping on with what was going well. Trying too hard to do more often results in bad performance. Hope that he gets back on track to start the next season like he did last year.

john_fluharty

Excellent question

1979andCounting

Good to see an article on Peggy. Why?….because this site and every author IIRC (even Wilbur, imagine that) was effusively praising BC for this trade. BC had been hired one month earlier and this was his very first player move. I was in the great minority who wanted someone much closer to MLB ready. But the alleged “high ceiling” of Peggy was cited as BC is “going to build the system the right way.” I mean, we all knew it was going to be a 5 year plan for a 19-year old……..I just thought we could’ve/should’ve gotten someone much closer to the show for an All-Star, Gold Glove, high OPS player with 2 years of control left. But here we are, with three 100-loss equivalent seasons later……yeah, it’s been a load of fun.

Wilbur Miller

I try not to judge trades by hindsight. Peguero has a lot of talent and I still don’t think it makes sense to write him off, although the reasons for doubt are clear. Malone just ran into shoulder problems. The only way to avoid that is don’t trade for pitchers. I saw him when when he briefly got back on the mound in 2022 and, in contrast to the way he looked in 2021, the potential was clearly there.

It makes much more sense, in the teardown context, to try to judge a GM’s whole body of work. Peguero and Malone, so far, haven’t worked out as hoped. Endy, otoh, at this time looks way better than expected. And Bednar is now the team’s closer. So did BC botch the Marte trade and ace the Musgrove trade, or is the real answer that he brought in a bunch of guys with potential and some worked out, and some didn’t?

Last edited 9 days ago by Wilbur Miller
steve_zielinski

Are you defending Cherrington? It’s not that I disagree with what you wrote.

Wilbur Miller

He avoided the fundamental mistake NH made, which was going for ML-ready players instead of accepting lower-level players to get higher ceilings. So on that point, yeah.

1979andCounting

Your spot on about you win some, you lose some as a GM. But my larger point is I would have preferred to not go thru a tear down at all. It’s a marathon, and you lose much of your fan base.

Y2JGQ2

what fan base? much better off trying to go big or go home….the entire previous regime of drafting players ahead of their talent to save money quite frankly NEVER worked. A few high impact players on a mediocre team bring a lot more fans than a team full of mediocre players on a mediocre team. Stars bring fans, wins…..don’t. Ask Tampa

Wilbur Miller

Well, there’s that . . . .

Wilbur Miller

FWIW, IMO the notion of a teardown has devolved into an excuse to cut payroll to the bone. Some of the ones we’ve seen recently, like the Reds, didn’t have any other apparent purpose. And nothing about rebuilding forced the Pirates to field hordes of guys who so clearly had no business on a major league team, except of course they were super-cheap.

This is why I don’t like the term “tanking” as applied to MLB. It developed to describe a specific situation: teams trying to get high draft picks. Nobody in MLB does it for that reason. Baseball draft picks just aren’t that valuable. They do it in MLB to increase profit. Period.

john.benedict

Agree

Imagine

Take job managing a trucking business in Nov 2019
Its a challenging position as owner is cheap and has only a fleet of 7 trucks and some have issues
You knew going in
4 needed moved ASAP to rebuild newer fleet
2 being polished on farm and close to joining the only registered truck the newly leased REYNOLDS

MARTE
BELL
TAILLION
MUSGROVE

HAYES AND KELLER

What else could be worse?

BC’S wife to him

“HONEY did we do the right thing?
Before trades all you had was Reynolds
now all you have is Reynolds and the COVID”

Thats GROUND ZERO for a GM

Y2JGQ2

Disagree. Hoarding top picks for a few years and trading away talent for prospects is just about the only way you could rebuild. There are caps on damn near everything except free agent spending. Organic growth is really the only option for 20 teams

Wilbur Miller

You can do it without cutting your payroll to the bone. And plenty of non-high-revenue teams succeed without having early draft picks. The Rays have picked higher than 13th exactly once in 15 years. They’ve picked in the first half of the first round three times in that period. Cleveland has picked in the first half just once in the last nine years, and that was 14th.

jaygray007

Idk how successful his 2021 was. he was young for the level, which was nice, but he still only managed a babip-fuelled 108 wrc+ with a 25% k rate. 25% k rates in A ball arent quite a red flag for me, but the flag is yellowy orange.

he hasn’t looked like a good player compared to his peers since before the pandemic.

don’t confuse this post with me saying i give up on him – i dont. he’s young and talented.

but at this point if you put a gun to my head and ask me if i thought he’d be an average major league player, i’d say no

Y2JGQ2

I laughed all year when Tim talked about Peguero being the shortstop and Oneal was holding the spot for him…..i laughed hard. There was never any drop of reality that would lead anyone to think Peguero would take that spot from Cruz…..If he plays better this year, we can trade him for a pitcher, i’m fine with that.

jaygray007

i mean i get his line of thinking. I dont blame anyone for liking Peguero, especially a year ago. There was less evidence a year ago.

I think “there’s not a ton of recent evidence of peguero being any good” is a relatively new and relatively spicy take.

PirateRican21

Cutch gets announced today, wondering who’s coming off the 40?

Drufan11

Has to be an outfielder…right?

PirateRican21

That’s my thinking, Vilade?

jaygray007

he’s made it this long… i really think they wanna see him through…

my darkhorse is tucupita

Last edited 9 days ago by jaygray007
jaygray007

Vilade has what seems to be untapped average raw power.

Tucupita is 30 raw, through and through. i like him and i think he has “dawg in him”, but i think i’d try to sneak him thru waivers here

PirateRican21

I would think that Vilade would be easier to pass through than Tuca, Marcano can play infield, outfield , steal a base and I still believe that he will hit, in other words become the player he was traded for, in due time.

Y2JGQ2

I think Tucipita has no place on the team….

jaygray007

i guess our opinions have one very important difference.

you think he will hit, and i do not.

if i thought he’d hit someday, then i would keep him for sure!

jaygray007

it’s also worth noting that this is his final Option year.

after this year, he has to be on the MLB roster.

i think he needs to add more muscle (and fat!) in order to be a decent mlb player. More than what’s possible in one year for such a naturally tiny guy.

AdministrativeSky236

I would have to hope he’s spent the offseason bulking up, even just ~10lbs if sustained would be significant and he could keep his flexibility and speed up to where it is

PirateRican21

Let’s hope you are wrong!

leefieux

Might I be so bold as to say 2023 is a make or break year for him? If he fails we will have gotten nothing out of the Marte deal. Not optimistic about Malone, who has been snake bit.

PirateRican21

A 22 year old playing at levels where he was among the youngest? I’ll give him more time!

leefieux

That argument was ‘famously’ used to defend Alen Hanson, so I will remain skeptical until I see otherwise. However, I WOULD hope that he does better in 2023. If not, would THAT cause you concern?

PirateRican21

For sure, would go to an important piece to just another utility guy at best!

PirateRican21

This is a player that could’ve benefited from winter ball.

AdministrativeSky236

Other than endy and burrows, a lot of holding serve or steps back from prospects last year. Have to believe we will have some more positive outcomes this year

CTBucco

Have to give Gorski some love for his season last year despite the injury issues at the end. Huge step forward. Priester’s season was also mainly a positive. And Nunez’s numbers were largely improved across the board. But, I do agree that there were not a lot of guys who outplayed their past results.

jon6er

I feel a little more optimistic that many of these guys might experience positive outcomes when I remember they lost a whole year of development in 2020. I would like to believe the organization also is taking that fact into consideration.

leefieux

I’d say ‘hope’ rather than ‘believe’.

Scam likely

Just hit Liover , and they find a place for you. I think he will be able to hit.

emjayinTN

Well, if Liover Peguero does not work out at SS, we always have the other guy from that trade – I think it was a pitcher, but there are missing persons reports out on him!

Peguero had 23 errors in 86 games, 740 innings at A+, and 23 errors in 94 games, 817 innings at AA. Definitely room for improvement, but he has the talent. Oneil Cruz had 17 errors last year, but if he had enough games, he would have led NL Shortstops in Range Factor/9. Miguel Rojas led the SS Qualifiers in RF/9 at 4.23, and Cruz in 79 games was 4.59. If we can assume better defense from Cruz in 2023, it is going to be very difficult for anybody to bump him off the SS position.

I like Peguero and I like Gonzales, but unless the Pirates trade Cruz, Castro, and Bae, it’s going to be tough sledding to unseat any of those young kids.

My vote for Todd Helton for the HOF. Watched him play from the time he was 14 and he has led every team he has played for with big stats in hitting 17 MLB years (Rockies) and in hitting and pitching (Tennessee, and Central HS in Knoxville). Some pitching stats from UT – in his Soph year he was 5-0, 0.89 ERA, 7 Saves; in his Junior year he was 8-2, 1.66 ERA, 12 Saves and pitched a complete game victory over Clemson in the CWS. Kind of a talented guy!.

skliesen

Have to wonder how much the DUI issues he had will hurt him with voters. 2 DUI’s since retirement will certainly affect his HOF worthiness in some voters eyes.

Y2JGQ2

DUIs, seriously?

jeffw3000

I agree Helton belongs in the HOF. Just like Larry walker, though it might take him a little while, because of the Colorado factor. He got over 50% last year though, so if he does not make it this year, probably will in the next 2-3 years. Walker got in on his last ballot. Helton is at 50% on his 4th, so might not have to wait quite as long as walker did.

emjayinTN

BTW, I forgot to mention Jared Triolo as possibly the best Pirate IF/OF Utility player. An opposing coaches pick as one of the best 3B in the minors, he also played SS and CF last year, and batted leadoff. Think he can play 2B? He’s the guy we would point at as how to control the zone – at AA in about 500 PA, 63 Walks, 87 K’s, slash of .282/.376/.419/795 OPS, 21 doubles, 5 triples, 9 HR, 24 SB of 29 SB Att – give me that all day long!

Y2JGQ2

There;s a better chance of Triolo learning to play catcher than ending up at 2nd, we literally have 9 prospects/mlb players ahead of him at 2nd

The Gunner

We don’t seem to hear much hype about Triolo – I think he is a real sleeper of a prospect who has produced at each MiL level.

jeffw3000

Could Triolo be a future utility player Gold Glove winner?

The Gunner

I’m not too worried about that. Let’s get him up here 1st & see if he can be a productive MLB player.

enriqueromo

Admittedly a small sample (a series in Bowie) but it seemed his head was not always in the game. Hopefully that comes with a bit more maturity.

clemo83

One thing guaranteed in this business, prospects will break your heart. Hope he figures it out.

bradlej31

He was a fan favorite among the regulars that went to curve games. So happy and nice to the kids. We’re all rooting for him.

emjayinTN

That’s great to hear, the Pirates need players like that who will interact with the kids. He has the talent and the skillset, but I have to think his issues are all between his ears right now. Can’t think of who’s ahead of you until you achieve the ability to play better than any of the rest.

Who will get there early or stay late to put in the extra hours needed for the actual skills to meet the potential? That’s where his head needs to be right now! The Pirates have so many talented MI’s, I hope we are spending on bi-lingual fielding coaches with a track record of being able to communicate and promote infield skills improvements.

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