The climb up the minor league ladder isn’t always a clean one. Players have down years and development isn’t always linear.
While we saw some players breakout last year, like Matt Gorski and Endy Rodriguez, some former notable prospects also had down years. Here’s a look at a few that will be trying to work their way back after a rough 2022 season.
The Pirates breakout player in 2021, Frazier put together an outstanding season, slashing .306/.388/.552 with 23 home runs and 15 stolen bases while playing for Greensboro and Altoona.
He played all of 2022 back in Double-A, and couldn’t find the same success that he did the year prior. Of all players in the system with at least 250 plate appearances, Fraizer finished with the worst wRC+ (69).
Welcome back to Altoona Matt Fraizer! A two-run shot makes it a 6-4 game!
WATCH: https://t.co/6GP894jPtF pic.twitter.com/FBdQOKKO2m
— Altoona Curve (@AltoonaCurve) April 8, 2022
It’s a very crowded outfield picture in the upper levels, and there’s a good chance he starts again in Altoona. So to find himself back in the organizational picture, he’ll have to look more like his 2021 self than what happened in 2022.
The outfielder was the 37th overall pick back in 2019 and hasn’t had the most smooth starts to his professional career. There was some to like during his time in Bradenton (116 wRC+ and 20.2 BB%), but also some left to be desired (12.7 LD% and .215 average).
Once he got to Greensboro, the walks were still good (13.8%), and the line drive rate even took a huge jump forward. The strikeouts though skyrocketed, as Siani struck out 36.2% of the time.
The struggle was so bad he was eventually sent to the complex league to work out some things, before heading back to Greensboro. He did steal 25 bases, so his speed could be his way back into prospect status.
I talked about Escotto not too long ago, putting up decent numbers while in Bradenton in 2021, part of the team that won the division title. He finished with a league average wRC+ in his first time in Bradenton, showed some power with Greensboro in 2022, but ultimately struggled to make contact.
He ended up finishing the year in Bradenton again, and will be only 20-years-old when the season starts, where he will probably get another crack at Greensboro.
Entering the 2022 season, Peguero was a Top 100 prospect, and looked like a true option to eventually replace Oneil Cruz at shortstop at some point in the future.
It was a literal tale of two halves for the young prospect, who got off to an amazing start before getting promoted to Pittsburgh — picking up his first big league hit — and eventually struggling down the stretch.
Liover Peguero stays hot for Altoona #LetsGoBucs pic.twitter.com/9Jd4FSOMI1
— Anthony Murphy (@__Murphy88) September 16, 2022
Overall, Peguero posted just an 88 wRC+ in 521 plate appearances with the Curve. He’s still just 22, and has all of the tools to turn things around and return to his top prospect status.
With Martin, it always remains a matter of making enough contact to force his way into the majors. He has some of the best raw power in all of the minors, shown by the fact he still hit 19 home runs in Triple-A, despite a .210 average and 35.6% strikeout rate.
The strikeouts have long been a concern, and his struggles in Indianapolis weren’t the biggest surprise. Martin is less a bounce back candidate, and more a guy to watch to see if he can figure out the strikeouts.
Highlight of the Day
Pirates Prospects Daily
By Tim Williams
**Wilbur Miller had photos from the first day of workouts at Pirate City.
**The Pirates signed LHP Kent Enmanuel to a minor league deal.
**Missed yesterday? Anthony broke down the other left-handed relievers in MLB camp.
Song of the Day
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.
I think Mlodzinski will bounce back after the season he had last season
Of those listed, I’ll go with Siani
He swings at strikes and seems to have a malleable swing
Reminds me a lot of Kevin Kramer. Two dudes with 30-40 raw who completely overhauled their amateur swings to optimize for lift and pull.
Looking forward to following Peguero. I still wonder if his issues were just a matter of him trying to do too much to show that he deserved to stay up in the Show. Really hoping that I am right and he tears up for a whole season this year.
Really hoping Martin can figure things out. I would love to see him supplant all of the other options at first and hit his way to a productive career in the Burgh
Keep that projected .270 OBP away from Pittsburgh unless he’s crushing the ball in Indy!
Every player can have issues. Those that address and correct them will be the stars of the future. I think Frazier can one of those players.
I’d like to see Peggy and Nick G both back at AA to kickstart their bounce back seasons. Hopefully one (or both!) of them can start hot in AA and carry that momentum through AAA for a September call-up with eyes on a big ’24.
Mariners starting outfielder Trammel goes down for a while
I´m still up for Ford, Hancock and Robert Perez Jr for Reynolds
Have yinz seen this client list of CAA sports agency? (Reynolds´agent)
some interesting names on this list that we have recently given a good will bone to:
maybe some drama going on behind the scenes me thinks
I forgot about the Todd Frazier era.
Reynolds on MLBTR says he remains open to a “fair” extension in Pittsburgh and that’s his preference. 6 years/$96M seems pretty fair to me. Front load it to $25M the first year, $20 year two and it’s only $12.75 per the final four years. We’ve only got Hayes at $7-8M on the book + arb salaries as of now so it’d leave us a ton of flexibility.
Definitely going in the right direction but 6/$96 could be a tad lightweight in AAV. I would keep the $96 mil but do so in 5 years, which is $19+mil/year and would cover his first two years of FA.
If he has any type of representation, they will counter with 4/$88 mil That would cover his first year of FA and give him another bite at the apple at the relatively young age of 32.
It seems like he’d prefer _more_ years not fewer based on what I’ve read. I don’t want to go to $19M for a guy with defensive questions, honestly. $16M feels pretty good particularly if frontloaded.
I don’t blame you, but Andrew Benintendi got $15m in this market.
Brandon Nimmo got $20m through his age-38 season.
Reynolds prolly isn’t settling for $16m or even $19m.
I’d agree completely if Reynolds was also a FA in this market like those guys but he’s got 3 years of control left and will be a FA at 31 instead. I think that could ratchet things down $4M a year.
I agree. I think tha he is looking for longer and looking to include what he and his agent think he will be worth after 2025. I think that is his ask now and is betting on himself to get that kind of money after 2025 and get a 6-7 year deal then. Can’t blame the guy if that s what he is looking to do.
I am on the players side 95% of the time and like Reynolds, but don’t fully understand the trade request. This is the stupid agreement that the players agreed to 11 months ago, so why expect the Pirates to go crazy on a long-term contract when they still have 3 years of control. Corbin Burnes has a Cy Young and one of the top pitchers in baseball the last 3 seasons. Burnes made less than Reynolds last year (with one more year of service time than Reynolds) and just lost an arbitration hearing asking for 10,7 million. Am I missing something?
I don’t think the “trade request” has anything to do with money.
Reynolds isn’t dumb. He knows he either gets extended or traded. He also sees the org does not give a shit about winning this year.
What possible reason would you have to stick around for another losing year or two when you know you’re eventually getting traded anyways?
Sounds about right.
Is it more that or is it more that his agent wants him to get a long-term contract at age 28 as opposed to age 31?
Probably what you said for his agent and what I said for Reynolds plus what you said.
A running theme thru these bounce back candidates are the high whiff rates.
IMO, THAT will be hard to cut back on without some swing changes or MUCH better strike zone awareness. It can happen, but rarely does.
All great picks Anthony. Another I’ll watch is Alexander Mojica. He showed some promise during the Marauders’ 2021 championship season and still is only 20.
I was so sure about Fraizer, his swing just looked so smooth, a lot like Starling Marte and then 2022 happened which now makes me question if the sun is going to come up tomorrow.
The players most at risk due to age are Matt Fraizer who will be in his age 25 season, and Mason Martin who will be in his age 24 season.
Fraizer could be an excellent reserve OF, primarily a CF, and his defense was a lot better in 2022 with 9 OF Assists last year at AA and no errors in 114 games. And, he still managed to post 31 EBH (18 doubles, 7 triples, 6 HR), 44 RBI, and 18 of 19 SB’s. A lot to like.
MM struck out once every 2.8 PA in AAA in ’22, and that is unacceptable. 52 walks/194 K’s – to be anywhere near acceptable, he would have to keep or add to the number of walks, while dropping the number of K’s to about 130. Is that possible? 29 doubles, 5 triples, 19 HR, 74 RBI, 12 of 15 SB, so he is an athlete. Hopefully he gets off to a fast start at AAA at 1B/DH. Malcom Nunez will also be at AAA.
Peguero and Siani just turned 22, and Escotto will be in his age 21 season. They all retain a lot of promise and this year does not have to be that critical for them.
Siani is my pick for the future. Played all 3 OF positions with 11 Assists and only 1 error. 9 doubles, 7 HR, and 25 of 30 SB in less than 300 AB. His power tracks well from BRD in ’21 where he had 7 doubles, 2 triples, 8 HR in only 200 AB.
Martin and Fraizer are org players. Nothing more. The only one of those listed who has much of a chance to do anything is Peggy.
That looks like a scouting report from 1996. No context whatsoever.
First thought with all these guys, and many others, is that famous Yogiism, “It gets late early.”
In baseball, no prospect should ever lie to themselves and say I have time to figure things out. Always someone else coming to take your spot.
Baseball is hard.
Kind of like being the QB at Bama or a school like that. Always amazed me when ND got a 5 star QB every year. Kids must have all been confident they could beat out the previous years 5 star. Guess now they can transfer any time they want.
Yippie. Back to quality for the song of the day.
2023 feels like the year we will learn more about how this FO’s development changes produce (or don’t) results. Most of the debuts in 2022 were prospects who primarily developed under the prior FO or in another organization. This year we should begin to see more debuts from players who primarily developed under the current FO.
Maybe the changes were less focused on stat production and more focused on specific development. This is me using my optimism glasses to look at why so many talented players had down years statistically.