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Pirates Prospects Daily: Maikol Escotto Hoping to Benefit From Backfield Work

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Maikol Escotto was one of four players the Pirates acquired in the Jameson Taillon trade, and the only one that hasn’t played in the majors yet.

He’s also still just 20-years-old (June birthday) and has already gotten a taste of High-A, although it wasn’t the best of experiences.

The young shortstop was still just 19-years-old when he began the year with the Greensboro Grasshoppers, on a team with the likes of Endy Rodriguez, Henry Davis and Dariel Lopez.

Escotto struggled across 160 plate appearances, slashing just .164/.228/.342 and struck out 36.3% of the time.

He was eventually sent to the Florida Complex League, to get some backfield work for a few weeks, before playing a couple of games and then joining Bradenton on July 3.

Even though this was his second stint with the Marauders, at 20-years-old (by the time he joined the team), he was still young for the level, and put up a slightly above average wRC+ (109). 

Overall, Escotto slashed .253/.333/.391, with two home runs, 13 RBI and three stolen bases. He posted a 77% contact rate, and had an 83.4 average exit velocity in his time with Bradenton. There’s definitely potential to grow into more power, as he flashed in Greensboro when he did make contact, as Fangraphs graded him with plus raw power currently.

With potentially another crack at Greensboro this upcoming season, Escotto will factor into the middle infielder picture there with Tsung-Che Cheng and at some point, Termarr Johnson

He’s a capable fielder at shortstop, and is incredibly experienced for a player his age. Just at shortstop, he has already racked up over 1,000 innings at the position, while also recording 871 plate appearances.

The Pirates eliminated their extra Complex League team last year so that they can utilize backfield work with some players, seeing that as just a strong alternative to playing games. Escotto got only three FCL games despite spending nearly three weeks assigned there, so he will be a great test to see just how effective their process was.

If there was an immediate payout, it was that he did cut down his swing and miss — going from a 17.3 SwStr% in Greensboro to 11.7% with Bradenton. 

Maybe a bit on the lottery ticket side when acquired, he’s certainly showed some potential to this point, and showed progression in his two stops at Single-A. Now it will be about taking those steps in his second attempt in Greensboro.

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Bubba Chandler was a highlight of the 2021 draft, and Anthony Murphy looked at the progress and potential he showed during his debut season.

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Anthony Murphy
Anthony Murphy
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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