Pirates Prospects Daily: Maikol Escotto has an Encouraging Day at the Plate

Maikol Escotto was one of the last pieces of return the Pirates got in exchange for Jameson Taillon. He’s also the only one who hasn’t played in the majors yet, and for good reason, as he’s still just 20-years-old.

Despite his age, this is Escotto’s third full season in minor league baseball, as well as in the Pirates system. He came to the Pirates with only Dominican Summer League experience.

It’s hard to call it a make-or-break year for a 20-year old, but after moving back a level in the middle of the 2022 season, there’s a lot riding on Escotto’s second attempt at High-A.

We saw him get time this year in some Major League spring training games, even hitting a home run against the Minnesota Twins. He’s shown raw power before, as he was putting up a near 20-home run pace over a full season worth of plate appearances last year. The issue he had was making consistent contact.

Two games won’t change things too much, but there were a couple of at-bats on Saturday that did seem encouraging for the young infielder.

In the seventh inning of a tie game, Escotto takes a fastball on the outer half to the second baseman side of second base, driving in a pair of runs that gave Greensboro the lead for good.

The other at-bat came earlier in the game, and it was an adjustment I really liked from him. The second pitch was a breaking ball inside that he was way out in front of, fouling it off.

At that point, the pitcher went low and away with another breaking pitch, putting it in a good spot for what Escotto did the previous pitch. He was able to slow the bat down, extend and slap the ball the other way.

Consistency will be key to his long-term success, but it was a nice sequence nonetheless. It also should be noted, for the swing-and-miss issues he’s had, he’s whiffed just once on 11 swings through two games.

— The biggest news to come out the system on Saturday was Mike Burrows leaving the game with an injury. No updates really at this point, but any time lost is an unfortunate blow for Burrows and the Pirates.

Vince Velasquez also looked like he tweaked something late in his start on Saturday. With JT Brubaker out already out, and Burrows leaving the game early, that’s a lot of innings in the upper levels that can be impacted already.

Bubba Chandler was an unfinished double play away from likely completing four shutout innings. Instead he finished with 3.1 innings, three hits, two earned runs, two walks with four strikeouts.

His fastball wasn’t lighting up the radar gun, but honestly some of the fastballs over the past two days have looked a lot harder than what they’ve registered as for Greensboro. Up until the fourth inning, he was in a lot more control than we saw last year. Maybe he was dialing it back, looking to go deeper and stay fresh.

— This Bradenton team will probably be a very interesting bunch to watch this season. There are going to be some highlights, with a lot of growing pains – as evident in getting no-hit on Saturday. 

There was a lot of swing-and-miss, striking out a total of 16 times as well. They will get some reinforcements offensively when Termarr Johnson, Rodolfo Nolasco and Lonnie White Jr. all get back from injury, but until then, there could be a lot of growing pains.

They have talent and upside, but they are going to have to take their licks to get there.

— Interesting tidbit from the no-hitter. It’s actually the third straight season there has been one at LECOM park, though the two previous ones were completed by the Marauders.

Daily Video Rundown

Mark Mathias has been off to a strong start to the season, hitting his first home run of the season on Saturday. He currently has a 1.038 OPS early on this year.

Beginning the year back in Greensboro, Abrahan Gutierrez helped spark the Grasshopper victory with his massive two-run home run, the first of the season for the catcher.

Nick Gonzales had a rough couple of days against fastballs, piling up quite a few whiffs over the doubleheader on Thursday. It looks like he snapped out of it, and smashed his second home run of the season. 

Pirates Prospects Daily

By John Dreker

Pirates wrap up their three-game series against the Chicago White Sox today in the Easter Sunday afternoon special. All three minor league games are afternoon start times as well.

**Pirates Draft Prospects: Wyatt Langford Offers Tremendous Raw Power Potential Part six in our draft prospect profile. The other five links are included in that link.

**Prospect Watch: Mike Burrows Leaves With Injury, Bradenton Gets No-Hit Not a good day for the minor league system

**Pirates Recap: Pirates Bats Can’t Keep Up With White Sox Again Not a good day for the big league club either, though that McCutchen homer was fun

**Williams: The Pirates of the Middlegame

**Pirates Prospects Daily: Ji-Hwan Bae Continues To Become A Difference Maker

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.

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Happy Easter Everybody!!


At A Bradenton, Derek Diamond, Luigi Hernandez, and Elijah Birdsong all pitched well.

Maikol Escotto did have a “full” day at A+ – 2-4, 2 RBI’s, 2 SB, but also 1E. And, how about some love for Eddy Yean who got the W, and Jack Carey the Save. Both pitched 2 innings giving up 0 hits, 3 BB (Yean) and 7 K’s. Yean is still only 21.

I thought Jared Jones posted some good numbers in the loss at AA, and Dombkowski and Thomas also had some positive numbers out of the BP. Best was Davis getting a triple, 2 RBI, a Walk, and no HBP!

Liked the offense in AAA, and the pitching out of the BP from Alldred, Ramirez, and YDLS, but concern over the substitutions for Burrows and Mitchell who was taken out after stealing home?

b mcferren

Nick at shortstop tonight

b mcferren

and Endy at first

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