Playing in the ACC with Georgia Tech, Tres Gonzalez was one of the best hitting players in all of college baseball, picking up 78 hits in 60 games his junior year before getting drafted by the Pirates.
He got in a few games with Bradenton last year, and despite his advanced experience, began the 2023 season in Single-A once again.
Gonzalez has been one of the better hitters in the Bradenton lineup this year, even slotting in as the team’s cleanup hitter. He’s shown that advantage approach at the plate you’d expect from college hitter, walking (15) more than he has struck out (11), while slashing .317/.453/.417.
While it might be easy to point out his success may be a direct result of his playing a level that he shouldn’t be at — which is fair considering he’s 22-years-old — you still have to go out on the field and produce.
Which is what he’s done, and did so again Friday night. Although he isn’t known for his power, Gonzalez launched his first professional home run against Dunedin. With an exit velocity of 102.5 mph, it was one of the hardest hit baseballs in the game.
A lot of players throughout the system were held back a level to start the season, and it looked like the Pirates wanted to get an extra look at some of the High-A outfielders getting a second shot in Greensboro.
Gonzalez was the 138th ranked prospect in the 2022 draft on MLB Pipeline, so there is some pedigree there. He’s done everything you could have asked for in Bradenton, and once the Pirates start to shuffle some players up and down, he could be one of the first to get a look.
— One of the players getting a second look at Bradenton this year was Deivis Nadal. He struggled at the plate last year, not really putting any power behind anything but showed off a really strong arm in the field.
He still isn’t hitting great this year, but did hit his second home run of the season after going deep just once in 56 games last season.
— Speaking of players a little too advanced for their level, another 2022 draft pick Thomas Harrington improved to 3-0 on the year after pitching six shutout innings. He’s made four starts this year, and hasn’t allowed a run in three of them, spanning 16 of his 18.2 innings he’s pitched this year.
Daily Video Rundown
Owen Kellington‘s first Bradenton start wasn’t streamed live, but this was his last appearance where he came out the bullpen.
It is fair, it is gone. 💪
Josh Palacios is 3-for-3 tonight, including this two-run bomb and two doubles. pic.twitter.com/hRxMoVwsJA
— Indianapolis Indians (@indyindians) April 29, 2023
Josh Palacios was recently moved up to Indianapolis from Altoona, and has adjusted quite well in Triple-A.
The biggest key for Kyle Nicolas has always been to throw strikes. He did that pretty well in his start against Bowie last week.
PIRATES PROSPECTS DAILY
By Tim Williams
It was a quiet Friday as rain washed away a lot of games, including the Pirates. They play two today, with the first game at 1 PM..,z.
Prospect Watch: Strong Start for Thomas Harrington; Rain Spoils Two Games
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.
Andujar up, Maggi optioned, Crowe to 60-day with REALLY serious pitching discomfort.
Maggi is still available as the 27th man today
IMO playing in the Low A level is still a huge jump in competition compared to the ACC
In the ACC he probably faced a future major leaguer a game, in low A he probably faces 2-3 future major leaguers a game, so I agree.
It seems like a lot has changed in the past 4 weeks
I wouldn’t stay safe with my low 79 win prediction if I’m making the choice today.
How high would you go?
I wouldn’t go lower than 82 at this point.