JOSH PALACIOS, CENTER FIELDER
|Born: July 30, 1995
Drafted: 4th Round, 132nd Overall, 2016 (Blue Jays)
How Acquired: Rule 5 Draft, Minor League Phase (from Nationals)
College: Auburn University
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Drafted and signed by Toronto, Palacios is a classic tweener, an outfielder who can play average defense at all three positions, with an average arm. He has solid contact ability and generally hits for average with good walk rates, but he doesn’t have much power. He hasn’t had platoon splits in the minors. Palacios has a little above average speed and will steal some, but hasn’t done so with high success rates. The Pirates claimed him in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft.
Palacios split his time at three levels after signing and made good contact, hitting for high averages without over-the-fence power. He saw time in center and right. Baseball America ranked him 19th in the Jays’ system after the season.
The Jays kept Palacios in low A for the season, using him at all three outfield positions. He hit for a solid average with good plate discipline, but didn’t show much power. He was probably hampered by playing through a hand injury. BA ranked him 30th in the system.
Except for one game, Palacios spent the season in the Florida State League. He mostly played center and had a solid season at the plate in the pitching-dominated league. His walk and K rates did take negative turns.
Palacios spent the season in AA, although he was out from mid-April through the end of May. He put up solid numbers, mainly on the strength of a .345 average in July. His plate discipline shifted back to his earlier, good numbers. He played all three outfield positions.
The Jays kept Palacios on their taxi squad during the pandemic season, but he didn’t see action anywhere. The Jays added him to their 40-man roster after the season.
Palacios made his major league debut in April, but a hand injury cost him most of the season.
Toronto designated Palacios for assignment early in the season and the Nationals claimed him. He played for them in AAA, then got called up in early August. Apart from a brief trip back to AAA, he spent the rest of the season in the majors. He hit well in AAA, including passable power and a good walk rate. He didn’t hit in limited chances with Washington. After the season, the Nationals outrighted him and the Pirates selected him in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft.
The Pirates essentially exchanged Jared Oliva, whom they lost in the same phase of Rule 5, for Palacios. They’re very similar players. Both figure to be AAA depth and possible fourth outfielders. It’s hard to see the exchange as an upgrade, though, as Oliva is probably better defensively and may or may not have more upside as a hitter, if his strong 2022 finish was a real step forward. The fact that Palacios hits left-handed is another drawback, as the Pirates are badly overloaded to that side.
|2023: Minor League Salary
|Signing Bonus: $438,100
MiLB Debut: 2016
MLB Debut: 4/9/2021
MiLB FA Eligible: 2023
MLB FA Eligible: 2028
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2020 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2021, 2022)
MLB Service Time: 0.084
|June 7, 2014: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 31st round, 935th overall pick.
June 10, 2016: Drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 4th round, 132nd overall pick; signed on June 14.
November 20, 2020: Contract purchased by the Toronto Blue Jays.
April 11, 2022: Designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays.
April 15, 2022: Claimed off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays by the Washington Nationals.
December 1, 2022: Outrighted to AAA by the Washington Nationals.
December 7, 2022: Selected from the Washington Nationals in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.