Liover Peguero

LIOVER PEGUERO, SHORTSTOP
Born: December 31, 2000
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 160
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2017, Arizona Diamondbacks
How Acquired: Trade (from Diamondbacks for Starling Marte)
Country: Dominican Republic
Agent: N/A

WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
Peguero was a skinny 16-year-old when Arizona signed him.  He impressed them with his hitting ability and athleticism, and since then he’s grown stronger.  If he develops, he has a chance to hit for high average.  He currently projects to have average power, but that could continue to improve.  He has above-average speed and arm strength, and his athleticism gives him a chance to stay at shortstop.  Even if he doesn’t, he could have the bat to play elsewhere.  The Pirates acquired him with Brennan Malone for Starling Marte.

2018
DSL:  309/356/457, 81 AB, 3 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 6 BB, 12 K, 4-5 SB
R:  197/254/197, 66 AB, 5 BB, 17 K, 3-5 SB

The D’backs sent Peguero initially to the DSL and he hit extremely well there.  About halfway through the season, Arizona moved him up to the Arizon League and he had a lot more trouble over a brief stint.  Peguero played short exclusively at both stops and had some trouble with errors.

2019
R+:  364/410/559, 143 AB, 7 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 20 BB, 51 K, 11-13 SB
A-:  262/333/357, 84 AB, 4 2B, 2 3B, 8 BB, 17 K, 3-4 SB

Peguero opened the season back in advanced rookie ball and took off with the bat.  He struck out a lot, but hit for good power and did well stealing bases.  Arizona moved him up to the Northwest League for several weeks and he held his own there, with an improved K rate.  Peguero again played exclusively at short and showed significant improvement, with some scouts considering him an above-average defender.  BA rated him the best prospect in the Pioneer League, the eighth best in the Northwest League and the seventh best in the strong D’backs’ system.

2020
DNP

The Pirates brought Peguero to their alternate training site at Altoona.  He was younger than nearly all the other players and struggled a little at first, but he greatly impressed the team.

2021
A+:  270/332/444, 374 AB, 19 2B, 2 3B, 14 HR, 33 BB, 105 K, 28-34 SB

The Pirates sent Peguero to Greensboro, skipping him over Low A.  He missed a couple weeks with an injury in May, but otherwise played short there all year.  He had a good year at the plate, although he still needs to improve his plate discipline a little.  Like many of his teammates, he had a home/road split, with 10 home runs and a .497 slugging average at home, four and .398 on the road.  He showed his speed on the bases and had good range in the field.  He committed 23 errors, which isn’t great but not a big concern at this point, either.  The Pirates added Peguero to the 40-man roster after the season.

2022
AA:  259/305/387, 483 AB, 22 2B, 5 3B, 10 HR, 29 BB, 111 K, 28-34 SB
MLB:  333/500/333, 3 AB, 1 BB, 2 K

Other than a very brief, injury-related callup to Pittsburgh, Peguero spent the season at Altoona.  He got off to a great start, but in the end had a very disappointing season.  His OPS by month:

April:  .938
May:  .792
June:  .581
July:  .555
August:  .569
September:  .791

He did manage to cut his K rate from the previous year, although his walk rate also dropped.  Peguero didn’t hit LHPs well, managing just a .626 OPS against them, as opposed to .709 against RHPs.  His erratic play on defense also raised concerns.  In 94 starts at short, he committed 23 errors.  He had another eight in 19 starts at second, which worked out to a dismal .899 fielding percentage at the latter position.

Peguero may need to return to Altoona, although the Pirates no doubt will be hesitant to do that.  Scouts are still very high on him, but he’s at risk of becoming the classic toolsy player who doesn’t develop his skills well enough.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2023: Major League Minimum
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $475,000
MiLB Debut: 2018
MLB Debut: 6/18/2022
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2027
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 2 (USED:  2022)
MLB Service Time: 0.003
TRANSACTIONS
July 2, 2017: Signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks as an international free agent.
January 27, 2020: Traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks with Brennan Malone and $250,000 in international slot space to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Starling Marte and $1,500,000 cash.
November 19, 2021: Contract purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates.