After the 2020 MLB draft, Pittsburgh Pirate fans were all desperate to see second baseman Nick Gonzales in some game action right away. Thanks to COVID and MiLB shutting down their season in 2020, Pirates fans would have to wait another year. Thankfully the wait has been well worth it, and Gonzales looks to be a legitimate prospect.
Nick Gonzales was instantly inserted into the high-A Greensboro Grasshoppers lineup, and now fans are clamoring to see Gonzales move to Altoona before the season is up. While that move might not be in his best interest, there still is an argument present, especially after MLB Pipeline came out with their second baseman prospect rankings.
According to MLB Pipeline, Gonzales is now the number two second base prospect in all of baseball, behind only St. Louis Cardinals prospect Nolan Gorman. If you want to get technical, Gorman, for the majority of his career, has been a third baseman and has just now moved to second base, so, in terms of pure second basemen, Gonzales would be ranked first.
The Top 10 second-base prospects in baseball!
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 25, 2021
Gonzales this year has slashed .298/.368/.514, has a wOBA of .381, and his wRC+ is 35 runs above average at 135. Gonzales has recently joined the double-digit home run club and now has 30 extra-base hits out of the total 73 hits he has on the 2021 campaign.
— Tim Williams (@TimWilliamsPBN) August 13, 2021
— Young Bucs (@YoungBucsPIT) August 9, 2021
Power numbers may be skewed due to the hitter-friendly ballpark in Greensboro, and if you look at the home-away splits, you can see that only five extra-base hits were away from home. Like many young hitters, Gonzales will have his struggles, but his home-away splits shouldn’t deter you from getting excited about his future.
According to Fangraphs, Gonzales has a hit tool that sits at a 35/60, game power is 35/50, and his raw power is tapped out at 55/55. The tools are obviously there for the young man; the question is, can he have an uptick in power in a less hitter-friendly ballpark in Altoona and maintain the progression of his hit tool? Only time will tell, but we will have fun watching him progress.