Pirates Prospect Watch: Maikol Escotto Cashes in With Three-Run Homer
Back when the Pittsburgh Pirates sent right-hander Jameson Taillon to the New York Yankees two years ago, they acquired four prospects in return.
One of those four prospects, Miguel Yajure, is no longer with the organization after being designated for assignment last year. Two others are both notable and should get legitimate chances in Pittsburgh this year in Roansy Contreras and Canaan Smith-Njigba.
The fourth and final piece of the return may be more overlooked than the others, but he made the most of his opportunity on Monday afternoon against the Minnesota Twins.
In his first plate appearance of the game, Pirates’ prospect Maikol Escotto hit an opposite-field, three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning. The blast measured an impressive 404 feet.
The 20-year-old Escotto split most of this time last season between Class-A Bradenton and High-A Greensboro. He combined to hit .202 with a .636 OPS, eight home runs, 32 RBIs and 11 steals in 69 games.
It was a down year offensively for the infielder, but he still possesses upside as a young Pirates’ prospect. If his swing on Monday is any indication of what’s to come, it might be an interesting year for Escotto.
There are things Escotto needs to work on, notably his strikeout issues (career 29.5% strikeout rate), but he does have some good tools and is still on the younger side of things.
In his first year of professional baseball with the Yankees, he finished the season with a .315/.429/.553 slash-line, so the potential is certainly there.
In Other News…
As he’s done essentially all of spring training, Smith-Njigba continued to hit. In the matchup against the Twins, the outfielder finished 2 for 4 with a double. He has put himself in prime position to break camp with the Pirates for Opening Day against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday.
Fellow Pirates’ prospect Ji-hwan Bae recorded an infield single in one of his four trips to the plate. He is batting .333 (6 for 18) over his last six games played.
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