Pirates Prospect Watch: Smith-Njigba, Swaggerty Continue to Push For Roster Spot
One of the more intriguing storylines for the Pittsburgh Pirates this spring has been who will fill out the club’s outfield come Opening Day. Two Pirates’ prospects are certainly making strong cases to do so.
One of the two prospects is Canaan Smith-Njigba, who continued his impressive spring training with three more hits and a pair of RBIs in the Pirates’ win over the Boston Red Sox on Monday afternoon.
With another big game at the plate, Smith-Njigba improved his triple-slash on the spring to .324/.410/.529. The 23-year-old has launched a pair of home runs and has driven in nine runs.
Smith-Njigba made his big league debut last season but fractured his wrist after being hit by a pitch in only his third career game.
In addition to Smith-Njigba, Pirates’ prospect Travis Swaggerty has also been making a strong push to break camp with the club when they head to Cincinnati to face the Reds on March 30.
Swaggerty drove in a run with an RBI-single against the Red Sox, giving him a team-high 10 RBIs during spring training. The former first-round pick is hitting .379 with a 1.109 OPS through his first 17 games this spring.
Swaggerty spent the majority of last season with Triple-A Indianapolis but did get his first taste of the big leagues. He picked up his first career hit against the Braves in June and went 1 for 9 in five games.
The idea of both players making the Pirates’ initial 26-man roster is likely a long shot, so the Pirates will have an interesting decision to make in the next week and a half or so.
In Other News…
After a slow start to the spring, Pirates’ prospect Ji-hwan Bae seems to slowly be getting more comfortable at the plate of late. Bae went 2 for 5 with a run scored on Monday against Boston.
Also in the game, rule 5 pick Jose Hernandez tossed a spotless seventh inning out of the bullpen in the contest. He struck out a pair of batters.
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