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Pirates All 40: How Consistent Will Jack Suwinski Be in 2024?



Jack Suwinski, Pittsburgh Pirates

This is one in a series of stories breaking down members of the Pittsburgh Pirates 40-man roster.

One of the more polarizing players on the Pittsburgh Pirates roster is Jack Suwinski.

The slugging lefty just completed his first full season at the major league level. In 144 games, Suwinski slashed .224/.339/.454, good for an OPS of .793. Suwinski belted a team-high 26 homers while driving in 74 runs and hitting an additional 21 doubles and two triples.

Looking at the entire Pirates’ roster, Suwinski finished third in total WAR for the Pirates at 2.8. Suwinski finished behind Mitch Keller (3.3) and Ke’Bryan Hayes (3.2).

When Suwinski made contact with the ball, he made loud contact more often than not (43.4% hard hit percentage). In addition, Suwinski had a barrel percentage of 15.7% and finished with an average exit velocity of 90.5 mph.

Looking strictly at rankings, Suwinski landed in the 94th percentile in barrel percentage, 64th percentile in hard hit percentage, and the 72nd percentile in average exit velocity.

Looking at one area of improvement from Suwinski was his groundball. In 2022, Suwinski hit the ball on the ground 42.3% of the time. In 2023, Suwinski dropped that percentage to 27.9%.

As we all know, Pirates’ prospects have an issue with hitting the ball on the ground, and it seems like a developmental issue within the system. Maybe Suwinski and the Pirates found the trick to lift the ball.

Where Suwinski has struggled throughout his professional career is his strikeouts. In 2023, Suwinski struck out 32.2% of the time in 447 at-bats. Among qualified hitters, only Brent Rooker of the Oakland A’s had a higher strikeout percentage (37.2%).

In addition, Suwinski’s walk rate was 14%, which was a 3% increase from the 2023 and placed him in the 94th percentile for walk percentage in this past year.

It’s clear that Suwinski improved in important areas like walk rate, making hard contact, etc, but there are some glaring issues like the strikeout numbers.

It’s also unclear as to where he belongs in the outfield. His arm strength isn’t even what you’d call average, and that’s unfortunate for a guy who played centerfield the majority of last season.

The power will keep Suwinski in the dance; it’s just a matter of how often he can unlock that power potential and let it ride consistently throughout the season.

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