When it comes to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ prospects, the usual suspects garner the attention from the media and fans alike.
The Pirates’ last four first-rounders — Quinn Priester, Nick Gonzales, Henry Davis and Termarr Johnson are the top names in the system. They are joined by rising Top 100 farmhand Endy Rodriguez.
Even so, there are always a few names who don’t receive the same level of attention. For example, look how Luis Ortiz burst onto the scene for the Pirates this year.
The right-hander opened some eyes with his 100 mph fastball and a slider capable of missing bats.
One player currently still in the minor league system who is worthy of more headlines is third baseman Jared Triolo.
The Pirates selected Triolo with the 72nd pick in the 2019 MLB Draft out of the University of Houston.
Since entering the Bucs’ system, Triolo has been pretty impressive at the plate. In 280 minor league games, Triolo has hit .282 with a .796 OPS. He’s slugged 26 homers and has swiped 52 bags.
This past year with Double-A Altoona, Triolo posted a .795 OPS (121 wRC+) with 21 doubles, five triples, nine home runs and 24 steals. He owned an impressive 12.7% walk rate and a career-best 17.6% strikeout rate.
While Triolo has been a steady producer at the plate in his professional career, his calling card is his stellar defense.
A natural third baseman, Triolo was awarded a minor league gold glove at the hot corner last year by Rawlings Baseball.
With third base locked down for the foreseeable future in Pittsburgh with Ke’Bryan Hayes, Triolo appeared at shortstop and in centerfield this season with Altoona.
Triolo is a bit on the older side — he turns 25 in February — but it’s reasonable to expect that he begins next year with Triple-A Indianapolis and could find his way to Pittsburgh at some point to make his major league debut.
Had it not been for the lost minor league season in 2020, he could have already emerged at the big league level.
Triolo’s defense, abilities with the bat and solid speed make him an intriguing prospect for a variety of reasons.
Think of his profile similar to that of Hayes.
If you haven’t already, I would start familiarizing yourself with Triolo.