In The System: Josh Bissonette Making Most of Opportunity with Altoona in July
At one point, the Altoona Curve had one of the most potent lineups in the entire Pittsburgh Pirates organization. With names like Oneil Cruz, Rodolfo Castro and Mason Martin, it was hard not to take notice of their offensive capabilities.
Injuries throughout the organization has forced them to move players around, and while Martin and Ji-Hwan Bae still remain from the Opening Day lineup, the Curve have had to try to plug and play while Cruz remains out with an injury and Castro stays with the major league team.
A college senior, Josh Bissonette will end up being one of the final 30+ round draft picks that will get the chance to work their way through the minors. After COVID-19 forced baseball to limit the draft down to five rounds in 2020. And even with things opening back up they only opened it back up to 20 rounds.
Through his four years at Baylor, Bissonette made his name known in the Big-12 as a solid hitter and fielder. Though a shortstop his freshman year, he transitioned over to second base for the rest of his college career where he posted a .973 fielding percentage at Baylor.
On the offense side of things, Bissonette wasn't known for his power, only hitting 14 home runs in his four years, and posted a .741 OPS in that span. He did show a more advanced approach to the plate, finishing with more walks (106) than strikeouts (105) in four years.
Drafted in the 31st round in 2019, Bissonette signed quickly and got nearly 200 at bats with Bristol, posting a .699 OPS with 25 RBIs and 15 XBH.
After losing out on his 2020 season due to the pandemic, he was pushed up to Altoona to be a part of the bench. In coming off the bench for the first two months of the season, Bissonette struggled to find success at the plate, hitting .164 as well as posting a .420 OPS, driving in five runs.
With Cruz out, and now Castro in the majors, Bissonette has been seeing a steady stream of playing time. He has taken advantage of that, and in the month of July he has posted a batting slash of .323/.447/.387 for an .834 OPS. He's drawing more walks (7) and striking out less (6).
After collecting three hits in their loss to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies Friday night, Bissonette finds himself on a five game on-base streak.
Of course it's unfortunate to see anyone go down with an injury, but it is nice to see players maybe you don't expect to, step up when they get their opportunity to shine.
Triple-A - Indianapolis Indians game rained out
Double-A - Altoona 1, Binghamton 7
Martin drove in the lone run of the game with a double. Bissonette collected three hits and Osvaldo Bido started and allowed four runs in three innings pitched.
High-A - Greensboro 5, Rome 4
Quinn Priester pitched a career high six innings, throwing 90 pitches in the start. His one mistake was the lone blemish, allowing a three-run home run in the fifth. He also struggled with his control, walking for with only 56% of his pitches going for strikes.
Blake Sabol hit a solo home run, Liover Peguero went 3-for-4 with two stolen bases and Nick Gonzales took the first steps of maybe breaking out of his slump. The 2020 first round pick went 2-for-3 with a double, two runs scored, and a walk.
Low-A - Bradenton 3, Daytona Beach 4
Logan Hofmann struggled in his start, allowing four earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. He did strike out six in that span however. Endy Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs driven in.