Jared Triolo: Greensboro Grasshopper Third Baseman Making Mark in Crowded Infield
|Photo Credit: 20/80 Sports|
It's hard not to get lost within the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Ben Cherington has done an amazing job at injecting talented into a system that really needed it. That's not even including the 2021 draft class, who could potentially add four players from Baseball America's top 32.
So with so many young, talented players keep working towards making a name for themselves, even players that were drafted high have the chance to be overlooked.
Greensboro Grasshoppers third baseman Jared Triolo certainly fits that mold for the Pirates. The former Houston Cougar was the 72nd overall pick back in 2019, a draft that added a good amount of talent itself - Quinn Priester and Sammy Siani being the top two picks that year for the Pirates.
Already behind names like Priester and Siani in the draft class (the Pirates also took fellow Grasshopper Matt Gorski in the second round, and added Hudson Head - another 2019 pick - in the Joe Musgrove trade), Triolo is a part of a very crowded Greensboro infield.
The double play combination - Nick Gonzales and Liover Peguero - are already two of the most touted prospects in the Pirates system and seen as the players of the future at their respective position. Gonzales was the first draft pick of the Cherington era, seventh overall, while Peguero landed in the system in one of the moves of the new regime.
Even Aaron Shackelford, although he isn't a highly touted prospect, is among the system's leaders in home runs with 15, so there's plenty of competition for attention in the Grasshopper's infield.
Triolo certainly doesn't have the prospect status that Gonzales and Peguero have but that doesn't lessen the impact he has made this year in Greensboro and his versatility is something the Pirates could covet down the road.
The minute he stepped foot on campus in Houston Triolo made others take notice. He started 60-of-63 games for the Cougars, and was the only freshman on the roster to play in every game that season. He upped it in his second year on campus, finishing third in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) with a .344 average.
At one point Triolo was in possession of a 32-game on base streak, and finished the season with 24 multi-hit games. During his three years with Houston, Triolo hit to a tune of a .317/.406/.447 batting line with 14 home runs and 89 RBIs. He also pitched in 37 stolen bases, 58 extra base hits and nearly walked (92) as many times as he did strike out (112).
After being drafted and quickly signing with the Pirates, Triolo headed over to West Virginia in 2019, and hit .239 with a .703 OPS. He registered 26 extra base hits and 34 RBIs in 60 games played.
Coming back in 2021 and getting assigned to Greensboro, Triolo enjoyed a solid May to begin the season before dialing up the power in the month of June. The 23-year old Triolo slugged .355 in the month of May before nine extra base hits (6 2B, 3 HR) in June helped him post a .456 mark.
In the month of July Triolo has shown his skillset versatility, showing some added speed on the base paths. The right-handed batter has nine stolen bases this month, giving him 16 on the season, which is good for the second most in the entire Pirates system.
After Liover Peguero & Nick Gonzales both hit singles, Jared Triolo doubled them in to give the Grasshoppers an early lead.— Pirates Farm Updates (@piratesfarm) July 18, 2021
2-0 Greensboro in the top of the 1st. pic.twitter.com/rRoab7TBR9
Sunday's game against the Rome Braves was a perfect example of his skillset, hitting a two-run double in the first inning and eventually stealing a base. Thanks to the double, Triolo now owns a 10-game on base streak. Just this week alone he registered nine hits (.375), drove in three runs, slugged .458 and swiped five bags.
Defensively, most scouts that watched him play believe that he'll remain being at least an 'average' defender at third base, and he's also seen time at shortstop during his two year pro career. By the time he makes it to the majors he could have added time at second baseman to even further his versatility. He even played some games in right field during his time at Houston.
Triolo has a career .948% fielding in the minors combined between shortstop and third base. He's committed eight errors at third base this year.
The 2019 draft class has a chance to be a pretty good one for the Pirates, and it's something that doesn't seem to get talked about much. Two of the system's top three home run hitters are from it. As is the player second in the organization in stolen bases (Triolo).
Their top pitching prospect was their first round pick in 2019. In fact, three of their top ten prospects according to MLB.com were selected in that draft (Priester, Head, and Brennan Malone), with Siani also ranking in the 18th.
Then you throw in some of the college players like Matt Fraizer, Triolo and Gorski - himself a player worth of some added recognition.
While the Pirates currently have a pretty good player holding down the hot corner right now, Triolo is growing into a player that can still carve out a role in Pittsburgh someday.
Maybe we will see him Altoona at some point before the season is over. It'd be a nice reward for what he has done so far this season. For now, I'm sure he will be content with continuing to carve up High-A East pitching, and be a part of the team that a lot say is the most talent rich in a deep Pirates system.