Greensboro Grasshoppers: Early Game Raking Paves Way for Player of Week For Liover Peguero
Thanks to a series of trades before the deadline, the Pittsburgh Pirates did a great job of adding depth to their system, notably the catcher and middle infield positions.
So while all the focus was on who Ben Cherington and company added to the system, already existing top prospect Liover Peguero had himself quite the week.
One of the first moves made by Cherington after taking over as General Manager, Peguero was acquired - along with Brennan Malone - from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Starling Marte. Peguero, a native of the Dominican Republic, worked his way up to become one of the better shortstop prospects not only in the Pirates system but in all of the baseball.
Even with the wide influx of minor league talent entering the system, Peguero not only remains one of the better prospects on the Pirates but also one of the youngest. Only Bubba Chandler, who has yet to make his professional debut, is younger than Peguero among the Pirates top ten prospects according to Fangraphs.
Of Peguero, Fangraphs mentions that ‘while his defensive home is undefined (other than it being on the infield) Peguero has a present plus bat tool and developing pop’. His hit tool has a FV of 60 on the site, with his raw power a ‘50’.
Playing for the Greensboro Grasshoppers, Peguero has teamed up with Nick Gonzales, the Pirates 2020 first round pick, to form a double play combination that could end up making it all the way to Pittsburgh together.
As one of the youngest players in his league (baseball reference has him three years younger than the average position player), Peguero has certainly showed some of that hitting potential despite the aggressive push.
The 20-year old has slashed .266/.328/.465 on the season, with 24 extra base hits (11 of which are home runs), driven in 32 runs and swiped 17 bases.
This past week however, Peguero took his offense to another level, and took home the Class-A East Player of the Week award for his performance against the Winston-Salem Dash.
During their weekly series, Peguero went 11-for-26 (.423) with nine runs scored, a double, five home runs, 27 total bases, 12 RBIs and two stolen bases.
It’s been an incredible offensive output that we have yet to see from Peguero, homering five times in a single six game series. The craziest part of it was that he didn’t hit a home run until Thursday, meaning he went deep five times in four days.
So where’s all the power coming from? Maybe better yet, what is he doing to put himself in these positions to hit the way he has been?
First off, Peguero has been very aggressive at the plate or at the very least, gone after pitchers early in the game before they have a chance to get settled.
During the first and second innings of games, Peguero is slugging .822%, compared to his .465% mark overall. While it’s a smaller sample size when it comes to the second inning, the Grasshoppers shortstop has been money when it comes to hitting right out of the gate.
The first inning has seen Peguero put up a slash of .352/.375/.759 for an overall OPS of.1.134%, going 19-for-54 with 11 extra base hits (5 HR) and 12 stolen bases.
That’s getting the jump on your opponent, and allowing the Grasshoppers to jump ahead to an early lead.
Peguero is still widely regarded as one of the potential shortstops of the future for the Pirates, and he’s given no one any reason to believe any other way. Still the most impressive thing through all of this has to be his age.
The way he’s hitting the ball, and the power that continues to come as the season has progressed, it would have been a safer bet that he was a lot older.
That also means we need to be patient with him, and realize that he is already on the fast track when it comes to his placement within the organization, so you probably shouldn’t expect him to see any time in Altoona this season.
Which seems perfectly fine with me, as long as he continues to rake in Greensboro.
What have your thoughts been on Peguero? Is he the shortstop of the future for the Pirates? Let us know what you think in the comment section below, subscribe to the site with the link at the top of the page and follow us on Twitter @SportBlogMurphy.
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