Grading The Prospects: How Does The Pirates’ Do In The Return For Starling Marte?

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After months of rumors and speculation the Pittsburgh Pirates finally traded Starling Marte, sending him to the Arizona Diamondbacks in return for a pair of prospects (as well as $250,000 in international spending).  Who are the prospects Pittsburgh received? What type of upside do they have?  Let’s take a look:

Liover Peguero – Shortstop
Age – 19-years old
Current Grade –
C+

Peguero was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2017 and has quickly started to emerge.  Splitting time between Rookie Ball (143 AB) and Low-A (84 AB) he hit .326 with 5 HR and 11 SB.  There are questions as to how much power that will develop, but as he matures physically he should be a 12-15 HR power (and maybe a little bit more).  Playing most of the year at 18-years old his 9.9% SwStr% is also promising, especially since he maintained it upon his promotion (9.7% SwStr% at Low-A).

He also has some speed and Baseball America described him by saying:

He’s a wiry, muscular shortstop with gifts on both sides of the ball, including potentially above-average tools in every category except power.

While he’s not there yet, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him take a significant leap forward in 2020.  Could he emerge as a 15/20 type player with a solid approach while manning either SS or CF?  There appears to be a strong chance, and while he’s currently a “C+”, by year’s end he could emerge as a “B” type prospect.

Brennan Malone – Right-Handed Pitcher
Age – 19-years old
Current Grade – C+

Malone was the 33rd overall selection in 2019, though he only threw 8.0 innings after being picked.  The upside is significant, and according to Baseball America the arsenal could become impressive:

Malone has shown he can reach the upper 90s with his fastball and sits 92-95 mph. His slider and curveball both flashed plus as an amateur, with his slider showing more consistent bite and depth in 2019. He also has shown feel for a potentially average changeup.

Standing 6’4” and 205 lbs, he is quite far away from arriving and a lot can happen between now and then.  If it comes together he could be a #2/3 type starter in the Majors, though time will tell.  The ceiling is there, but we’ll have to keep a close eye and see if he can get there.

Sources – Fangraphs, MILB.com, Baseball America

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