According to Jason Mackey of the Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Pirates will promote first baseman Will Craig.
With a couple injuries at first base, the Pirates will take a longer look at 2016 first-round pick Will Craig: https://t.co/GajLWm7y0z
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) May 13, 2021
The Pirates saw Colin Moran go down with an injury, and recently designated Todd Frazier for assignment.
Craig was the Pirates’ first round pick in 2016, taken with the 22nd overall pick. He’s a big first baseman with solid contact skills, and a lot of raw power from his frame. He has yet to put both skills together at the same time. When he has hit for contact, there hasn’t been much power. When he hit for power, he looked closer to a three-true-outcomes guy.
Craig went 1-for-20 with a double to start the season in his first five games. He has since gone 5-for-6 with three home runs in the last two days.
That’s not a big sample size, but the Pirates need help at first base, and this might be one of the final chances for Craig. He’s in his age-26 season, with Mason Martin right behind him in Altoona. If Craig is going to stick in the majors with the Pirates, it will need to be this year. His chances greatly decline once Martin moves up to Triple-A and takes playing time at first.
The good news for Craig is that he has plenty of time to establish himself in the majors. The Pirates have been a team of post-prospects thus far, giving opportunity to guys like Phillip Evans, Colin Moran, Erik Gonzalez, Ka’ai Tom, and many others who are age-26 and older.
The Triple-A level doesn’t have many young players pushing those post-prospects, at least not from the position player side. There is a lot of younger talent at Double-A, but those guys wouldn’t arrive in the majors until 2022 at the earliest — outside of some rapid promotions in the second half.
The 2021 season, at least in the first half, appears to be the time when the Pirates will be churning through all of those post-prospects.
It’s not a bad idea. This isn’t a winning team. There will be post-prospects who work out in the majors. The best way to find which ones will work is to give as much playing time to as many as possible. Maybe a few of these guys will play a role on the next winning Pirates team.
It looks like we’re about to see what Craig can do with his opportunity.
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