CHRIS SHARPE, CENTER FIELDER
|Born: June 6, 1996
Drafted: 14th Round, 418th Overall, 2017
How Acquired: Draft
College: University of Massachusetts Lowell
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Sharpe was drafted as a sophomore eligible after taking a big step forward in his second year. After hitting just 228/351/310 as a freshman, including strikeouts in 30% of his at-bats, he hit 338/432/685 in 2017 with 27 extra-base hits in 33 games. He cut the strikeouts to 21% of his at-bats. In an average year for New England, Baseball America rated him as the 34th best player in the area. He has tremendous raw power, with a 455-foot, 108 MPH exit velocity, home run to his credit this season. He had two years of eligibility remaining, but signed with the Pirates for just over double the slot amount of $125,000.
Sharpe just held his own with Morgantown, showing some power but striking out in nearly a third of his ABs. He did, however, finish strongly. In 19 July games, he hit 190/301/253. In 20 August games he hit 278/360/456. He struggled against RHPs, putting up a 217/301/317 line against them while hitting 289/413/474 against LHPs. Sharpe played mostly in left, but started eight games in center.
The Pirates sent Sharpe to West Virginia, where he was the regular left fielder. His hitting was up and down. He had an OPS of .762 in April, .585 in May, .974 in June and .480 in a dozen July games. In mid-July he suffered a broken hand that cost him the rest of the season, except for two games at season’s end. He drew plenty of walks on the season, but his already-high K rate increased. He had a reverse platoon split.
Sharpe opened the season in Bradenton. After a decent month in April, he got hot in May, putting up an OPS of .827 that month and .971 in 16 June games. His overall numbers were among the best in a league where the average was 242/313/353. The Pirates promoted him to Altoona in mid-June. He hit for good power there, with an excellent .213 ISO, but it may have come at the cost of much weaker walk and K rates and a low average. On the season as a whole, Sharpe hammered LHPs for a .918 OPS while putting up a more modest figure of .724 against RHPs. He ran a lot while with Bradenton, although with a mediocre success rate, then didn’t run much in AA. Sharpe played mostly in left, but got a few starts in center at both levels.
Sharpe spent the season with Indianapolis, playing semi-regularly in the outfield. He split his time between center and left. He had a rough time at the plate and didn’t show the power he had in 2019.
The Pirates had four outfield prospects at Altoona late in 2021 and have Travis Swaggerty due to return in 2022. They also have Bligh Madris, who had a much better year at Indianapolis in 2021 than Sharpe did. It’s hard to see where he’ll find playing time in 2022.
|2022: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $256,000
MiLB FA Eligible: 2023
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2020
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 14, 2017: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 14th round, 418th overall pick; signed on June 27.|