MAIKOL ESCOTTO, SHORTSTOP
|Born: June 4, 2002
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2018, New York Yankees
How Acquired: Trade (with Yankees for Jameson Taillon)
Country: Dominican Republic
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|The Pirates were interested in signing Escotto out of the Dominican, but lost out to the Yankees. He’s an offense-oriented infielder; he’s played a little at short, but scouts expect him to end up at second or third. He has a good arm and some speed. He put up very big numbers in his DSL debut, although some scouts apparently are concerned that they resulted from a pull-heavy approach and from him possibly having physically matured early. The Pirates finally got him in the Jameson Taillon trade.
Escotto had a big debut season, hitting for average and power, and drawing a lot of walks. He produced outstanding exit velocities, although he did strike out a lot. The Yankees played him primarily at second, but he started eight games each at short and third. Baseball America rated him 27th in the Yankees’ system, although FanGraphs had him higher, at 19th.
Escotto spent the season at Bradenton. He started off hot at the plate, but struggled increasingly as pitchers got him to chase breaking balls off the plate. His OPS by month, starting in May, was: .904 .771 .741 .560 .602. He hit seven home runs in his first 57 games and only one in his last 35. Probably due to his problems with chasing breaking balls, he had a huge platoon split: a .950 OPS against LHPs and .644 against RHPs. He struck out in nearly 40% of his ABs against the latter. He did do well as a base stealer. Escotto played a little at second, but was the principal shortstop for the Marauders. He showed good range, but was erratic.
The Pirates sent Escotto to Greensboro as the regular at short. Like 2021, he got off to a good start at the plate and then tanked. His OPS was .745 in April, then dropped to .475 in May. In early June, the Pirates sent him to the development list and eventually to the FCL. He moved up to Bradenton in early July. In Greensboro Escotto did show some power, but he had a terrible time making contact. With the Grasshoppers he fanned in 36% of his plate appearances. One he got to Bradenton, Escotto did better, hitting for solid numbers. At that level he fanned in 22% of plate appearances. Defensively, Escotto mostly played short, but he saw some time at 2B.
The Pirates have had a lot of trouble developing their hitting prospects at the lower levels and Escotto could be exhibit A. He won’t turn 21 until the middle of the 2023 season, so if he could get the bat going at Greensboro he’d be a good age for the level.
|2023: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $350,000
MiLB Debut: 2019
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2025
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2022
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|July 2, 2018: Signed by the New York Yankees as an international free agent.
January 24, 2021: Traded by the New York Yankees with Miguel Yajure, Roansy Cabrera and Canaan Smith to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jameson Taillon.