The Pittsburgh Pirates had a surprise breakout player in outfielder Jack Suwinski during the 2022 season. Suwinski, who was acquired as part of the package deal from the San Diego Padres in exchange for Adam Frazier, quickly made a name for himself by hitting 19 home runs, leading all National League rookies.
While Suwinski wasn’t well-known as a prospect at the time of the trade, the Pirates saw something in him that others didn’t. In this post, we’ll explore how the Pirates were able to acquire Suwinski and what led to his successful rookie season.
Background on Adam Frazier Trade
The 2021 MLB trade deadline was a busy time for teams looking to improve their rosters for the remainder of the season. The Pittsburgh Pirates were no exception, as they decided to trade their All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier to the San Diego Padres.
Frazier was having a standout season at the time, hitting .327 with a .398 OBP and a league-leading 125 hits.
In exchange for Frazier, the Pirates received three prospects from the Padres: infielder Tucupita Marcano, outfielder Jack Suwinski, and right-handed pitcher Michell Miliano. Marcano was considered the top prospect in the deal, ranked as the Padres’ No. 5 prospect by MLB Pipeline at the time.
He had a strong showing in the minor leagues, hitting .273 with a .342 OBP in 2019. Milano was a hard-throwing pitcher with a high ceiling, but he had yet to play above A-ball at the time of the trade.
Overall, the trade was seen as a win for the Padres, who were able to add an All-Star caliber player to their lineup for the stretch run. However, the Pirates were able to acquire three promising prospects who could potentially contribute to their future success.
Suwinski, in particular, was a relatively unknown player at the time of the trade, but he would quickly make his mark with the Pirates.
Who is Jack Suwinski?
Jack Suwinski is a 24-year-old outfielder who was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 15th round of the 2016 MLB draft. He spent several years working his way through the Padres’ minor league system, showing promise with his power-hitting and solid defensive skills.
However, Suwinski wasn’t considered a top prospect at the time of the trade for Adam Frazier. He had never played above High-A ball and had a career minor league batting average of .241 with 29 home runs in 311 games.
While those numbers weren’t terrible, they weren’t eye-popping either, and Suwinski wasn’t seen as a player who would make a significant impact at the major league level in the near future.
Despite this, the Pirates saw something in Suwinski that other teams didn’t. They liked his power potential and his ability to play all three outfield positions, and they believed that he had the potential to develop into a solid major-league player.
The Pirates’ scouting department and player development staff have a reputation for finding and developing unheralded prospects, and Suwinski was seen as another player who could potentially thrive under their guidance.
Pirates’ Decision to Acquire Suwinski
Despite not being a highly-touted prospect, the Pirates saw potential in Jack Suwinski and made a concerted effort to acquire him in the Adam Frazier trade. One of the main reasons for this was Suwinski’s power potential.
Despite his relatively low batting average in the minor leagues, Suwinski had shown an ability to hit for power, hitting 29 home runs in 311 career minor league games. This was a trait that the Pirates were lacking in their outfield, as they had struggled to find consistent power hitters in recent years.
In addition to his power potential, Suwinski was also seen as a versatile outfielder who could play all three positions. This was an important factor for the Pirates, as they were in the midst of a rebuild and looking for young, athletic players who could play multiple positions and provide value in different ways.
Suwinski’s defensive skills were seen as a plus, and he was expected to provide solid defense in the outfield while also contributing with his bat.
Overall, the Pirates saw Suwinski as a player with untapped potential who could develop into a valuable major league player. They liked his power potential, defensive skills, and versatility, and they believed that he would thrive under their player development staff’s guidance.
The fact that Suwinski was not a highly-regarded prospect also worked in the Pirates’ favor, as they were able to acquire him as part of a package deal for Adam Frazier without having to give up too much in return.
Suwinski’s Performance With the Pirates
Jack Suwinski exceeded expectations in his rookie season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, hitting 19 home runs in just 92 games and leading all National League rookies in home runs.
He finished the season with a .236 batting average, a .321 on-base percentage, and a .475 slugging percentage, showing the power potential that the Pirates saw in him when they acquired him from the San Diego Padres.
Suwinski’s power surge was particularly impressive given his lack of experience at the major league level. He had never played above High-A ball before being called up to the Pirates in July, but he quickly adapted to the higher level of competition and proved that he could hit major league pitching.
Suwinski’s success in his rookie season bodes well for his future with the Pirates. He has shown that he has the potential to be a valuable power hitter in the middle of the Pirates’ lineup, and his defensive versatility makes him a valuable asset in the outfield.
The Pirates are in the midst of a rebuild, and they are looking for young, talented players who can develop into key contributors in the future.
Suwinski’s impressive rookie season suggests that he has the potential to be one of those players, and the Pirates will likely continue to give him opportunities to develop and showcase his skills in the years to come.
Adam Frazier Trade and Jack Suwinski’s Performance With the Pirates
|July 26, 2021
|Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres
|Players Traded (PIT)
|Adam Frazier (2B)
|Players Traded (SD)
|Tucupita Marcano (INF), Jack Suwinski (OF), Michell Miliano (RHP)
|Jack Suwinski’s 2022 Season with Pirates
|NL Rookie Ranking
|Led all NL rookies in home runs
The table summarizes the key details of the Adam Frazier trade between the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres, including the players involved in the trade.
It also provides a summary of Jack Suwinski’s impressive rookie season with the Pirates, including his batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, as well as his 19 home runs, which led all National League rookies.
What other notable trades have the Pirates made in recent years?
In addition to the Adam Frazier trade, the Pirates have made several other notable trades in recent years. Some of the most notable include trading Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros in 2018 and trading Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants in 2018. Both players were key contributors to the Pirates during their time in Pittsburgh.
What are the Pirates’ plans for the future?
The Pirates are in the midst of a rebuild, and they are focused on developing young talent for the future. They have several promising prospects in their system, and they are looking to build a competitive team in the coming years. The Pirates have also invested heavily in their player development infrastructure, including a new state-of-the-art training facility in Bradenton, Florida.
How have other players acquired in the Adam Frazier trade performed?
Tucupita Marcano, who was considered the top prospect in the Adam Frazier trade, has struggled in his limited playing time with the Pirates. He hit just .172 in 22 games in 2021. Michell Miliano, the third prospect in the trade, has yet to make his major league debut.
Who are some other young players to watch on the Pirates’ roster?
The Pirates have several promising young players on their roster, including Ke’Bryan Hayes, who finished 6th in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2021, and Bryan Reynolds, who finished 4th in NL MVP voting in 2021. They also have several other young players who could develop into key contributors in the coming years, including pitchers Max Kranick and Quinn Priester.
How does Jack Suwinski compare to other top NL Rookie of the Year candidates?
While Suwinski had an impressive rookie season, he was not among the finalists for the 2022 NL Rookie of the Year award. Some of the top candidates for the award included Jonathan India of the Cincinnati Reds, Trevor Larnach of the Minnesota Twins, and Dylan Carlson of the St. Louis Cardinals. However, Suwinski’s 19 home runs led all National League rookies and suggest that he could be a key contributor for the Pirates in the years to come.
The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Jack Suwinski as part of the package deal that sent Adam Frazier to the San Diego Padres in July 2021.
Despite not being a highly-touted prospect at the time of the trade, Suwinski quickly proved his worth to the Pirates, hitting 19 home runs in his rookie season and leading all National League rookies in home runs.
The Pirates saw potential in Suwinski that other teams didn’t, and they believed that he had the ability to develop into a valuable major-league player.
Suwinski’s power potential, defensive versatility, and adaptability were seen as key factors in his acquisition.
His impressive rookie season exceeded expectations and bodes well for his future with the team as the Pirates continue their rebuild.
The Pirates have a reputation for finding and developing unheralded prospects, and Suwinski’s success is yet another example of their ability to identify talent where others don’t.
As the team looks toward the future, Suwinski is one of several young players who could develop into key contributors in the years to come.