Pittsburgh Pirates Roster
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Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes went 1-for-5 with a run scored in a 6-4 win over the Giants on Friday night. It was the sixth time in seven games since the All-Star break that Hayes has recorded at least one hit, however he has not gotten an extra-base hit during this span. This has continued a trend of declining power that Hayes has exhibited this season, as he only has eight extra-base hits seven doubles and one home run over 137 plate appearances in his last 34 games. Now on one hand this should not be too surprising, as last season's .682 slugging percentage over 24 games was an anomaly when compared to his career .401 slugging percentage in the minor leagues. Regardless, it's still been a disappointment for managers who were hoping for a breakout year from the rookie third baseman. His .239 xBA and .372 xSLG suggest that he's gotten lucky with his .270 average and .415 SLG this year, so managers may want to consider trying to flip him for whatever they can get before the trade deadline.
Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Adam Frazier was hitless in the Pirates win on Friday, finishing 0-for-4 with a walk, one RBI and a run scored in a 6-4 victory over the Giants. While he's still posting a .324 average over 18 games in July, his on-base percentage (.368) and slugging percentage (.366) have both taken a tumble from his performance in June where he recorded a .402 OBP and .469 SLG over 26 games. This isn't necessarily anything alarming for fantasy managers, however it is something to keep an eye on going forward. While the OBP and SLG may be ticking down right now, Frazier will still provide plenty of value in average and runs scored.
The Pittsburgh Pirates optioned right-hander Max Kranick to Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday and activated right-hander Luis Oviedo (quadriceps) from the 10-day injured list in a corresponding move. Kranick was solid in his major league debut on June 27 in five shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals, but he's come back down to Earth in his two most recent starts against the New York Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing seven earned runs while walking four and striking out eight in six innings. The team's No. 26 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, will likely be back this year and can throw strikes, but he doesn't have a pitch that jumps off the page just yet, limiting his fantasy upside as a streamer.
The Seattle Mariners are on the fringe of the American League West race and might be only a few pieces away from competing in 2022. The Pittsburgh Pirates are willing to trade All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier, who is having a career year, and the Mariners, and the Mariners are looking into him. The Pirates are in the midst of a big rebuild and are cultivating an excellent crop of middle infielders in the minors, which makes Frazier a luxury item in Pittsburgh. Seattle likes players that "dominate the zone," meaning they don't chase or expand their strike zone and talks walks, limiting strikeouts. Frazier has been excellent this year, doesn't strike out much and is a line-drive hitter that uses all fields. He leads the majors with 23 doubles and could see a fantasy boost in a better lineup if he's dealt to the M's. Frazier is making $4.3 million this year and will be arbitration-eligible for the final time this coming offseason.
Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz (elbow), the team's No. 3 prospect per MLB Pipeline, is still feeling "mild" elbow symptoms and is not throwing. Cruz suffered a forearm strain while at Double-A Altoona in late June and is still not 100 percent recovered. The hope, for now, is that Cruz will be able to avoid going under the knife. The 22-year-old 6-foot-7, 210-pounder is hitting .289/.349/.538 with nine home runs, 29 RBI, 34 runs scored and 10 stolen bases in 12 attempts. Despite his abnormal size for a shortstop, Cruz consistently makes plays, so he's not a lock to move to third base as he gets closer to the big leagues. His raw power and ability to barrel balls consistently make him one of the most intriguing shortstop prospects in the game.