Peguero's boom box keeps Bucs' mood light

March 18th, 2022

BRADENTON, Fla. -- If anyone on the Pirates ever wants to find , all they have to do is listen. Whether it's his music or exuberance, it doesn't take much to know when Peguero is -- or isn't -- in the building.

“Anything I do, I feel like I have to enjoy it,” Peguero said with his signature smile. “This is a privilege being here."

Peguero prospers as Pittsburgh’s pied piper. He exudes charisma. There’s seldom a moment when he’s not smiling or chirping at a teammate. He might bust out into an impromptu solo merengue dance with an audience of none just because he can. His very presence is a vibe.

The 21-year-old's signature artifact is his boom box, a massive Sony speaker that’s always turned up to 11 and practically attached to his hip. The second he enters the clubhouse, the music starts to flow. “MC Peggy” might be an appropriate moniker for him. One second, he’ll play the addictive and lively “Homenaje a Billo (En Vivo)” by Free Cover Venezuela. The next, he’ll play the cold, gritty “Who Want Smoke??” by Nardo Wick. His locker mates love it.

“He has that energy everyday,” said third baseman , who has a locker to Peguero’s left. “It’s great to have guys like that in the clubhouse. You need a happy medium; guys that are low-key like me, and then guys like him that are going to bring that energy for everyone every day. You never know. Somebody might be down, and he could do something or say something funny that gets them in a better mood.”

“Me and [Ke’Bryan] kind of keep him in check a little bit,” said outfielder , his locker mate to the right, with a smile. “Peggy’s a good dude to have around, man. He’s young, but he’s super talented. He keeps it loose, he keeps it fun.”

The origins of the boom box date back to his time in the D-backs organization. When Peguero began his time with Arizona, he wasn’t comfortable with playing the hits. He admitted he feared what others would think. But in 2019, he showed fear the door. The master of ceremonies made his introduction, and every clubhouse he has inhabited since has benefited from the good vibrations.

When Peguero, who is on the Pirates’ 40-man roster, wasn't at Pirate City earlier this month due to the lockout, the complex’s collective decibel level was collectively down. When Peguero forgot his speaker on Thursday, the lack of bass-thumping beats felt unsettling. This spring, Peguero and his vibrancy have arguably been the defining feature of the clubhouse.

“I saw that the energy was different. Everything was more enjoyable,” Peguero said. “I feel like that’s my main thing. That’s what keeps my vibe all the time. You just have to have fun all the time.”

For Peguero, whose lively personality comes from his mother and father, there’s also the intricacies of his character as well. In Peguero’s locker is a picture of Nick Gonzales, the Pirates’ No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline and Peguero’s double-play partner at High-A Greensboro. When asked about the photo, Gonzales, who contrasts Peguero as the cool cat, gave a stamp of approval.

“One thing that's really important for our younger players is I want them to be themselves,” said manager Derek Shelton. “The best version of themself, of who they are as people, is going to give us their best version on the field. ... You want to make sure that everybody feels welcome because we're trying to get the best out of them.”

The Pirates certainly hope they continue to get the best out of Peguero. Along with Gonzales, Quinn Priester and a plethora of other prospects, the 21-year-old will likely begin this season with Double-A Altoona, where he’ll have an opportunity to display his all-around excellence.

In his age-20 season, Peguero did a little bit of everything. He hit 14 homers. He stole 28 bases. He had a 108 wRC+. To complement the bat, Peguero is projected to be a solid to above-average defender. Among Pittsburgh’s top prospects, Peguero is the polymath.

Regardless of what Peguero does on the field, it's Peguero's influence away from the diamond that makes him so invaluable to any clubhouse he occupies. Should Peguero continue to climb through the farm system and make the big league team, don’t be surprised if he arrives in Pittsburgh with a boom box full of songs that slap.