Could this Bucs prospect be the next 1B?

November 10th, 2022

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While several Pirates prospects are representing the organization at the Arizona Fall League, Matt Gorski will miss out on the opportunity to play fall ball as he recovers from a quad injury. Gorski, the Bucs’ No. 22-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, provided an update on the ailment on Tuesday, noting that he is not yet 100% but is on the right trajectory.

“Missing out on some extra at-bats is a little bit frustrating and unfortunate, but I’m excited to get back healthy and get down to Spring Training,” said Gorski, who was named the organization’s Willie Stargell Slugger of the Year on Monday. 

Gorski, who hit 24 home runs and posted a .956 OPS in 2022, joked that he was also frustrated at missing out on the opportunity to play at TPC Scottsdale, noting that it’s his “dream course to play in golf.”

The 24-year-old outfielder missed the majority of the season with the quad injury, which ultimately forced him onto the 60-day injured list on July 6. Gorski returned on Sept. 8 after a brief rehab assignment, then earned a promotion to Triple-A Indianapolis on Sept. 20 before he aggravated his quad.

While Gorski is one of Pittsburgh’s more athletic prospects -- he and Andres Alvarez were the only players to log 20/20 seasons -- an opportunity for playing time could await the outfielder at first base.

The Pirates currently possess an abundance of outfield depth but are noticeably thin at first base. By the end of the season, Pittsburgh did not have a primary first baseman on its active roster. Gorski, who has played 15 professional games at first base and spent time at the position during his collegiate career at Indiana, could help fill the void. 

“I feel super comfortable over there,” Gorski said. “I’m sure I’ll get a lot more reps [during] Spring Training. … You’re definitely more into the game when you’re on first base. I definitely love the outfield -- being able to show off my athleticism out there is really fun, but first base is also super fun, just to show your versatility sometimes.”