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Following a power surge the past two seasons, former first round pick Will Craig is now knocking on the door of the MLB level
The 2018 season was a breakout season for Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Will Craig. The former first round picked hit 20 home runs while slugging .448 to go with a .200 ISO at Double-A Altoona. As a result, he made his Triple-A debut in 2019.
Craig went on to spend the entire 2019 season with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. While his power numbers took a bit of a hit with Indy, Craig continued to be a power threat. Now, he is knocking on the door of the MLB level.
Catching market starting to thin out for the Brewers
With the Indians, Craig slashed .249/.326/.435 in 2019. His ISO was .186, he posted a .329 wOBA, he smashed a career high 23 home runs, and his extra base hit rate was 9.3%. However, his wRC+ was below league average at 92 and his 26.3% strikeout rate was a concern and a career high.
The Pirates selected Craig in the first round of the 2016 draft out of Wake Forrest. Craig began his professional career as a third baseman, before most playing first base the past three seasons. However, in 2019, he also started to learn to play left and right field in an effort to improve his value and positional flexibility.
While he was playing new positions, Craig grew leaps and bounds defensively at first base in 2019. He went from what looked like a future DH to being a plus a defender. Craig flashed soft hands, a strong arm and a great glove at first base this past season.
To be honest, it was a bit of surprise that Craig did not earn a September call up this past season. Especially with Josh Bell battling injuries that caused him to miss the last two weeks of the season.
NEXT: Potential Breakout Prospects For 2020
When the 2020 season begins Craig will likely be back at the Triple-A level. That said, it would not be a complete shocker to see him open the 2020 season with the Pirates as a bench bat. Regardless, Craig, barring injury or something else unforeseen, will make his MLB debut at some point during the 2020 season.