According to a report from John Dreker of PiratesProspects.com, the Bucs have opted to add outfielder Patrick Kivlehan to the organization by way of a minors pact. The 28-year-old, then, latches on with his fourth MLB organization in the past calendar year (and seventh in his professional career).
It should be noted that Kivlehan only garnered 14 plate appearances in the majors this past season. That brief MLB cameo came entirely with the Diamondbacks, who acquired him from the Mets late in the season in exchange for cash considerations. After he struck out in six of his 14 September plate appearances (albeit with a pair of triples), the Snakes opted to cut him loose.
The former fourth-round pick is only a year removed from serving as a part-timer for the Reds for the majority of the 2017 season, for whom he hit .208/.304/.399. That performance came across 204 trips to the plate spanning 115 games. He did manage to hit nine homers during that period, which falls in line with a power-centric offensive skill set he flashed during his minor-league career with the Mariners (who drafted him in 2012). That potential, most recently seen in the form of a .314/.372/.588 batting line with the Mets’ Triple-A ballclub, may be one of the driving factors in the Pirates’ decision to bring Kivlehan on board.
Of course, Kivlehan’s upside is weakened a bit by his freeswinging tendencies. He’s got a career 32.2% strikeout rate in the majors, which has assisted in suppressing his batting average throughout his career. He’s also an unspectacular defender, as his -22.3 career UZR/150 would suggest. He’ll have an uphill battle trying to earn significant playing time in an outfield that projects to feature Corey Dickerson, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco, with Jordan Luplow and Adam Frazier likely to fill reserve roles and former second-rounder Bryan Reynolds waiting with sneaky upside in Triple-A.