PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Pirates manager Derek Shelton confirmed newly added non-roster invitee Todd Frazier will mostly platoon at first and come off the bench.
“He can play both corner spots,” Shelton said Saturday. “I think we know the guy at third (Ke’Bryan Hayes) is probably going to play there a lot.”
“I think a right-handed bat with the ability to drive the ball was important for us. Something that we wanted to key on. We not only added a veteran guy, but if you talk to anyone about Todd Frazier as a person. It was a really nice addition.”
Frazier, 35, hit 40 home runs in 2016 and made a couple of All-Star teams. Last year he played in 45 games hitting .236 with 4 homers and 12 RBI.
With so many young players this year, intangibles played a part in the signing.
“I think it adds value,” Shelton said. “I think there are conversations that have to be had in a pure group. That’s more important than in a coaching group. It’s not that guys are not going to listen, but when you are having a conversation amongst your peers. It definitely adds value.”
Bucs add minor-league infielder
Pirates added minor-league infielder Hunter Owen, 27, as a non-roster invitee to major league camp. Owen hit a combined .261 with 19 doubles, 19 homers and 53 RBI between AA and AAA in 2019.
The right-hand hitter is 5’11”, 197 pounds and was the Bucs 25th round pick out of Indiana State in 2016. In 2019, Owen played 72 games at third, 19 at first 12 games in right field and 4 in left field.
Shelton mentioned that about 20 players had their school graduation at the Pirates Dominican Republic Academy on Saturday. Noting it’s more than just about baseball.
“I really think it’s important to do that educationally,” Shelton said.