The Indianapolis Indians outfield will likely be manned by five players new to the Circle City in 2021. Two of the five projected outfielders will enter their first season in the Pirates organization, two others are top-ranked prospects expected to make their Triple-A debuts, and the last is a player
The Indianapolis Indians outfield will likely be manned by five players new to the Circle City in 2021. Two of the five projected outfielders will enter their first season in the Pirates organization, two others are top-ranked prospects expected to make their Triple-A debuts, and the last is a player who was recently designated for assignment by Pittsburgh. As they prepare for the upcoming season in exhibition games with the alternate site, we took a look at all five who could be roaming the Victory Field grass this season.
Jared Oliva : After beginning the 2020 season at Pittsburgh’s Alternate Training Site and making his major league debut with the Pirates on Sept. 21, the 25-year-old will most likely join the Indians outfield and make his Triple-A debut in late May/early June after recovering from injury. Oliva played in six games for the Pirates last season and hit .188 (3-for-16). During his 2019 campaign with Double-A Altoona, he hit .277 (124-for-447) with six home runs, 24 doubles, 42 RBI and 36 stolen bases in 123 games and earned Eastern League postseason All-Star honors. Selected by Pittsburgh in the seventh round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Arizona, he enters the season as the club’s No. 26 prospect and “Best Defensive Outfielder” according to Baseball America.
Brian Goodwin : The 30-year-old veteran is expected to join the Indians after signing with Pittsburgh as a minor league free agent in February. Goodwin brings the most major league experience to the Indians outfield with 357 major league games under his belt after making his debut on Aug. 6, 2016 with Washington. He started the 2020 season in the big leagues with Los Angeles (AL) before being traded to Cincinnati in August and hit .215 (31-for-144) in 50 games between the two. Goodwin was originally selected by Washington as the 34th overall pick of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Miami-Dade Community College.
Troy Stokes Jr. : Stokes Jr. came to Pittsburgh in January after being claimed off waivers from Detroit. He sat out the 2020 season with a fractured right hand but could get the chance to prove himself in Indy’s outfield. He brings a season of Triple-A experience to the Indians after he spent 2019 with Triple-A San Antonio, where he hit .233 (75-for-322) with nine home runs and 22 doubles in 95 games. He was originally selected by Milwaukee in the fourth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Calvert Hall (Towson, Md.) College High School.
Travis Swaggerty : Swaggerty was selected by Pittsburgh as the 10th overall pick of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of South Alabama and enters the season as Pittsburgh’s highest ranked prospect - No. 14, Baseball America - in Indy’s probable outfield. After spending the 2020 season at Pittsburgh’s Alternate Training Site, he will most likely make his Triple-A debut in the Circle City. He spent the entire 2019 season with High-A Bradenton, where he hit .265 (121-for-457) with a career-high nine home runs and 40 RBI which earned him MiLB.com Organization All-Star honors.
Anthony Alford : Alford came to Pittsburgh after being claimed off waivers from Toronto in Aug. 2020, and in his first start with the Pirates, he went 2-for-4 with a home run against Chicago (NL). In 18 total games between Toronto and Pittsburgh last year, the 26-year-old hit .214 (6-for-28) with two home runs and seven RBI. A slow start to his 2021 campaign (.083 average [2-for-24] in 11 games) led to him being designated for assignment and eventually outrighted. He was originally selected by Toronto in the third round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Mississippi.