The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed outfielder Gilberto Celestino to a minor league deal, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Jason Mackey.

Celestino made his MLB debut with the Minnesota Twins in 2021, at which point he was the team's No. 9 prospect. He spent almost the entire 2022 season in the majors, serving as a part-time starter and defensive substitute in center field.

A thumb injury resulted in Celestino opening 2023 on the 60-day injured list, and he was optioned to Triple-A when he was finally activated. Celestino spent a few days with the Twins in September, but he never logged an at-bat or an inning in the field.

Minnesota designated Celestino for assignment in early October.

Celestino has racked up four home runs, 27 RBI and four stolen bases in 145 career major league appearances. In 2022, he hit .238 with a .615 OPS and 0.4 WAR while filling in for the injured Byron Buxton.

Across his seven years in the minors, Celestino is a .270 hitter with a .756 OPS. At 24 years old, the outfielder still has time to develop his bat at the higher levels.

The .243 batting average Celestino posted with Triple-A St. Paul in 2023 wasn't particularly high, but he was able to put up a .385 on-base percentage due to his 42 walks. The defensive specialist had the same number of walks as strikeouts on the whole this season.

It remains to be seen how Celestino fits into the Pirates' plans in the outfield, but his experience could justify an invitation to spring training.

Bryan Reynolds and Jack Suwinski both put up solid numbers and are under contract for the foreseeable future. Pittsburgh didn't get much production from its right fielders in 2023, however, which leaves one outfield spot up for grabs heading into next year.

Celestino could potentially compete for that gig alongside Henry Davis, Joshua Palacios and others.

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2023-11-20T23:52:34Z dg43tfdfdgfd