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Pirates promote outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba for MLB Debut

Smith-Njigba hit .277 in 184 at-bats for Triple-A Indianapolis

MiLB: MAY 07 Louisville Bats at Indianapolis Indians
Canaan Smith-Njigba receives the call
Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Another Young Buc is preparing to make his major league debut.

Outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba is being promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis to join the Pittsburgh Pirates in St. Louis.

Dave Williams of Barstool Sports was first to draw attention to Smith-Njigba’s potential recall and has been confirmed by various Pirates beat writers including Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Alex Stumpf of DK Pittsburgh Sports.

Mackey is also reporting that utility player Hoy Park is uniting with Smith-Njigba from Indianapolis to the big leagues.

Smith-Njigba, 23, hit .277 with 15 doubles, 3 triples, 1 home run, and 19 runs batted in through 52 games in 2021. He also stole eight bases and recorded an impressive on-base percentage of .387.

The Pirates’ No. 21 overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, recorded a hit in 11 of his past 12 games dating back to the end of May.

He was acquired with Roansy Contreras, Miguel Yajure, and Maikol Escotto in January of 2021 from the New York Yankees as part of the Jameson Taillon trade.

Smith-Njigba bats lefty and throws righty, adding to a heavy mix of left-handed hitters crowding the Pirates outfield. He joins Jack Suwinski, Cal Mitchell, Travis Swaggerty, and switch-hitter Bryan Reynolds to make up Pittsburgh’s outfield before a corresponding roster move is announced.

Smith-Njigba hails from a very successful athletic family. His brother Jaxon is a star wide receiver for the Ohio State Buckeyes, winning the 2022 Rose Bowl MVP award with 15 catches for a Rose Bowl record of 347 yards and three touchdowns.

Canaan Smith-Njigba looks to help spark the Pirates offense back into form after losing six in a row following a series sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers and series victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

He is yet another rookie added to the mix looking to make a major impact on Pittsburgh’s rebuilding hopes.