The Pittsburgh Pirates own a strong farm system. Here at Rum Bunter, we decided to rank who believe are the top 10 prospects in the organization entering the 2020 offseason.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have a very strong farm system. FanGraphs currently ranks their farm sysytem as the 4th best in baseball. Per FanGraphs’s list, the Pittsburgh Pirates have 6, top 100 prospects. As a small market team, they have to rely on the development of players through drafting, and signing internationally. Here at Rum Bunter, we took a poll among our writers to see who we feel are the organization’s top 10 prospects.
Our polling system worked like this. Each slot was given a point value. The number 1 was worth 10 points, the 2nd spot was worth 9 points, the 3rd spot was worth 8 points, and so on. Our writers also had the optional vote of an 11th prospect with that spot being worth a half point. We saw this as a fair way to give another prospect some recognition with Ke’Bryan Hayes already in the Majors.
Before we get into our top 10, there were bound to be a handful of players who got votes, but not enough to crack our top 10. Here are our honorable mentions listed from the least votes to the most votes:
Infielder Rodolfo Castro
Rodolfo Castro has flashed some decent pop, and runs well. He doesn’t hit for much average, nor does he walk a lot, but his ability to play essentially any infield spot besides pitcher and catcher adds some value. He’s still just 21 and showed the ability to hit for some average in his first 2 pro seasons, so there’s room for improvement.
Outfielder Rodolfo Nolasco
A 2018 international free agent, Rodolfo Nolasco has the body that would project a power hitter. He also struck out just 11.6% of the time in his 225 plate appearance stint at Rookie-Ball. He just turned 19 about a month ago, so be on the lookout for Nolasco to rise through the ranks in the next few seasons.
Pitcher Carmen Mlodzinski
The Pirates selected Carmen Mlodzinski with the 31st overall pick in the 2020 draft. A hard throwing right hander, Mlodzinski has a nice fastball-slider combo to go with a solid change up. He has also been given solid grades for his command.
First Baseman Mason Martin
Mason Martin has elite power as he blasted 35 home runs, put up a .558 slugging percentage and .304 isolated slugging at Greenboro and Bradenton in 2019. Martin has 60+ grades for both his game and raw power. Though he walks a lot, Martin does strike out a fair amount as well. Regardless, he could be one of the Pirates’ next elite power threats.
Outfielder Jared Oliva
Jared Oliva has shown he can hit for average and get on base in the past two seasons, posting a BA around the .275 mark and OBP in the .350s. What makes him even more deadly is that he has stolen 33 and 36 bases in 2018 and 2019. He is also a decent fielder, so expect him to be leading things off for the Bucs in the next season or so.