Pittsburgh Pirates: Previewing Midseason Prospect Rankings

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 28: Boston Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington sits in the dugout prior to Game Five of the 2013 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on October 28, 2013 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 28: Boston Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington sits in the dugout prior to Game Five of the 2013 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on October 28, 2013 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Mar 12, 2020; Bradenton, Florida, USA; A general view of LECOM Park during the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Toronto Blue Jays . Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Falling

There are very few higher-ranking Pirates prospects who are truly falling in value. Almost all are either rising in value, treading water or haven’t played enough to justify an increase in value or decrease in value. But there are only two truly notable prospects who could be moved down a few pegs.

The first is Hudson Head. The team got Hudson Head from the San Diego Padres in the Joe Musgrove trade. The highly athletic outfielder only has a .189 batting average and .310 slugging percentage. He’s striking out at a high 32% rate but is having a season similar to that of Chicago White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal. Despite his lack of making consistent contact so far this year, he’s drawing walks at an insane rate.

Head has a 21.3 walk rate in 122 plate appearances. Currently, that leads all Pittsburgh Pirates minor league players by 1.5%. His ability to draw walks at an astounding rate has fueled his .370 wOBA and 114 wRC+. But remember, he just turned 20-years-old in April, and without a minor league season in 2020, he was a year removed from playing in competitive games.

The other name is Eddy Yean. Yean was part of the Josh Bell trade and seen as the headliner. The 19-year-old right-hander has struggled, owning an 8.38 ERA, 7.56 FIP and 1.75 WHIP through his first 19.1 innings of the season. He’s failing to get many strikeouts with a strikeout rate of just 21.3% and his control isn’t making up for it either. He has a 13.8% walk rate, which doesn’t mix well with his 2.30 HR/9. Though nearly half of Yean’s earned runs came in just 2 starts this season. Plus his overall stuff hasn’t looked awful. Again remember, this is a 19-year-old professional pitcher who missed an entire season because the minor league season was canceled last year.

Though Yean and Head are the two most notable prospects who could fall a few pegs, some injured players should also fall a decent amount. Relievers Yerry De Los Santos and Blake Cederlind may fall off of FanGraphs’ list. Jose Soriano may not even be a Pirate by the mid-season rankings. If he is, he’s another guy who could fall a significant amount given his arm injury. Cody Bolton is another guy who will surely fall out of being one of the team’s consensus top 15 prospects.

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