Pittsburgh Pirates: Previewing Midseason Prospect Rankings

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Pittsburgh Pirates
PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 23: A general view of the field during the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on August 23, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /

Potential New Ranked Prospects

Let’s end on a high note, taking a look at a few prospects you may see on top organization prospect lists who currently aren’t on many rankings. They may not be high-ranking prospects but should end up in the top 30-50 range with a 35+ FV. The first guy that you may see make the jump is Matthew Fraizer.

Fraizer previously appeared on MLB Pipeline’s Pittsburgh Pirates top 30 prospects going into 2020, but that was about it. Though after a great start at Greensboro, we may see him make a reappearance on Pipeline’s list, along with his debut on a handful of other lists.

He’s been the Pirates’ best minor league hitter so far this year. In 134 plate appearances, Fraizer is hitting .344/.438/.549 with a .434 wOBA, 174 wRC+ with a healthy .205 ISO. He’s gone down on strike three just 15.9% of the time this year while drawing ball four in 14.9% of his trips to the plate. He currently ranks first among Pirates’ minor league hitters in OPS, wRC+ and wOBA.

His strong showing of avoding strikeouts while drawing walks is a good sign for things to come. Ovbisously, he needs to show it for longer than just 134 plate appearances, but if he can, he could reach the 40-FV mark by next year’s rankings.

Then there’s 2020 fifth-round pick Logan Hofmann. To say that Hofmann has been downright dominant would be an understatement through 21.1 innings, Hofmann has allowed just 3 earned runs, has a 2.08 FIP and a .093 WHIP. He’s kept opponents to a .154 batting average. None of the hits he has given up have been home runs. He doesn’t have elite control with a 9.2% walk rate, but he’s getting strikeouts at a 37.9% rate.

Though Hofmann is a soft tosser with his four-seamer coming in around the 90-94 MPH range, Ben Cherington praised him for his spin rate when they selected him. If he could build up his strength to work closer to the 92-95 MPH range and do it as a starter (all 8 of his appearances have been multi-inning bullpen appearances), then you’re might be looking at one of the team’s fastest rising prospects in the system.

Next. Oneil Cruz Impressing at Double-A. dark

Last but not least is 22-year-old Adrian Florencio. Florencio has a sub-1.00 ERA (0.86), WHIP (0.76) and a FIP of just 2.84 this year through 21 innings at Bradenton. The right-hander has struck out batters at a 30.1% rate. However, he also has a sub-5% walk rate (4.8%). Plus he hasn’t allowed a single home run yet this year.