Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Deepest Position Group
By Noah Wright
The Pittsburgh Pirates farm system has become one of the deepest in the sport. But among all their positions aside from pitcher, what is their deepest group of players?
The Pittsburgh Pirates have built up one of the best minor league farm systems in all of baseball over the course of the last 18-20 months. Since hiring Ben Cherington, the Pirates’ went from a team with very little in the farm to a bright future. This has been through drafting, trading, and amuature signings.
The deepest position is probably pitching. The likes of Quinn Priester, Roansy Contreras, Miguel Yajure, and Bubba Chandler are only the tip of the iceberg of top pitching prospects. But aside from pitching, what is the deepest position that the Pirates have in the farm?
Now the first position that probably comes to mind is shortstop. The Pirates have a ton of good middle infield prospects, many of which are primarily shortstops. Oneil Cruz is the team’s best hitting shortstop prospect, but Liover Peguero is the most well rounded. Ji-Hwan Bae is a very athletic shortstop prospect, but has mainly played second base this year.
They acquired a few other shortstop prospects like Diego Castillo and Hoy-Jun Park in the Clay Holmes trade. Maikol Escotto has been showing some promise at Low-A Bradenton. He’s been their primary shortstop at that level. Tucupcita Marcano is another highly-athletic player who’s seen time at many positions. But shortstop is his primary position. Overall, the most noteworthy shortstop prospect is Bubba Chandler. He has some pop, athleticism, and can pitch.
Admittedly, there’s a ton of shortstop prospects. You could also make the argument that also means they have a ton of second base prospects. Park, Castillo, and Marcano all have played the keystone a decent amount in their careers. Nick Gonzales looks like a very high-end player in the making. The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Jackson Glenn, a college hitter who hit well in 2021 showing a decent amount of pop.
Ironically, catcher may be the team’s deepest position. At one point, the farm system was completely barren of good, young backstops, but after the trade deadline and draft, there are a boatload of noteworthy catchers.
The first one that comes to mind is Henry Davis. He’s a big time slugger the Pirates took 1/1 this year. Endy Rodriguez is a strong contact hitting first backstop who’s shown a bit of pop this year. He’s also a strong defender.
Another catcher they drafted was Wyatt Hendrie. He had a fantastic final season at San Diego State University. The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Carter Bins in the Tyler Anderson trade. He’s been solid at Double-A.
Even some of the Pirate prospects at low-levels are doing well. Another catching prospect they acquired this trade deadline is Abrahan Gutierrez. Gutierrez came over in a one-for-one swap for minor league lefty reliever Braeden Ogle. He was doing well in the Phillie farm system and has continued to hit with 10 hits and 3 walks in 28 trips to the plate. Geovanny Planchart has an OPS above .900 at FCL Pirates Gold.
Between shortstop, second base, and catcher, I’d have to say that the middle infield is still very packed, despite the amount of talent brought in behind the plate. Now that’s not to say catcher isn’t deep. They’ve brought in five catchers since the start of July, not to mention Rodriguez over the winter. But even with all that, they’ve acquired some shortstop and second base prospects at the same time.