Pittsburgh Pirates: MLB Pipeline Prospects of the Year
MLB Pipeline has released their Prospect of the Year for every organization. Who did the site have as the Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher and hitter of the year?
The Pittsburgh Pirates need their prospects to be successful as they navigate their rebuild. They have one of the stronger farm systems and rank fourth on MLB Pipeline’s rankings. They added a lot of talent in the draft and through trades, but they’ve had some interesting prospects to follow that they’ve acquired in years past. Oneil Cruz just made his Major League debut and has some of the best raw power in baseball. Matt Fraizer had a breakout 2021 season following being a third round pick in 2019.
With a lot of talent, deciding on who the best prospect was is a tough challenge. One of the most notable prospect sites in MLB Pipeline recently released an article doing this for every team. The Pittsburgh Pirates saw two of their most recent first round picks earn high praise from the site, winning the hitter and pitcher prospects of the year.
Nick Gonzales was Ben Cherington’s first pick as the Pirates General Manager and he was named the Pirates hitting prospect of the year. In High A he hit .302/.385/.565 with 18 home runes despite missing time because of injury. The middle infielder had a strong season and should hopefully at least reach Triple-A Indianapolis at some point next season.
Quinn Priester, the Pirates 2019 first round pick, was named the site’s top pitching prospect of the year. The right hander had a 3.04 ERA with 98 strikeouts in 97.2 innings of 20 starts for High A Greensboro. He was even better in his final 10 starts of the year with a 2.80 ERA and 58 strikeouts with just 22 walks. The Pirates need Priester to continue to develop as he projects to lead their rotation in the future.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are developing a nice core of prospects but it is still nice to see their recent first round picks get praise for the performances they’ve produced. The organization needs to hit on their first rounders, and this is certainly a good sign. MLB Pipeline remains high on Nick Gonzales and Quinn Priester, and these two prospects should continued to be watched as two of the top prospects in the organization.