Pittsburgh Pirates: How the Organization Built the Farm System

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 22: Ji-hwan Bae #72 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the exhibition game against the Cleveland Indians at PNC Park on July 22, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Other Means Of Acquisition

There are only two players that fall under this section. The first is Ji-Hwan Bae. The Atlanta Braves originally signed the middle infielder back during September 2017 out of South Korea. But he was one of the prospects the Braves were forced to release when then-general manager John Coppoella was caught in the middle of an international signing scandal. The Pirates then swooped in and picked up Bae during Spring Training 2018.

Bae is currently ranked as the team’s 11th best prospect. Mostly known for his speed, Bae gets on base frequently enough to make it a true weapon. He’s also seen his power trend in the right direction over the past year. Bae has also started to see some time in centerfield to help free up a very crowded middle infield picture. If his ability to reach base at a frequent rate carries over into the major leagues, he would be an excellent table-setter for the likes of Bryan Reynolds, Oneil Cruz, Nick Gonzales, Mason Martin, and Ke’Bryan Hayes next season, and then Henry Davis and Liover Peguero in 2023.

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The other prospect acquired outside of the draft, trades, or international market is right-hander Jose Soriano. The Pittsburgh Pirates got Soriano in the Rule 5 draft in 2020 from the Los Angeles Angels. The Pirates picked Soriano first overall. Soriano was coming off of Tommy John surgery but was hampered by more injuries this year, limiting him to just 3.2 innings. When Soriano is healthy, he can crank it up into the upper-90’s and has a wipeout slider. But along with his health the last couple of years, he also has spotty command.