Pittsburgh Pirates: Players Set for MLB Breakout in 2022

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PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 29: Roansy Contreras #59 of the Pittsburgh Pirates makes his Major League debut against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on September 29, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 29: Roansy Contreras #59 of the Pittsburgh Pirates makes his Major League debut against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on September 29, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Oneil Cruz Pittsburgh Pirates (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates farm system is loaded throughout all levels, but these five prospects are expected to leave the MiLB and join the team up in Pittsburgh for this upcoming season.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have more than these 5 prospects who are expected to appear in a big-league uniform. These are some of the most anticipated players from the minor leagues and are supposed to be a part of the long-term plan in Pittsburgh. I’m sure you can guess almost all of these players but they are fun to talk about. Here are the 5 prospects who are supposed to contribute to some wins this season.

Shortstop Oneil Cruz

Oneil Cruz is currently Pittsburgh’s 3rd ranked prospect and the MLB’s 52nd ranked prospect. The 23-year old is all shaped up to be the future at the shortstop position. Cruz spent his season with 3 levels of baseball, Double-A, Triple-A, and the majors. Through his 271 at-bats of the minor league season, he hit .310/.375/.970 with 17 HR, 47 RBI, and 19 SB. Those 19 stolen bases are a big part of his game and are what the Pirates have been missing. Pittsburgh stole 60 bases during the 2021 campaign, which ranked in the league’s bottom 10, and stole just 16 in 2020, although it was a shortened season, Pittsburgh was still bottom 3 in the category. Oneil Cruz should steal some bases along with the other prospects who are coming up.

Cruz brings many elements from his game to the organization that lacks in a lot of places offensively and defensively. Cruz’s height makes him more probable to go after line-outs that go over his head. Oneil Cruz made his MLB debut during the home stretch of the 2021 season, he already hit some of the career-first markers and now won’t be pressured to try and swing for the fences at every at-bat.

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