Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Rum Bunter’s Preseason Top 10

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 18: Catcher Henry Davis, who was selected first overall in the 2021 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates takes batting practice on the field after signing a contract with the Pirates at PNC Park on July 18, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 18: Catcher Henry Davis, who was selected first overall in the 2021 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates takes batting practice on the field after signing a contract with the Pirates at PNC Park on July 18, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 30: Miguel Yajure #89 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on September 30, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 30: Miguel Yajure #89 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on September 30, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates farm system is one of the best in the business. With that being said, who are our top 10 prospects from the loaded system?

As we usually do before the start of the season, we here at Rum Bunter take a vote on who we feel are the Pittsburgh Pirates top 10 prospects. A handful of our staff writers once again voted on our top 10 Pirates prospects this year.

The Pittsburgh  Pirates have steadily built a phenomenal farm system over the past two years. Since the beginning of the rebuild at the start of the 2019-2020 off-season, Ben Cherington and company have made it one of, if not the best system in Major League Baseball. This gives the Pirates a bright outlook for the future.

As with any list, some players didn’t quite make the top 10. They received at least one vote, so I think it’s still worth mentioning them here in our honorable mentions (note: the honorable mentions are not in any particular order).

RHP Michael Burrows

Michael Burrows had a great year at High-A Greensboro. He saw an uptick in velocity and his curveball got a bump up in grade per FanGraphs. His fastball and curveball are truly elite offerings, not only because of velocity, but he’s among the minor league leaders in spin rate. The only question is if his changeup will ever play up enough for him to be a starting pitcher in the long run.

OF Lonnie White Jr.

Lonnie White Jr. is far from the last name you’ll see from the 2021 draft today. White Jr. was a second-round pick and one of the top high school outfielders in the draft. He went 54th overall on an over-slot deal to the Pittsburgh Pirates. White Jr. brings phenomenal speed, power, and fielding. He has a bit of swing-and-miss, but it’s the only concern for the talented outfielder.

RHP Miguel Yajure

Acquired in the Jameson Taillon trade, Miguel Yajure likely wouldn’t be a prospect still had it not been for an injury that kept him out a good chunk of 2021. This injury also diminished his velocity at the end of the year. But if he is fully healthy next season, Yajure has a five-pitch-mix, all of which play at an average or better level, that should carry him to be a starter for the Pittsburgh Pirates for the foreseeable future.

RHP Jared Jones

The Pirates drafted Jared Jones in the second round of the 2020 draft. Jones is a flamethrower who can hit the upper-90’s before his 21st birthday. Jones had a solid season at Low-A Bradenton but was marred by a high batting average on balls in play. He’s a highly talented right-hander with a four-pitch-mix. His command might be the only questionable part of his game, but he has shown some improvement in that department last season.

RHP Carmen Mlodzinski

Carmen Mlodzinski was another 2020 draft pick. He was a competitive balance pick in the first-round, going 31st overall. Mlodzinski can hit the mid-to-upper 90’s with his four-seamer and carries a slider/cutter, as well as a usable changeup. He did solid at High-A Greensboro, making up a phenomenal rotation, and will look to continue his success at Triple-A Indianapolis next season.

INF Maikol Escotto

Maikol Escotto was another part of the Jameson Taillon trade. The infielder only had a 100 wRC+ last season at Low-A Bradenton, making him an exactly league-average hitter. But he had a great showing in 2019, has plus power potential, and average defensive prowess at shortstop.

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