Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Five Super Sleepers to Watch

Aug 11, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington (left) talks with manager Derek Shelton (right) during batting practice before the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 11, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington (left) talks with manager Derek Shelton (right) during batting practice before the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Apr 28, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington observes batting practice from the dugout before the game against the Kansas City Royals at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Pirates farm system has plenty of talent, some of which is super underrated and deserves more attention in 2022.

Some of the most interesting prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates system aren’t ranked or receive any attention. Some very intriguing names are essentially super-sleepers. They’re names past some of the late-round picks and lesser talked about international signings we’ve brought up in the past. We’re talking about guys who receive little to no attention from fans and prospect watchers.

Today, I want to identify and analyze five of these super-sleepers. These guys have the talent to be more known prospects. However, a lack of playing time or simply being overshadowed plague many of these prospects. That doesn’t mean they’re bad players, just that they get almost no love from anyone else.

RHP Carlos Jimenez

Carlos Jimenez is the definition of a super-sleeper prospect. Of the best offerings in the organization, right-hander Carlos Jimenez throws a wicked change-up. The right-hander was an international signing in 2018 and has dominated minor league batters so far. Although he’s only pitched 73.1 innings, the 19-year-old could be an arm to watch at Bradenton.

As a pro pitcher, Jimenez has yielded a 2.82 ERA, 3.83 FIP, and 1.27 WHP. Jimenez’s most significant strengths have been getting swings and misses and avoiding the home run. So far, he has a 28.3% strikeout rate and 0.49 HR/9. However, he still struggles with command with a 10.2% walk rate.

To go along with his phenomenal changeup, he has a four-seam fastball that has been praised for its ability to ride through the zone, as well as a slurve-like breaker. He’s still young, so the future projection on Jimenez is a bit murky right now. However, he’s already got a change-up that would fool many major league hitters. At the very least, he’d be an excellent reliever. If he can continue to build up his other offerings, Jimenez might become one of the most underrated arms in the system.

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