FanGraphs has released its updated prospect rankings, how many prospects do the Pittsburgh Pirates have in their top 100?
With the Major League Baseball regular season over outlets that rank prospects will now start to release updated prospect rankings. On Friday, FanGraphs released updated rankings. These rankings include six Pittsburgh Pirates prospects cracking the FanGraph top 100.
Middle infielder Termarr Johnson, who the Pittsburgh Pirates selected with the 4th overall pick in this past July’s draft, checks in as Pittsburgh’s top prospect according ot FanGraphs. After hitting for a .275/.396/.450 slash line to go with an elite 18.9% walk rate and a strong 139 wRC+ in 53 plate appearances with Low-A Bradenton, the 18-year-old Johnson finds himself as the 27th best prospect in baseball according to FanGraphs.
Very few prospects in baseball, not just in the Pirate farm system, had as strong of a season as Endy Rodriguez did in 2022. This strong season has led to Rodriguez ascending all the way to being ranked no. 33 on the FanGraphs prospect board.
Rodriguez started the season with High-A Greensboro, hitting for a .302/.392/.544 slash line and a 151 wRC+ in 370 PAs. He was then promoted to Double-A Altoona and dominated Double-A pitching. Rodriguez hit for a .356/.442/.678 slash line and a 199 wRC+ in 138 PAs with the Curve. This led to Rodriguez getting 38 PAs at the Triple-A level where he hit for a .455/.435/.773 slash line and a 208 wRC+. Between the three levels, Rodriguez hit 25 home runs and collected extra bases at a 12.8% clip.
Checking in at no. 36 on the FanGraphs board is another Pittsburgh Pirates catching prospect, Henry Davis. The no. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft missed plenty of time in 2022 due to injuries, but in 255 PAs between High-A and Double-A he hit for a .264/.380/.72 slash line and a 136 wRC+.
Davis is now playing in the Arizona Fall League. Thus far, Davis is off to a strong start in the AFL as he looks to stay healthy and log at-bats. The Rodriguez and Davis duo could create a good problem at catcher, and fast, for the Pirates in 2023.
The biggest riser on the list for the Pirates was starting pitching prospect Luis Ortiz. Ortiz seemingly came out of nowhere to make his MLB debut in September. In four MLB starts, Ortiz pitched 16 innings allowing eight earned runs, a home run, he walked 10 and struck out 17.
Most of the damage against Ortiz came in his final start when he failed to get out of the 1st inning and allowed six earned runs. Ortiz flashed a plus slider and a power fastball that sat in the high-90s and regularly touched 100 MPH. Now checking in at no. 50 on the FanGraphs board, Ortiz appears to be in position to potentially be one of the top breakout starting pitchers in the National League in 2023.
Checking in as the 88th best prospect in baseball according to FanGraphs is starting pitcher Quinn Priester. Priester had a great 2022 season, positing a 2.87 ERA, 3.23 FIP, 7.1% walk rate and a 24.0% strikeout rate across 75.1 innings pitched in 15 starts at Double-A. He then made two starts at Triple-A, allowing 4 runs while striking out 10 batters in 9.1 innings pitched.
Priester is pitching for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League. If Priester can build upon his strong 2022 season with his AFL performance, he will just continue to put himself in position to make his MLB debut early in 2023.
The final Pirate prospect in the updated top 100 from FanGraphs is middle infielder Liover Peguero. Still seeing Peguero in the top 100 comes as a bit of a surprise as he struggled during the 2022 season. Peguero sits one spot behind Priester at no. 89 overall
While Peguero did make his MLB debut with a brief weekend series stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates in June, which included recording his first MLB hit and walk, he struggled offensively at Double-A. Peguero hit for a .259/.305/.387 slash line to go with a wRC+ of 88 with the Curve. He also struggled mightily on defense at shortstop.
Fellow middle infielder Nick Gonzales just missed the top 100, checking in at no. 101 overall. Outfielder Matt Fraizer, starting pitcher Jared Jones, and two-way player Bubba Chandler round out the rest of the Pittsburgh Pirates top 10 prospects in the new FanGraph rankings.