5 Pittsburgh Pirates prospects who are turning their seasons around

A handful of the Pirates' top prospects didn't get off to good starts to 2024, but have started to turn their campaigns around for the better.
Jul 29, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first round draft pick Termarr Johnson,  the fourth overall player drafted in the 2022 MLB Draft, enters the dugout for batting practice before the Pirates host the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 29, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first round draft pick Termarr Johnson, the fourth overall player drafted in the 2022 MLB Draft, enters the dugout for batting practice before the Pirates host the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Mitch Jebb

The Pirates took Mitch Jebb after they selected Paul Skenes in the 2023 draft. Jebb came out of college as a heavily contact-focused hitter, predictating his game on not striking out, hitting for a good batting average, and drawing some walks. Plus, he’s fast and uses his ability to reach base to its fullest potential. But the first few months of the 2024 season weren’t good for the infield prospect, who started his year out at Greensboro.

At the end of May, Jebb was batting just .200/.264/.300. Not hitting for much power wasn’t a massive surprise, but Jebb striking out over a quarter of the time was; a player with his skill set should never be sporting a 26.3% K%. Jebb also didn’t walk at a high rate, with an 8% BB%. While his .255 batting average on balls in play didn’t do him any favors, it doesn’t take away from the fact he was striking out way more often than expected. When everything was said and done, he had just a .311 wOBA and 89 wRC+ when the month wrapped.

Things have seemed to start to click for Jebb as he headed into June. He has now hit .267/.427/.344 with a .378 wOBA and 131 wRC+ over his last 119 plate appearances. He’s now drawing far more walks with a 20.3% BB%, and he’s also cut his strikeouts down significantly to just 19.3%. Sure, he’s not hitting for any power still, but that’s to be expected. Jebb has been both aggressive and successful on the basepaths as well, attempting 13 steals and swiping the bag a dozen times.

Jebb is hitting much closer to expectations now. He’s not striking out frequently, is hitting for contact, and is also drawing walks at a much higher rate. With Jebb’s speed, his OBP currently being above .400 makes him a valuable member of Greensboro’s lineup and hopefully, someday, the Pirates’ as well.