Best late round draft prospects in the Pirates' system

Let's look at the Pirates' best late round draft prospects in the system.

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Braylon Bishop

The Pirates took many top high school talents in the 2021 draft. Four of their first five picks were high schoolers who signed for over-slot value. But in the 14th round of the draft, the Bucs took one of the more noteworthy high school outfielders, Braylon Bishop. Baseball America considered him a top 100 draft prospect at the time, but the start of his pro career hasn't gotten off as he likely would have hoped it would.

Last season, Bishop only came to the plate 146 times but batted a poor .195/.342/.288 with a .327 wOBA and 80 wRC+. Bishop struggled greatly with limiting strikeouts and lifting the ball. He had a 28.8 percent strikeout rate and 53.2 percent ground ball rate. The high rate of ground balls also led to a lack of power, with an ISO of just .093. The one silver lining from his brief season was his strong 16.4 percent walk rate, the ninth-highest among any Pirate minor leaguer with as many plate appearances as he had.

Bishop is considered a center fielder through and through with a strong enough arm to play the corners as well. He's also plenty fast and has stolen 23 bases in 26 attempts in 83 career games. But there were always massive questions about Bishop's hit tool. 2023 wasn't an outlier in strikeout rate as his career strikeout rate is 27.9 percent. Although he has shown decent raw power, the strikeouts plus the ground balls hinder his output.

But it still wasn't all that long ago. Bishop was considered a potential massive draft steal by the Pirates in the 14th round. Nor was it all that long ago that he was considered a top 100 talent in the draft. Bishop is only 20 and turns 21 on April 23. Two things Bishop needs to do with Bradenton this year are strike out slightly less and lift the ball more often.