Pittsburgh Pirates: Best Prospect at Each Position

Here is the best Pirates prospect at each position.
2023 - P Paul Skenes, Pirates
2023 - P Paul Skenes, Pirates / Gary Cosby Jr. / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Shortstop - Yordany De Los Santos

The Pirates signed Yordany De Los Santos alongside Blanco Jr. in the same off-season international period. De Los Santos also has a fairly high offensive ceiling and is a potential breakout prospect to watch for 2024. De Los Santos is primarily a shortstop, but has played a handful of games at third base as well. He also has the potential to hit for plus power.

De Los Santos opened the 2023 season at the Pirates’ Florida Complex League affiliate where he hit .328/.397/.463 with a .410 wOBA, and 126 wRC+. De Los Santos may have only hit one home run through 78 plate appearances, but he also swiped 13 bags, had a 9% walk rate, and a K% well below 20% at 14.1%. Because of how well De Los Santos performed at the FCL, the Pirates quickly promoted him to Bradenton.

However, De Los Santos wasn’t able to carry his production from the FCL to A-Ball. In 153 plate appearances, De Los Santos hit just .184/.322/.256. The only improvement he made was to his walk rate, upping it to 14.4%. His K% nearly tripled to 39.2%, and his ISO dropped below .100 to just .072. His final line included a .299 wOBA, and 72 wRC+.

While De Los Santos has yet to hit for much in-game power, he’s consistently been able to show plus raw power. His hit tool remains on the fringy side of things, with FanGraphs projecting it as a 45-grade weapon. He is currently a solid base runner, but there is some concern how his speed will play as he continues to fill his frame out. He is listed at 6’1”, 170-LBS and he won’t turn 19 until February 17th.

As a defender, he’s shown off a solid glove at shortstop with a strong arm that can play on the left side of the infield. His range will determine if he will remain at shortstop long term. He has the athleticism, however, which could make up for the potentially fringy speed that could develop if he fills his frame out more.

Honorable mentions: Tsung-Che Cheng