Lonnie White Jr.
Lonnie White Jr.'s 2023 breakout was a great revelation for the Pirates. Drafted as the Pirates' second-round competitive balance pick back in 2021, White Jr. missed most of the 2022 season due to injury. Things were looking concerning for White Jr. at the start of 2023, as he suffered yet another injury and would miss the first two months of this season.
White Jr. returned in the first week of June. He didn't do too badly in his first few weeks, though he appeared in just 21 games and had 94 plate appearances going into the all-star break. But after returning to action, White Jr. found his groove and didn't look back until the end of the 2023 campaign.
Through his final 182 plate appearances, White Jr. was a .272/.408/.524 batter. The outfielder showed off his power and speed, going yard eight times with a .252 isolated slugging percentage and having a 100% success rate in stolen bases, swiping a dozen straight bags. White Jr. struck out a little more often than you'd like to see, with a 26.4% strikeout rate, but at the very least, he had an elite 15.9% walk rate. White had a .431 wOBA and 151 wRC+ in the second half of 2023.
White Jr.'s season is extremely promising. He's one tool improvement away from being considered a five-tool prospect, at least in my eyes. He hits for power, has great speed, a tremendous defensive glove, and a solid arm. His hit tool is fringy at best, but he has one of the highest ceilings in the Pirates' system. Let's see if he can carry that second-half production into Greensboro next season.