Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Best Second Halves Of 2023

These Pirates prospects had outstanding second halves to the 2023 season.

Jul 22, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Nick Gonzales (39) runs
Jul 22, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Nick Gonzales (39) runs / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Termarr Johnson

The Pirates took Termarr Johnson with the fourth overall pick in 2022, and set what at the time was the highest signing bonus for a 4th overall selection. Johnson, like many of the names we have talked about and will talk about today, did not do poor in the first half. But he caught fire in the second half and improved his game, which helped him perform exceptionally well after the All-Star break.

In the second half of 2023, Johnson batted .260/.451/.487. Johnson got on base at an extreme rate. He drew a walk (23.4%) almost as often as he got a hit. Notably, he is the first player who was 19 years old or younger to reach 100+ walks in a season since 2005. He also hit for good pop, racking up ten homers in 205 plate appearances and having a .227 isolated slugging percentage. Johnson showed off his hit tool, only striking out 20% of the time. His final line in the second half included a .437 wOBA and 161 wRC+.

Johnson still hit well in the first half of the year with a .800 OPS, .388 wOBA, and 126 wRC+, but these numbers pale compared to his second-half numbers. Johnson still walked over 20% of the time (20.6%), but he was striking out at an alarming rate to start the year. His K% was 30.7%, though as stated in his second-half numbers, that was cut down by just over 10%.

Johnson has power, speed, and a solid glove at second base. His hit tool might be the best in the system. He showed off some outstanding stuff in the second half of 2023, making some very promising improvements. Johnson might make it to Double-A while still being a teenager. Keep in mind only four prospects received 100+ plate appearances at Double-A this year while still in their age-19 or younger season. Maybe Johnson will be among those players next season.