Five pitchers and three position players will represent the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Arizona Fall League when play begins next month
Every offseason, teams throughout Major League Baseball sends players to the Arizona Fall League. On Friday, we learned which players from the Pittsburgh Pirates will play in the AFL this season. These eight players will play for the Salt River Rafters and will be joined by Triple-A Indianapolis bullpen coach Drew Benes who will be the team’s pitching coach.
Infielder Jack Brannigan, Outfielder/First Base Jase Bowen, Catcher Carter Bins
Three of the eight Pirate prospects playing the AFL will be position players. Highlighting this group ins infielder Jack Brannigan. Selected out of Notre Dame with the 83rd overall pick in the 2022 draft, Brannigan put together a huge season in the Pirate farm system.
Brannigan started the season with Low-A Bradenton where he hit for a .253/.398/.451 slash line with a 135 wRC+ in 201 plate appearances. He drew walks at a 15.9% clip, struck out in 26.9% of his trips to the plate, and hit 7 home runs while posting a .198 isolated slugging (ISO) with the Marauders.
After being promoted to High-A Greensboro, Brannigan did not just continue to roll he improved. In 172 PAs with the Grasshoppers he hit for a .299/.382/.605 slash line with a 159 wRC+. His ISO jumped all the way to .306, which included hitting 12 home runs. Brannigan brings some much needed power potential to the Pirate farm system.
Like Brannigan, Jase Bowen brings big power potential to the table and found success across multiple minor league levels this season. Naturally an outfielder, Bowen also started to play some first base this season. This is a move that makes sense with the long-term future of first base being a major question mark for the Pirates.
Bowen spent the majority of his season with Greensboro, hitting for a .257/.333/.469 slash line with a 117 wRC+ and a .211 ISO in 493 PAs. Bowen hit 23 home runs with the Grasshoppers, to go with a 7.1% walk rate and strikeout rate of 24.5%.
With Double-A Altoona, Bowen had just 33 PAs and hit for a .219/.242/.438 slash line with a 77 wRC+. His overall numbers struggled with Altoona, but the power was there with 3 doubles, 2 triples, and an ISO of .219.
Carter Bins is essentially a non-prospect at this point. In 101 PAs with Altoona during an injury filled season, the catcher hit a for a .222/.297/.367 slash line to go with a 31% strikeout rate, .144 ISO, and a wRC+ of 83.