Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: MLB Pipeline's New Top 30
MLB Pipeline has released their new preseason top 30 prospects rankings for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Let's take a look at some notable rankings from the list.
It's that time of year again, time for baseball prospects rankings. On Wednesday, MLB Pipeline released their updated top 30 prospects list for the Pittsburgh Pirates. What are some notable rankings from the list?
Rising to the top of MLB Pipeline's rankings is last year's first-round pick, infielder Termarr Johnson. Johnson was arguably the best pure hitter in last year's draft and posted a 139 wRC+ at Low-A last season, so seeing him in the no. 1 spot is not a surprise.
Following Johnson is the organization's highly touted catching duo of Endy Rodriguez and Henry Davis. Both Rodriguez and Davis should join the team's MLB roster this season and both have impressed thus far in Grapefruit League action. Starting pitcher Quinn Priester at no. 4 and infielder Nick Gonzales at no. 5 round out the team's top 5.
Honestly, seeing Gonzales that high comes as a bit of a surprise. He has watched his prospect stock plummet since the start of last season, especially after struggling as much as he did with the strikeout at Double-A last season.
Infielder Liover Peguero, right-handed pitcher Bubba Chandler, Luis Ortiz, Mike Burrows, and left-hadned pitcher Anthony Solometo round out the team's top 10. With Chandler transitioning to a full-time pitching role this season, it would not be a surprise to see him have a big season and shoot up prospect boards. A fellow 2021 draft class member, Solometo is coming of a 2.64 ERA/2.83 FIP season at Low-A Bradenton. Look for him to make a big jump this season as well.
Luis Ortiz was one of the biggest risers in the team's top 30. He went from unranked to being in the top 10 at no. 8. This probably should not come as a surprise after both his minor league and major league success last season.
One prospect outside the top 10 who likely should be in the top 10 is right-handed starting pitcher Jared Jones. As a 20-year-old, Jones made 26 starts pitching 122.2 innings at the High-A level last seaosn which is impressive for a prospect that young. While Jones posted just a 4.62 ERA and a 4.85 FIP, he did flash plus stuff which included a 26.7% strikeout rate. His walk rate also dropped from 11.3% in 2021 to 9.6% last season.
Jones has some of the best pure stuff in the Pirate farm system. Jones could find himself entrenched in the Double-A rotation at just age-21 this season. If that happens and his stuff continues to look like plus stuff, Jones should shoot into top-10 organizational prospect rankings.
Rodriguez, Davis, Peguero, Ortiz, Burrows, and Ji-Hwan Bae (no. 13) are all players who could emerge as key cogs for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2023. Gonzales could be in this discussion as well, but I have hard time envision him panning out. Starting pitcher Kyle Nicolas (no. 20) and outfielder Travis Swaggerty (no. 22) could be in this boat as well.
Some other notable members on the top 30 list are recent international free agent signees starting pitcher Jun-Seok Shim (no. 26), outfielder Shalin Polanco (no. 27), and shortstop Yordany De Los Santos (no. 29). All three are teenaged prospects who could really begin to turn heads in 2023. Seeing each of them make big leaps on prospect boards would not be a surprise.
You can checkout MLB Pipeline's complete top 30 list here.