Pittsburgh Pirates prospects who could get promoted to A-Ball at the end of the month

The Pirates have a handful of top prospects at the Flordia Complex League who could soon get promoted to A-Ball.
On deck, (FCL) Pirates' outfielder Solomon Maguire. The Florida Complex League (FCL) Orioles played their first night game against the (FCL) Pirates at Sarasota's Ed Smith Stadium on Friday, July 15, 2022. Admission is free and you can bring your own food. For more up-coming games, check out the schedules of the Florida Complex League visit, mlb.com/orioles/spring-training/minor-leagues.

Sar Fcl Baseball 18
On deck, (FCL) Pirates' outfielder Solomon Maguire. The Florida Complex League (FCL) Orioles played their first night game against the (FCL) Pirates at Sarasota's Ed Smith Stadium on Friday, July 15, 2022. Admission is free and you can bring your own food. For more up-coming games, check out the schedules of the Florida Complex League visit, mlb.com/orioles/spring-training/minor-leagues. Sar Fcl Baseball 18 / THOMAS BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE / USA TODAY
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Tony Blanco Jr.

Along with De Los Santos, the Pirates also nabbed Tony Blanco Jr. in the 2021-2022 offseason international class. If Blanco figures his hit tool out, he's a potential 40-homer threat. There's obviously some work to be done, but he just turned 19 in mid-May. There's time, and Blanco's ceiling is extremely high.

Blanco has 98 plate appearances at the FCL, where he has hit .326/.398/.535 with a .436 wOBA and 146 wRC+. Blanco has struck out 28.6% of the time, which, to his credit, is almost a 10% improvement from last year. But he is also walking at a healthy 10.2% rate. He's also hit four homers with a .209 isolated slugging percentage. 

Blanco is huge and uses that size to his advantage. He is listed at 6'7", 245 pounds. That's the same weight as Giancarlo Stanton with an extra inch of height. He can generate huge raw power numbers with that large frame. He needs to lift the ball more frequently, however. While he's done so in 2024, his flyball rate is still below 40%. His massive frame has also led to questions about how his hit tool will develop. 

The Pirates originally signed Blanco Jr. as a corner outfielder, but he's spent almost all of his playing time at first base and designated hitter. Blanco has a decent arm that plays in left or right field, but given his size, it's probably for the best that he moves to first base in the long haul.

Getting some good footage and Statcast data on Blanco Jr. if and when he gets promoted to A-Ball Bradenton will be fun to watch. There aren't very many teenagers who are bigger than Giancarlo Stanton. Sure, he's a huge risk, but if he even improves his hit tool to a 40-45 grade level, he'll be a consistent power threat.