Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Prospects You Forgot Were About

Sports Contributor Archive 2015
Sports Contributor Archive 2015 / Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages
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Braylon Bishop

The Pirates’ 2021 draft rejuvenated the farm system a ton. The Pirates got so many high-end prospects it’s easy to forget Braylon Bishop. Bishop was the Pirates’ 14th-round pick, but make no mistake, he doesn’t have 14th-round talent. MLB Pipeline considered him one of the top 100 draft prospects in the ‘21 draft class, and the Pirates signed him for over-slot money. There’s a lot to like about Bishop, but there’s also a lot to worry about.

Bishop generates good power from his lightning-quick bat speed. He also is a good athlete who runs well above average. That speed helps him cover a decent amount of outfield grass. Overall, he projects as an above-average defensive outfielder with a strong arm. In MLB Pipeline’s write-up on the young outfielder, they speculated he could eventually become a plus defensive center fielder.

But there’s certainly some concern with strikeouts. Bishop has been selective at the dish, drawing walks at a 14.8% rate through 162 plate appearances. However, he’s also struck out 27.2% of the time. Bishop has just five extra-base hits as well. Granted, he does have a .340 on-base percentage and has put his speed to good use, swiping 13 bases in 15 attempts.

2023 will be the outfield prospect’s age-20 campaign. He’ll get things kicked off at Bradenton, where a breakout campaign could be on the docket for Bishop. The Pirates’ A-Ball affiliate looks to have a decent amount of young talent. Aside from Bishop, you also have Lonnie White Jr., Shalin Polanco, Bubba Chandler, Owen Kellington, Hung-Leng Chang, and a handful of other talented young players. That’s a lot of talent overshadowing Bishop, but he could end up as one of the affiliate team’s best players if he starts to translate his talent into production.