The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Minor League system has several players ranked in the top 100 prospects in baseball as Pittsburgh looks to capitalize on the hopeful future stars at the next level. Several carried the distinction of high pre-draft hype, while others are more raw prospects at the moment. Regardless of status, there are numerous players worth mentioning in the season review of the Minor Leagues.
Lets start off with Henry Davis. Davis was the Pirates’ first overall pick in 2021, and has shined as one of the best prospects in baseball this past year.
The Golden Child hailing from the University of Louisville has been able to make solid contact with the ball, even in the midst of a midseason slump, as well as growing into a high caliber catcher.
Davis was selected to the 2022 Futures Game after tallying 56 hits with 10 home runs this season with an average .264 hitting percentage. Davis has also been solid defensively as he continues to mature behind the plate.
It is worth mentioning that his hitting average did slip to .207 once he made the promotion to Double-A, but a full season at that level with more experience should help to remedy that.
Davis is showing his worth and living up to some of the hype so far, but perhaps will require more time to develop than some are willing to give him.
The Pirates’ 2022 top draft choice was Termarr Johnson, and he is also ranked very highly amongst the hottest prospects in baseball. Johnson showed incredible bat skills in high school, and for as young as he is has already been given high praise for plate discipline and hand-eye coordination.
With that being said, there are still plenty of questions surrounding Johnson. The sample size was nearly as small as Johnson is short, with only 23 games to look at in his first year out of high school. Not to mention the puzzle of where defensively Johnson will best perform.
Second base makes the most sense, as he probably won’t be able to play the role of a Major League shortstop, but time will tell if he can be a solid defensive piece.
Johnson accomplished 14 hits in 23 games with just one homerun, but again there is still a lot unknowns, simply based on how much fans saw this season.
One of the players more prime for promotion than the former would be pitcher Quinn Priester. Pittsburgh’s bullpen is by far one of the weakest areas on the team, and it might be worth bringing in the young athletic Priester to give the rotation a jolt of energy.
Priester still needs to work on pitching an entire game at the Major League level, but team scouts and coaches were impressed with how he managed his stamina down the stretch this season.
Priester was one of the young Buccos assigned to the Arizona Fall League, where he played well enough to at least be recognized in the articles that followed.
But seriously, the kid has a solid four-pitch rotation, incredible athleticism on the mound and at every level and every promotion he’s received, Priester has been able to hang with the big dogs. In his first game with Triple-A affiliate Indianapolis, Priester pitched a shutout through five innings with six strikeouts.
Again, it may be a little early to throw him into the mess that is Pittsburgh’s pitching rotation, but Quinn Priester shined above the rest of the club’s Minor League pool this season, finishing with 47 starts through 48 games played, 13 wins and 228 strikeouts.
Other Pirates’ prospects that are worth mentioning would be Endy Rodriguez, who was the recipient of some high praise on MLB Network, as well as Liover Peguero, who got to see some time spent in Pittsburgh as well as Altoona.
Heading into the offseason and training camp, Pirates’ fans have reason to be excited about the prospects in their Minor League system, as long as they can endure more losing while some of these players further develop, and while no one wants to endure any more losing, at least its what the Pirates are good at.