The MLB regular season has officially come to a close, and for Pirates’ fans that means no more having to trudge through anymore games of lackluster hitting production, poor pitching rotations, and smart phones flying out of baserunners pockets. With that being the Pittsburgh Pirates have one of the deepest list of minor league prospects in all of baseball. Several of Pittsburgh’s prospects are already making compelling cases for promotion to the majors in 2023.
As the first overall pick in the 2021 draft, there is maybe no one higher on the Pirates agenda then catcher Henry Davis.
After having a dominant showing at Louisville, the Pirates selected Davis first in the draft and very quickly Davis has shown huge improvements in the minor leagues. Davis has one of the strongest arms in the game right now, and although he had his batting slumps, he’s shown to be affective at the plate.
Davis isn’t expected to arrive at the big league club until 2024, but if he continues to develop the way he has, he could make the jump sooner. Davis currently ranks 19th on the MLB’s top 100 prospect list.
The Pirates bullpen needs a lot of work, and one of the guys to inspire that turnaround could be pitcher Quinn Priester.
Priester shined in Altoona and has continued to make waves since his assignment to Indy. He was selected to the 2021 Futures Game after leading the High-A East in ERA.
The mechanics are solid, the athleticism is noteworthy, and now the biggest hurdle in the way of Priester is pitching a whole game at the highest level, but he has been able to manage his stamina since coming back from injury. Priester currently ranks 44th on the MLB’s top 100 prospect list.
The spark and excitement that Oneil Cruz has been able to provide this year with the highs and lows of his power at the plate, may be nicely complimented by a contact hitter and aggressive base runner like Liover Peguero.
A product of the Dominican baseball system, Peguero was an excellent trade piece following the departure of Starling Marte, and has been turning heads in camp and throughout his minor league career.
In Altoona this year, Peguero hit for .259 with an OBP of .305 while tallying 65 hits and 28 stolen bases. With his ETA being 2023, it may be wise for the Buccos to give Peguero that chance early on next season as he could be a huge asset offensively. Peguero is currently ranked 62nd on the MLB’s top 100 prospect list.
MLB Pipeline created a prospect team of the year, and it deemed Pirates prospect Endy Rodriguez to be the best catching prospect in baseball. Rodriguez’s ability to play both sides of the ball was one of the biggest indications of a star in the making as his play behind the plate and in the batter’s box has been sensational.
The switch-hitting catcher has shown patience and confidence at the plate, picking and choosing methodically when on offense. Defensively, his athleticism and explosiveness is best utilized behind the backstop, but he also more than capable of playing first base or in the outfield. Rodriguez is also projected to be in the majors in 2024, but the ability, maturity and overall presence may see him land in Pittsburgh sooner than we think. Rodriguez is currently ranked 97th on the MLB’s top 100 prospect list.