Since we're halfway through the MLB season, here's an update on the prospects in the Pirates system.
The Pirates Top Prospects in AA & AAA
Henry Davis (.268 AVG .399 OBP & .882 OPS)
Davis is the Pirate's Top Prospect and he's been inconsistent in Double A mostly due to a nagging wrist injury that he's currently being sidelined for. He struggled at first in AA but recently he's turned it on before he was put on the Injured List. I'm not that concerned considering its the same injury that never healed, some time off should help him.
Nick Gonzales (.247 AVG, .366 OBP & .743 OPS)
He's had a down year, and is currently injured. The #3 Pirates prospect hasn't been living up to his hype. He was starting to get hot right before he was injured then put on the 60 day Injured-List.
Liover Peguero (.275 AVG, .315 OBP & .737 OPS)
He had a really good start to the season but since he's been not as efficient at the plate, he did play 1 game in the MLB and got a hit, but since May, it's been rough for Liover with an OPS under .600 since June 1st.
Matt Fraizer (.231 AVG, .292 OBP & .666 OPS)
Not great overall numbers, but the Pirates Minor League Player of the Year last season has been on fire in July with a .321 average .491 slugging and .880 OPS. He's not someone I'm that high on, but he was fantastic last season and if he could get up to that level again it would be huge for the organization.
Matt Gorski (.294 AVG, .375 OBP, & 1.039 OPS)
Matt Gorski burst onto the prospect scene as a member of the High-A club hitting 17 home runs from April 8th to May 22nd which was the most in Pro baseball ahead of Aaron Judge when he had 16. He's slowed down a tiny bit since being promoted to Altoona but since the promotion has a .934 OPS and 152 wRC+ is 18th in Double A for players under 25.
Matt Gorski hit three home runs yesterday. His third one was a walkoff.— Young Bucs (@YoungBucsPIT) May 23rd, 2022
It's confusing to almost every Pirate fan why Bae is not in the major leagues. He's been raking in Triple-A all season, while Josh VanMeter has been hitting like garbage on the MLB squad. I don't really have an explanation for why he's still down there.
Mason Martin (.196 AVG, .265 OBP & .688 OPS)
I was never a huge Martin fan, and I wasn't expecting him to be this good the entire season in Triple-A, when from April 5th to May 31st he was slugging .556 with an .870 OPS. Since then though his slugging% is .233, batting average .133 and his OPS is .426. He fell off really hard after he was all the talk in the Pirates community.
Players that got sent down
Bligh Madris was raking in Triple-A before his call up, he played okay in the majors but his OPS since returning to AAA is below .700. Tucupita Marcano has been hitting okay in Triple-A since being sent down, an OPS around .730. Swaggerty was red hot when he was called up but since being sent down he's been slashing .221/.260/.400.
Curve and Indians Pitchers in the Pipeline Top 30 this season:
- Tanhaj Thomas 3.44 ERA in 34 IP
- Kyle Nicolas 4.27 ERA in 55.2 IP
- Carmen Mlodzinski 4.25 ERA in 64.2 IP
- Quinn Preister 3.33 ERA in 27 IP
- Mike Burrows 3.86 ERA in 70 IP
Other Prospects to Pay Attention to
Endy Rodriguez Greensboro Grasshoppers (.276 AVG, .362 OBP & .836 OPS)
Endy is the Bucs #6 prospect on Pipeline and #7 on FanGraphs and has performed well at every level of the majors. He's a name I don't see Pirates fans talking about as much as other prospects in the system, especially when he's been one of the best.
Bubba Chandler Bradenton Marauders (.229 AVG, .391 OBP & .962 OPS in 35 AB, 2.00 ERA in 18.0 IP)
He's the most interesting prospect in the Pirates minor league system. He's a two way player, drafted last year by the Bucs, hitting well and pitching well so far in the minors. He started this year in Rookie Leagues but threw 15.1 innings without allowing an Earned Run. He's barely played in Bradenton, but he's someone to watch out for.
Rodolfo Nolasco Bradenton Marauders (.238 AVG .333 OBP & .771 OPS in 256 AB)
After an unimpressive first 2 months, he's been on fire for Bradenton. The 22nd ranked Pipeline prospect for the Pirates, 20th on FanGraphs, has been hitting .281/.387/.555 (.942 OPS, 10 HR & 36 RBIs) since May 19th. He has hit a home run in 5 of his last 6 games including a streak of 4 in a row earning earning him Florida State League Player of the Week.
Rodolfo Nolasco hit a homer in FOUR straight games last week! pic.twitter.com/QhNznFn0KO— Young Bucs (@YoungBucsPIT) July 12, 2022
Maikol Escotto Bradenton Marauders (.198 AVG .270 OBP & .641 OPS in 202 AB)
The numbers are not very good overall, he struggled in High-A and got sent down to Low-A in July and he's turned it on. In July he has a .831 OPS along 2 HR and 9 RBIs. His struggle at a higher level is concerning, but he's a prospect that should be getting more recognition soon if he keeps it up.
Jesus Castillo FCL Pirates (.413 AVG .488 OBP & .928 OPS in 75 AB)
Another not that well known prospect currently hitting well in the minors for the Pirates. He's been consistent too, hitting over .400 in June and July this season.
Anthony Solometo Bradenton Marauders (3.26 ERA, 19.1 IP)
Solometo is the #7 prospect for the Pirates on MLB Pipeline and the #15 prospect for the Pirates on FanGraphs. He is one of the more unique pitchers to watch especially because of his funky delivery.
His WHIP is just above 1 (1.05) and he's pitched very well excluding one game where he allowed 4 ER in 2 and one third innings.
Axiel Plaz DSL Pirates Gold (.420 AVG .525 OBP & 1.325 OPS in 50 AB)
Axiel was signed about 4 months ago, and is not well known at all by pirates fans, or even google considering I can barely find anything on him. He's been very good in the Dominican Summer League raking in 50 at bats. Plus he's only 16 years old!
C Prospect, Axiel Plaz #Pirates— Kody Duncan (@KodyDuncanPGH) February 8, 2022
One of the highly sought after international catching prospects this year.
Signed for $315,000 back on January 15th with the Pittsburgh Pirates pic.twitter.com/MOzRFpcBGG
Isaias Dipre DSL Pirates Gold (.315 AVG .404 OBP & .926 OPS in 96 AB)
Isaias Dipre is a 19 year old batting very well in the DSL currently. Another relatively unknown prospect, was not a ranked international prospect from the Dominican Republic. He had a much stronger month of June, has quieted down a bit but his hot start is still worth taking a look at in the prospect world.
Tony Blanco Jr. DSL Pirates Gold (#11 International Prospect)
Tony Blanco Jr. is very intriguing, the 6'6 243lb 17 year old, is current on the 7-day Injured list but he already has a home run in 5 at bats in the summer league level.
Here is Tony Blanco Jr’s Home run from earlier today.— Kody Duncan (@KodyDuncanPGH) July 12, 2022
Yes he is big kid
6’6" 250 lbs and only 17 years old pic.twitter.com/Q2Z6B971Ob
Wilber Dotel FCL Pirates (0.41 ERA, 22.0 IP)
Wilber is a 19 year old, he's a pitcher worth mentioning. In the Dominican Summer League he had a good 3.34 with an average at .185. Now he's really turned it on at a higher level allowing even less hits and runs, with a WHIP of 0.73, K/9 of 11.05, BB/9 of 2.05 and has allowed 0 home runs this season and 2 last year. Wouldn't surprise me if he got a promotion soon.