As the regular season is just around the corner, Spring Training has been an awesome showcase for what could lie ahead for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2023.
Several of the non-roster invitees still playing in the minor leagues have made headlines of their own, as many of them participate in Bradenton.
Here are three individuals could be getting invitations to the show from the minors this season, each with a lot of potential at the next level:
For many the top prospect in Pittsburgh’s system, Endy Rodriguez has rocketed up minor league rankings in a blink of an eye. 2022 saw Rodriguez win the Honus Wagner award while also leading the minor leagues in batting average (.323) and on base percentage (.407) while also tallying 25 home runs and 95 RBIs. An above average athlete at the catcher position, Rodriguez could make an impact right away with the Pirates. If the presumed starter Austin Hedges starts to waver, it may not be very long into the season before Rodriguez gets the call.
Following a season where he impressed in AA, AAA, and the Arizona Fall League, pitcher Quinn Priester is someone that could be very valuable to Pittsburgh’s rotation. Possessing exceptional athleticism and size on the mound, Priester already passes the eye test. On top of that though, Pittsburgh’s top pitching prospect has performed well at every level of competition. The Pirates rotation is certainly one that needs some work, and the promotion of Priester could help to start steer the ship that is Pittsburgh’s pitching squad.
What a wild year it has been for pitcher Luis Ortiz. Though likely starting in AAA this year, that is by no means a knock on Ortiz who has went from just another prospect, to one of the most exciting for Pittsburgh. Ortiz at this time last year had not made it past Greensboro, but since then (admittedly with some bumps along the way) has rose through the minors and even made four appearances in towards the end of the season with the Pirates. Along with a real shot at promotion in 2023, Ortiz was also added to the Dominican Republic’s WBC squad.
Several other minor league players could see some time in Pittsburgh this year including but not limited to Henry Davis, Liover Peguero, and Nick Gonzales. The three listed however, have the best chance of promotion to Steel CIty’s baseball club.