The Pittsburgh Pirates Minor League affiliates lay claim to some of the most exciting prospects in baseball, with several cracking the top 100 on the newest list compiled by Baseball America. Some familiar faces are once again on this list for 2023, with others making appearances for the first time as they have impressed so far this season.
The highest ranking Bucco at the number 22 spot is catcher Endy Rodriguez. Though he missed the earliest part of the season, Rodriguez has shown why he deserves to be this high. After some obscurity in the previous year, Rodriguez is now the top prospect in Pittsburgh’s system and it may not be long until he is donning the black and gold.
A versatile athlete and excellent hitter, there is not much Rodriguez cannot do. Expect a promotion to the Pirates sometime soon.
Not far behind Rodriguez is his new Triple-A teammate and fellow catcher, Henry Davis. All of the notoriety that Rodriguez was lacking, Davis had day one as he was the Pirates’ top choice in the 2021, going first overall. Another versatile athlete, Davis is explosive at the catcher position with a rocket arm and knack for hitting for contact and especially power. The Pirates certainly have a good problem on their hands with two top-rated catchers, as Davis comes in at number 36.
The top pick for the Pirates in 2022 was Termarr Johnson, and the young second baseman has landed at number 54 overall. Johnson has not had great opportunity so far in his professional career to showcase his talents as he has been dealing with some injuries since the start of camp. However, the small sampling that we have seen has been encouraging, as he gets settled in with Bradenton to try a get a whole season of pro ball under his belt.
Rounding out the top 100, we see pitchers Luis Ortiz and Jared Jones at 90 and 91 respectively.
Ortiz has seen some big league action this year, as he was promoted to Pittsburgh last month when Vince Velasquez was placed on the IL, and had his debut against the Rockies. He did endure a tough debut, but has since collected a win, and I am still under the firm belief that a influx of young hungry guys could do the rotation some good. Mitch Keller is obviously killing it, but Rich Hill has been wildly inconsistent (which means he’ll probably have the game of his life the next time out) so Ortiz being in the Majors is a good thing.
On the other hand is Jared Jones, who is far in a way the best pitcher in Altoona these days. Jones has a canon for an arm, consistently coming in anywhere between 96-99mph on his fast balls. A power thrower for sure, Jones is still fine tuning the control and pitch depth required to play in the Majors, but has made incredible steps towards that since being drafted in 2020.
Several other prospects for the Pirates could’ve cracked the top 100 in my opinion, as I am shocked that Quinn Priester was omitted. With that being said, it seems the future of the team is bright, and the prospects for Pittsburgh are really shining amongst some of the best in baseball.