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Termarr Johnson, Paul Skenes, Anthony Solometo pace Pirates on MLB Pipeline positional lists

Johnson and Skenes are both the No. 1 prospect at their position

2022 Major League Baseball Draft Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Termarr Johnson remains the top second-base prospect in baseball. In their annual top 10 prospects list by position, MLB Pipeline placed Johnson No. 1 after finishing 2023 at the top.

Oddly enough, Johnson is not regarded as the second baseman with the best power, arm, fielding ability, speed, or hit tool, but the highest ceiling.

“The shine has come off Johnson’s bat a little, considering it was once considered to be a 70-grade tool coming out of the Draft, but the 2022 No. 4 overall pick was impressively patient in his first full season and proved his power can play in the pros with 18 homers between Single-A and High-A,” Sam Dykstra of MLB Pipeline wrote in his prospect piece. “If the hit and power tools remain comfortably above-average, there’s real All-Star potential here for the Bucs prospect, who will still only be 19 on Opening Day.”

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ 2022 first-round pick (No. 4 overall) was awarded a 60-hit tool and power, 50 run, 50 arm, 55 field, and 55 overall on MLB Pipeline’s 20-80 scale.

Touted as the best bat in the 2022 draft, Johnson played 105 games between Bradenton and Greensboro last year. The 19-year-old lefty combined to slash .244/.422/.438 with a .860 OPS. Johnson notched 12 doubles, 18 home runs, 59 RBIs, 10 steals, and 101 walks, compared to 120 strikeouts in 359 at-bats.

Jace Jung (Tigers), James Triantos (Cubs), Thomas Saggese (Cardinals), and Justin Foscue (Rangers) round out the top five.

Paul Skenes was undoubtedly the No. 1 right-handed pitching prospect over Jackson Jobe (Tigers), and Cade Horton (Cubs). The No. 1 overall pick allowed four runs in his Double-A debut but did not allow another player to cross the plate in four other appearances during his first Minor League Baseball season. He struck out 10 batters in 6.2 innings. Skenes owns one of the best, if not the best, fastballs in the minors (80-grade), 70-grade slider, and 55-grade changeup.

21-year-old lefty Anthony Solometo premiered at No. 5 on the top 10 left-handed pitchers list. The Pirates 2021 second rounder pitched 24 games between Greensboro and Altoona, split in half with 12 starts apiece. He delivered a 2.30 ERA with a .207 opponent batting average and 68 strikeouts in 58.2 innings. His transition to Double-A wasn’t as smooth but eventually found his footing with a 4.35 ERA in 51.2 innings that is not indicative of the overall body of work. Solometo delivered a 4-7 record with a 3.26 ERA in 110.1 innings.