Fangraphs has posted their list of the top prospects for the Pittsburgh Pirates and they took a deep dive into the system, listing 61 players total. We have seen recent top 100 prospect lists released, so we have a good idea who should be near the top of this list, but this one really goes in depth.
There are no surprises for the top six players, just the spots are different than some others. Fangraphs has Oneil Cruz, Henry Davis, Roansy Contreras, Liover Peguero, Quinn Priester and Nick Gonzales in that order. After that point, I’m sure most lists will have differing opinions. The rest of Fangraphs top ten (in order) is: Endy Rodriguez, Matt Fraizer, Jared Jones and Bubba Chandler. Those players will rate highly for everyone else I’m sure, but they won’t all be top ten due to the strong top-end of the farm system right now.
The 11-20 group has (in order) Ji-Hwan Bae, Michael Burrows, Travis Swaggerty, Miguel Yajure, Anthony Solometo, newly-acquired Kyle Nicolas, Diego Castillo, Maikol Escotto, Dariel Lopez and Rodolfo Nolasco.
You’ll have to check the link for the entire list and reports, but I wanted to point out some other names of note in their top 61.
Rick DeVito, acquired from the Atlanta Braves, ranks 22nd. He has pitched just 57 innings since being signed as an eighth round pick in 2019.
Lonnie White Jr, the highly regarded draft pick in 2021, who received $1,500,000 to sign, ranks 24th.
Po-Yu Chen, who was the top signing for the Pirates during the 2019-20 international signing period, ranks 25th.
Yordany De Los Santos, the top signing in the 2021-22 international class, is ranked 26th.
Tony Blanco Jr, who signed for less than De Los Santos this year, but ranks just as high among the signing class, ranks 29th for the Pirates.
Connor Scott, acquired from the Miami Marlins for Jacob Stallings, ranks 43rd, just above Hudson Head and Sammy Siani, who are all in the same mold (not meaning the same exact players, but it makes sense to group them together)
Shalin Polanco, the top signing in the 2020-21 international class, is ranked 45th.
Owen Kellington, this past year’s fourth round pick who received a slightly over-slot bonus to sign away from college, ranks 49th.
Fangraphs went hard on highly rated pitchers who struggled during the 2021 season, with Tahnaj Thomas, Eddy Yean and Brennan Malone, rated 52, 53 and 56 respectively. Tucupita Marcano, the top prospect in the Adam Frazier deal, ranks 55th. Tsung-Che Cheng ranks 60th. I’ll point out that everyone mentioned here in this paragraph has the same Future Value ranking, a group that goes from 48th place to 61st.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.