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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Nick Gonzales Named Top Second Base Prospect; Cruz Ranks Among Top Ten Shortstops

MLB Pipeline has been sharing their lists of the top ten prospects at every position this week. They went with pitchers on the first day, splitting into groups of lefties and righties. The next day covered the two corner infield spots. If you followed along with Baseball America’s lists of the top prospects at each position, you know that the Pirates didn’t have any real threats for any of those four positions. They had two right-handed pitchers listed on BA’s list, but that went much deeper and a top ten list of the right-handed pitcher position only covers elite prospects. Today’s lists covered second base and shortstop, where you would expect the Pirates to have some representation.

Nick Gonzales was named as the top second baseman by Pipeline. They also noted that he had the highest floor among all players in this group, and he was tied with two other players for having the best hit tool (65 scouting grade). Another interesting note is that they have his big league ETA listed as 2022. Gonzales ranked second at second base for BA.

The shortstop list includes Oneil Cruz in the ninth spot overall, in what is a strong year for the position. He was named as having the best arm in this group, getting a 70 grade. BA has Cruz rated much higher in this group, naming him as the fourth best at the position.

The catcher and outfield lists will drop tomorrow, followed by their top 100 prospects list on Friday.

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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.

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