The Pittsburgh Pirates announced their first roster cuts of Spring Training and it’s a large group of top prospects. These cuts came quicker than usual, but that was necessary with Spring Training being so short and the Pirates brought a large group of players to Major League camp this year. With some actual position battles to decided in Pittsburgh and the need to get everyone ready for the big league and minor league seasons, there’s no surprise that the first group of cuts came quickly and it was a large group of players who weren’t part of that big league roster competition.
Travis Swaggerty was optioned to Indianapolis, while Henry Davis, Nick Gonzales, Quinn Priester, Mike Burrows, Carmen Mlodzinski, Ji-hwan Bae, Matt Fraizer, Cody Bolton, Adrian Florencio, Kyle Nicolas, Tahnaj Thomas and Jared Triolo have been reassigned to minor league camp. The first five players on that list of minor league reassignments are consistently rated among the top ten prospects in the system, while the rest rate among the top 30 prospects for most people. Swaggerty and Fraizer have also made top ten appearances in the updated prospect rankings this off-season.
With Opening Day in St Louis just 16 days away, and the Pirates still carrying 52 healthy players in Major League camp, you can expect the next set of cuts soon.
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.