Under the Radar: Three Sleeper Pirates Prospects to Watch in 2022

Welcome to the third installment of “Under the Radar” here at P2! Last week we looked at Bear Bellomy, Joquin Tejada, and Rodolfo Nolasco. Today, we will look at another set of prospects in the Pirates system that deserve some recognition for 2022.

Joelvis Del Rosario

Del Rosario was signed out of the Dominican during the 2017-2018 international signing period and wasn’t considered a notable signing at the time. Standing 5’11 and weighing in at 170 lbs, Rosario has amassed 100.0 innings pitched and managed a 3.26 ERA during his three years in the Pirates system. 

During the 2021 season, Rosario was used in a “swingman” role in the Florida Complex League and overall looked good. In 38.2 innings, Rosario carried a 3.26 ERA, a career high 12.1 K/9, and a career best BB/9 at 2.3. Another great stat for Rosario was his xFIP right around his ERA at 3.31 (a career best). 

Opponents slashed .224/.287/.336 with an OPS of .622. The stats just mentioned, plus being just 20-years-old, Rosario may be seen as an “up and comer,” while judgment will be held until he faces competition at Low-A; his case does have a decent argument.  

Antwone Kelly

Kelly is a fun prospect, one of those reasons is the fact that he is from Aruba. The only other Aruba natives in the majors are Xander Bogarts and Chadwick Tromp. Other than the fun tidbit, Kelly has some qualities that garner some attention. 

When the Pirates signed Kelly during the 2020-2021 international signing period, he hit around the high 80s’ low 90s’ mark with his fastball. Kelly is now hitting around 97 MPH. That is a huge jump for someone who is just 18-years-old (was 17 when he hit 97). 

Kelly has some bugaboos with a high walk rate in his first year as a pro with 3.9 BB/9, two wild pitches, and four hit batters. In 37.0 IP, Kelly did keep the gopher balls to a minimum with two given up, and he even managed a 9.5 K/9 in the DSL. Kelly will probably stay in the DSL another year to get some seasoning and bolster up his pitching repertoire.  

Geovanny Planchart

Planchart signed with the Pirates during the 2018-2019 international signing period. Fielding the catcher position, Planchart finds himself staffing a position that was once a weakness in the organization and is now a strength. Having too many is always a good problem (remember that, kids). 

Very small sample size for Planchart during the 2021 season in the complex league, but during that small sample size, the young man hit the ball consistently. In 98 plate appearances, Planchart slashed .321/.398/.464 and had an OPS of .862. Although the power numbers weren’t there, Planchart also managed to hit line drives around 22% of the time. 

Bulking up from his 176 pound listing should do Planchart some good, and looking at his recent posts in the gym, I’d say he’s thinking the same thing. Mind you, Planchart has played in a total of 58 games in his professional career, but at the age of 20, he could find himself in Low-A. Seeing a bump in competition should do the young Venezuelan good. 


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Under the Radar: Three Sleeper Pirates Prospects to Watch in 2022

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