The All-Star break is ending, and teams in the Pirates’ system are beginning the final stretch of the minor league season. After a good portion of the system got off to a rough start to the year, most are starting to put it together, and are in line to finish strong.
As the teams play through the final bit of games, I wanted to take a team-by-team look at one thing to watch for down the stretch.
Who Still Makes Their Debut from Indianapolis?
While this isn’t limited to Indianapolis, as the Pirates haven’t been shy about promoting straight from Altoona, their Triple-A affiliate seem in a better position to have a few players make their debut by the end of the year.
Ji-Hwan Bae is the obvious name, as he’s been playing well all season at Indianapolis. It would take roster move it would take to get him on the 40-man roster, which might be factoring into him remaining in Triple-A. At some point, since he must be added to the 40-man this off-season, we will likely see him get his opportunity.
Through the first couple months of the season, Mike Burrows seemed unstoppable. He earned a promotion to Indianapolis but has run into a rough patch as of late since being called up. He missed time last year with an injury, and probably won’t be rushed to the majors due to his previous low inning totals.
Quinn Priester’s Path
The Pirates have understandably been cautious with their former first round pick this year, who missed the start of the season with an oblique injury. He’s been pitching once-per-week, or every six days so far since coming back. While you don’t want to overload him, it’d be nice for them to start loosening the reigns again as we head down the final stretch.
Priester is getting good results, but the process has been sticky at times, so it’d be nice to see him get as much work as possible. He’s a prime Arizona Fall League candidate as he’s probably just now fully ramped up.
He last pitched on the 16th, so Friday would be on five day’s rest, it’d be nice to see him go ahead and get the nod to kick things off.
The Catchers Continue To Hit in Greensboro
Greensboro has two of the system’s best catching prospects, and after having to adjust to the role full-time again after Henry Davis was promoted, you can see their comfort level returning at the plate.
Since the start of June, Endy Rodriguez has a wRC+ of 136, and Abrahan Gutierrez is at 107. They’ve done this at the plate, all the while playing good defense.
The Young Bradenton Rotation Continues To Make Strides
You are always looking for the little improvements throughout the season. With Bradenton we have seen that in their rotation. Carlos Jimenez has emerged has a legitimate top-30 prospect in the system, Po-Yu Chen is making strides as the year has gone on and Anthony Solometo and Bubba Chandler have joined on as of late.
The talent is there, let’s see how they finish.
Pirates Prospects Spotlight
Today: Three Early Games Today
Daily Video Rundown
Yesterday: First Look At The Day Three Draft Picks
THIS WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS
Song of the Day