Pirates Discussion: The Pirates on the Top 100 Prospect Lists

Every Friday, we’ve been running a Pirates Discussion, aimed at giving a nod to our comment section. The Discussion has been led by Jeff Reed, aka Bucs’N’Pucks in the comment section.

I wanted to change the format for this article a bit, to have more of an actual discussion. We tried something new this week, where Jeff would be joined by a writer from the site, and a member of the comments.

After the Baseball America top 100 rankings came out, we had a discussion about the Pirates’ representation on the list. This discussion came before any other prospect lists were released, although a lot of ground was covered.

Joining the discussion this week is Anthony Murphy from the site and NMR from the comment section.

Tim Williams: Baseball America released their top 100 prospects. The Pirates had four players listed, with Endy Rodriguez ranked highest at 23rd overall. I felt like it was bold to say Endy was the top prospect back in August, but now it seems everyone is on board. What are your thoughts on Endy as the number one prospect?

Jeff Reed: I believe Endy Rodriguez being ranked as the Pittsburgh Pirates number one prospect is completely warranted. Going into his first year of full-season baseball in 2021 – which was also his first as a Pirate – Endy had shown quite a bit of potential, but was considered very raw. Through his year at Bradenton, he was able to put his raw tools on display that piqued a lot of evaluators and fans’ interest. His finished the season with an .892 OPS, in a league that has long been considered pitcher friendly. Then came 2022 where he started in Greensboro, he put his foot on the gas, and never let up throughout the entirety of the season while climbing all the way to Triple-A by season’s end. While displaying a set of tools that showed he could be an asset on both sides of the ball.

NMR: First off, hat tip to Tim for leading with Endy as both top catcher in the system and top prospect overall. Endy along with Luis Ortiz are huge developmental wins from the org this year. Endy’s ascension to the top spot speaks a lot about contemporary prospecting; he’ll never be considered a toolshed and did not carry much of a pedigree accordingly. He followed the old school path of earning it every step of the way and has developed into a guy whose full package outpaces the sum of his parts. Where Oneil will send a ball to Blawnox when he connects, Endy’s hit tool is his path to big league power. Smoke AA like he did, at his age, and the national outlets are happy to shove him up the list.

Anthony Murphy: I love Endy getting the attention as the top prospect in the system, and it’s really a two fold reason why.

First, the website was really the first one to throw that idea out there, and now national outlets are picking up on it.

Second, it’s a big win for the developmental side of things for the organization. The leap Endy has made in his time in the system is amazing, and is a big win for the front office.

Seeing his climb up the ladder was one of the best stories in all the minors and it’s good to see him get the recognition he deserves.

Jeff: I think NMR brings up a good point of Endy not being the customary “toolshed” type of prospect. He carries some of the other scout favorite terms to use such as “athletic” and shows “moxie”. His athletic ability has allowed him to grow his all around game

Both Anthony and NMR mention it being a win for the organization, along with Luis Ortiz, and I think this will help with future perception of the farm system. With giving examples of developing even lesser thought of prospects into potential above average players. Jack Suwinski is another that could be chosen as a strong example of identifying, acquiring, and developing. Of note, Luis Ortiz was signed under Neil Huntington, but aside from one year in short season ball, he was largely developed under Ben Cherington and John Baker.

NMR: One last thought on organizational intent, Endy looks to be the first of the “target hit tool, develop power” style popularized by the Altuve’s and Ramirez’s and Lindor’s of the baseball world. Good company!

Tim: One of the hardest things to qualify in scouting is the impact of the person. I tried to highlight the mind of Endy Rodriguez in that article, along with other intangibles like work ethic and his relationship with teammates. Luis Ortiz seems to have those same intangibles from my limited view. He obviously got everyone on board with his stuff at the end of the year. Are you guys surprised that he jumped over Quinn Priester in the rankings?

NMR: Surprised, no. Rankings love stuff plus performance, and Ortiz has the best stuff in the system backed by an upper level heater to end the year. The fastball-slider combo you saw to end the year smokes the same pairing from Jared Jones, and Ortiz has a sleeper change that according to Baseball Savant shows average movement plus 8 MPH of fastball separation. That’ll play!

I’ll take this chance to pump up Priester, though. He came with the Mitch Keller package, a fastball that lacks shape to miss bats and a big, beautiful curve that modern hitters can somehow smoke. He was set up to struggle with his transition to the show, except has already kickstarted his maturation by diversifying his arsenal to sinkers and sliders. Won’t wow crowds on stuff and strikeouts anymore, but still looks like a solid starter.

Jeff: I’m surprised, but at the same time I’m not. It’s a testament to the development of Luis Ortiz, but I believe it’s also an example of how the game is ever changing. Of how scouting and analyzing is ever changing, more than it has to do with Quinn Priester’s performance.

Pitching alone has seen a vast shift in the qualities sought after by scouts. At one point analysts loved pitchers with heavy fastballs and an ability to pitch on a downward plane. Next it was high velocity and ability to move it around the zone, as all other pitches worked off the fastball. With pitchers focusing more than ever on breaking and off speed pitches, evaluators have begun to turn their attention to the shape of the fastball. How the other pitches move in comparison to the fastball for deception through tunneling.

It isn’t so much that Quinn is less thought of now, as it is that Ortiz has displayed an arsenal that better represents future success.

Anthony: I’m a little surprised by Ortiz jumping Quinn, but I can see why from a certain perspective that it did happen. Priester doesn’t seem like the kind of pitcher that’s going to light up the score sheets with his strikeout numbers, but he will always find a way to get outs. In the end that’s all that matters but I can see the concern if a pitcher struggles to get minor league hitters to swing and miss.

I really liked Jeff’s point of how people have changed the way they evaluate prospects and maybe in years prior this wouldn’t even be a discussion. With the way the game has evolved, I guess it really shouldn’t be a surprise that they are so high on Ortiz now.

Jeff: Aside from Quinn Priester, we see how within only one professional season, evaluators have softened on Jack Leiter due to the shape of his fastball and whether it will see future success.

Tim: I’ve got Priester ahead of Ortiz, but I can see the argument for Ortiz as the top pitching prospect in the system. I don’t think BA has much of a difference between them. The good thing is the Pirates don’t have to choose. I could see both in Pittsburgh in 2023.

I am going to make you guys choose: Who is your top pitching prospect in the system? Ortiz? Priester? Someone else?

Jeff: For me personally, I still have Quinn Priester above Luis Ortiz. I actually still have Michael Burrows above Ortiz. I love the development of Ortiz, but I believe there’s still high reliever risk with him, even if it’s as a potential shutdown closer. The climb for Luis is heavily influenced by recency bias and his MLB showcase, but to me, Priester and Burrows both have shown signs and track records that they should have mid-rotation potential with higher floors of backend rotation types.

NMR: The top pitching prospect for the 2023 Pittsburgh Pirates is the first pick in the MLB Draft. Okay, that’s about as spicy as I can rev up the take machine up on this one.

There just seems to be perfectly rational arguments for any one of Ortiz, Priester, and Burrows. I will however strongly contend that much of what seems held against Ortiz stems from either bias or flat-out misses on the pre-2022 scouting front. We’ve fetishized age in prospecting to the point that a slightly older sign like him can largely fly under the radar with a tantalizing package of tools that would have evaluators fawning over a seven-figure bonus baby. He belongs.

Bubba Candler could make these answers look silly in just a few short months but going as far as to say he’s the best at the moment perpetrates the bias I just identified, and lord knows I’d never be a hypocrite. The club has a real chance to nab a true top of rotation starter at 1.1 in this year’s draft, and that elite arm would be the cherry on top of a nice bunch of 2-3 WAR starters making their way to the show. (Quick note of thanks to Tim and the gang for inviting me, and to all my fellow readers for putting up me with.)

Anthony: I still have Priester as the top pitching prospect in the system, although I did slightly debate possibly having Solometo there but want to see if he can get any sort of velocity bump first. Until then I’m going with Priester just because of the combination of ceiling/floor. Don’t think Ortiz ends up much more than a middle of the rotation guy, probably same as Priester but the difference is his floor is much lower as a reliever. Why I would probably have Burrows over Ortiz as well.

NMR brought up a great thing about the age, and that could slightly play a factor into Priester slipping as well. He’s been around longer and recency bias from the outlets want to pump up the new kids from the drafts and who broke out this year, ignoring Priester’s consistent performance moving up the ladder. What it comes down to, Priester is the best guarantee to be a consistent pitcher in the majors right now, and that’s all you really want in the end.

Jeff: NMR mentions a good point about age as a factor. It just goes to show development isn’t linear. Brett Baty got knocked for being an old high school senior, while Travis Swaggerty got boosted for being a young college junior.

Tim: Endy Rodriguez, Termarr Johnson, Henry Davis, and Luis Ortiz made the BA top 100 list. I expect Priester to make a few lists. Is there anyone else in this system who you see as top 100 prospects? (Note: This question was asked and answered before any other lists were released.)

Anthony: This one is interesting, as I feel like there could be two parts in answering this question. Right now, Mike Burrows, Nick Gonzales, and Liover Peguero all made cases to be Top 100 prospects, or have been before. Burrows struggled a bit in Triple-A but missed time with an injury that could have been impacting his play. Peguero struggled in Double-A but is still young enough to bounce back.

Gonzales would probably be the next name that would/should be in consideration for a Top 100 spot. I do think the strength in the system right now is the upside a lot of players have, and if some of them hit the field running this year they could have three more names immediately in the picture, but for now, just Gonzales.

NMR: I won’t claim to know the other 29 systems enough to make comparative arguments, so let’s say for argument sake that “Top 100 prospect” equates to a grade-50 future value. The prospecting pros seem to generally equate a grade-50 prospect with a big league average, 2 WAR player. So do I see any other 2 WAR players in the system?

Quinn Priester, absolutely. Mike Burrows would not surprise me a bit, while general pitcher risk stops me short of buying in fully. Liover needs to earn it, way too much risk coming to fruition right now. The other contender, Nick Gonzales, is in the danger zone for me. His struggles as a pro align directly with the greatest areas of known risk as a prospect, which were quality of competition and hitting environment. His swing profile also aligns with some significant recent busts, with close comps of Keston Hiura and Carter Keiboom both ascending to greater prospect heights before massively struggling against big league stuff. Scouts just might not have the correct read on how this swing plays in the show, as it seems they’ve been wrong more than right about these guys with tight loop, lifting and pull swings parlaying to plus hit tools. Bubba’s my pick to show up on the midseason updates, but patience for now.

Jeff: That one feels a little tough to answer. My short answer, I think a case could be made for Quinn Priester, Mike Burrows, Nick Gonzales, and even Bubba Chandler to a degree (who was on Baseball America’s list of poised to make the Top 100). I think Liover Peguero falling off makes sense. This ties back to something I’ve mentioned a few times in the comment threads: that the Pirates have a collection of interesting prospects that didn’t exceed expectations, but also didn’t necessarily fall short of them. It’s a collection of prospects that could be considered for the backend of lists, where it mostly will come down to evaluator’s personal preference. I believe come the mid-season updates, we will likely see a much better perception of the Pirates farm system, and could see a handful of prospects like Bubba Candler and even Anthony Solometo.

Tim: I’m going to close out with a question for our guest, and a thanks to NMR for joining us! Termarr Johnson and Henry Davis made the list. What are your thoughts on where the two recent first rounders fit into this team long-term?

NMR: I couldn’t muster a negative word about Termarr if I had to; Anthony has put together the best video on him yet, and my goodness is he fun to watch hit. His loose, fluid swing is flat-out fun to watch and you old school types will love seeing him sting balls in every part of the zone to every part of the field. While he’s your no-doubt second baseman of the future, the club has made an interesting policy decision with Oneil Cruz.

If Cruz is considered in their eyes a viable shortstop, there’s absolutely zero reason to relegate players like Johnson off the position in the future. I’ll leave whether that’s a good or bad thing to your own opinion. Hank Davis has lost some sizzle, as the pro game has shown his defensive chops to be short of what were hoped for and injuries have kept him from the reps needed in long catcher development paths. With that said there’s still a goldilocks development track where he ends up as the guy the Cubs thought they were getting with Kyle Schwarber, a 30-homer slugger who can cover time behind the plate and on the grass.

Jeff: This was a lot of fun. Thanks to Anthony and NMR for joining us for this discussion. Then thanks to Tim for moderating. I really look forward to seeing where the farm system is at by mid-season.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

Raised in Cranberry Twp, PA, Jeff attended Kent State University and worked in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before moving to New Orleans in September of 2012. His background is as an Engineering Designer, but he has always had a near unhealthy passion for Pittsburgh sports. Hockey and Baseball are his 1A and 1B, combined with his mathematical background, it's led to Jeff's desire in diving into analytics. Jeff is known as Bucs'N'Pucks in the comments, and began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2022 after contributing so many useful bits of information in the comment section.

Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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I’m not worthy of the company, many thanks to Tim and Jeff for the invite.

I don’t expect anyone to go easy on me of all people, but definitely sweating it out a bit being on this side of the discussion!


Nice work NMR, you did a fine job sharing your opinions on the players. I think most on here know you put in the time and research on the players and club to make an educated statement when you share your thoughts.


Please, don’t ‘sweat it.’ There are no right opinions or answers. You did fine.


You hung in there, now the punishment

So your the reason Gonzo got Gonzo’ed?

Top prospect to most underrated?

I knew it was an inside job, one of our own


Your scratched off the Gonzo xmas card list for sure

Good Job Today


Haha, my pull on the national media outlets is clearly strong. Thanks buddy!


Fine work NMR!


Appreciate it James!



jk. it was good stuff!


I deserve what I get. 😉


That was a good read and good concept using a commentor.

I’ll be looking forward to McFerren’s turn at bat when y’all do the mid-season trade/acquisition discussion


A future Top 100 was at PNC Park on Thursday. Great news, but also something I hadn’t heard before from Mackey. Shim had elbow issues both in 2021 and 2022 (age 16-17), along with a big toe injury. Geesh, can’t we catch a break. Pirates have examined his elbow as healthy……but this just has the sound of future TJ written all over it for a kid who throws this hard, with breaking pitches, this young. Smh.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Maybe why it was only $750K? But also being from South Korea probably played a part as it’s not generally a hot bed for prospects.


This is an interesting topic but difficult to add a reasonable opinion. Once upon a time, I had ‘eyes-on’ Pirate prospects at Bradenton’s A+ Marauders. That changed in 2020. Now, the Marauders are A- and include many players directly from the Rookie Florida Complex League and even Dominican leagues, i.e., sans much development. If I were a member of a rating organization, what would be my criteria? Draft position, bonus amount, scouting reports, batting and pitching metrics are certainly used but how many contributors have actually seen these players perform in person? We’ve all seen articles describing the failure of ‘high’ draft choices and ‘bonus babies.’ As for metrics, how about Chad Hermanson, or more recently Gregory Polanco, for Pirate fans? So, my point is that identifying top 100 prospects is more art than science and I am unqualified for such an endeavor, but I love reading about it.


Nice debut NMR!


Thanks man!


FFS, NMR, you “smoked” this assignment. 😎

In all seriousness, great job inviting NMR to participate as a panelist. His viewpoints on baseball related matters are an invaluable part of this site.


Barely deserved, thanks for the kind words my friend.


Now that was a great article to read, how lucky are we to have this site! The topic, why we are all here was perfect, the questions were excellent and the responses were thoughtful. The proverbial ‘tip of the cap’ to the contributors, great job gentleman👏👏


It was a very good read, and a lot of honesty regarding the prospects mentioned. The Pirates have a very solid group to work with and more on the way. If TJ is the hitter many of us think he is, it will be interesting to watch his ascension through the ranks.

2023 promises to be a big year for the Pirates – I hope in the right direction. I plan to get to BRD sometime during ST and may even get the MLB package again after a 4 year absence.

Tim: Offering any MLB Packages out of the back of the P2 Food Truck? Any insight as to whether there will be increased access in Pirate City?


Priester has produced at every level along the way and has #2 SP upside. Burrows has swing and miss stuff and #3 SP upside. I still have both ahead of Ortiz. And I am and have been a big Luis Ortiz fan.

This sh*t about Priester “shape” is a fangraphs take that has little merit in my opinion? Where are u getting that data from? There is very little MiLB pitching data out there for pitchers. Most are just “stat line” scouting and like I said Priester has produced at every stop along the way.

There might be acouple guys from each site that actually get “live looks” at these guys. Which imo, is still very important; especially for pitchers.

And scouts have soured on Leiter b/c Vandy trackman wasnt calibrated right and the data was unreliable. He had the best FB pitch metrics by any pitcher in years in college baseball. Come to find out; they were wrong.


Last edited 2 months ago by pittsburghbob69

Man, I’d be interested to hear more about Leiter! What are the Rangers saying? Or the Ranger’s beat writers? That’s a HUGE story if Vandy’s trackman wasn’t calibrated correctly. I mean this was a 1/2 pick!!!…….and this is the first I’ve heard about it. Holy, Moly Batman! BC may desire some credit (or dam good luck) for passing on him!!!

Last edited 1 month ago by 1979andCounting
Last edited 1 month ago by pittsburghbob69

The fans are still on board.


When their FO just adds 3 starters, DeGrom, Eovaldi, and Heaney, I don’t think there’s going to be fans concerned about Leiter. Out of sight, out of mind! Spending can cure all botched draft picks.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I did not see that article about Vandy and Leiter. That’s crazy!

As for Priester, I can’t say I specifically have data into it (which we could pull FSL numbers), but what I will say is in watching him it kind of starts with, “there’s a lot of contact in his fastball”. So you begin focus on watching how it moves. Then you see a Burrows FB generating swings and misses, and how it’s particularly moving. You see that Burrows fastball has some carry to it.

Sure some of these writers don’t get actual live looks, but they’re also using scout input from across the league of guys who have spent time watching and gathering data on these kids live. So, there’s merit to what they say, as it isn’t coming entirely out of their ass.


Scouts don’t have that info. They use radar guns..lol.

Very few data out there for MiLB pitchers. The teams aren’t giving that info to a scout either(Especially a scout for a prospect/fantasy baseball website). It’s obviously sourced and available to the teams, players and coaches. That’s it.

Anyone who says they have alot of the data, I would love to see it and know where they are getting from. Baseball Savant has very little of it.

I once saw Kody post the same thing about Priester and I said the same thing; that’s a Fangraphs take that has been perpetuated without a lot of merit. He said the same thing. “The data shows it”. I said, I would love to see that data and know where u are getting it from?? No response.

I do agree with Burrows FG generating more swings and misses though. But Priester has a 3.16 ERA in 225 IP in MiLB. With 228 K’s. Like I said, he’s a dog that has produced at every level along the way. And in mostly hitters havens too. Age 22 season in AAA.

Last edited 1 month ago by pittsburghbob69
Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Obviously it’s mostly conjecture, and it’s highly possible the Pirates org doesn’t share their complete data, but also remember that all MiLB stadiums are outfitted with Trackman. So, there’s possibility they’re getting data from opposing teams, unless there’s some proprietary “you can share our prospects data”.

BA write of Owen White mentions his slider averages around 3,000 RPMs. Their write-up mentions Burrows curveball has spin of 2,900 RPMs. A lot of the young kids also aren’t exactly shy about sharing their off-season videos. So, not sure how they’d have pitcher’s RPMs if they weren’t getting data from somewhere. Is it ready available for someone like us to open up? No. But I’d almost guarantee anyone in the industry can get ahold of some sample of data somehow if they wanted to.


Here’s acouple tweets about the Vandy and NCAA baseball trackman devices not being calibrated properly and as often as they should be.

You can just search something like “Vandy trackman” or Vandy trackman data” on twitter and a bunch of tweets come up too.

Leiter’s FB was a 65 grade and had the most perceived rise as any college pitcher in years. It is now over 2 inches less perceived rise in the minors with the correct data. It got hit hard as well.

All the draft “experts”say all that data is washed and unreliable. Crazy!!

https://twitter.com/ckessinger44/status/1614026157791514636?s=46&t=VWL_1RjFHHTxFKMheUvGog https://twitter.com/mason_mcrae/status/1377567314476994562?s=46&t=VWL_1RjFHHTxFKMheUvGog

Last edited 1 month ago by pittsburghbob69
Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Ok? Not sure what you’re getting at? So, are you saying all MiLB data is to be considered unreliable now or something?


No, no, no. Was talking about the Vandy trackman data/ Jack Leiter situation.

And from the looks of the first tweet I linked, it’s a big problem in all college baseball.

You could be right about “scouts” from prospect websites or fantasy websites getting access to teams or players trackman data. I tend to believe very little is available to very few of them.

I would agree that they would be more likely to get the data from the player though. I didn’t really think of that.

Do u think any Pirates reporters or prospect scouts from websites have access to Vic Black’s spreadsheets or data??

Last edited 1 month ago by pittsburghbob69
Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Vic Black stuff I imagine is proprietary information held close to home.

I know players, and player’s family members, can at times love passing along information. Not to mention facilities like a Driveline or Tread Athletics that have endless data from pen sessions.


I think they get the data for their articles from the futures game, the AFL, and the little data from MiLB that is available on Savant. And they make their determination and quote the data for their articles from that data that is available to anyone.


I’m proud of you NMR. I always have appreciated your opinions. You made it to the big leagues. Don’t let them option you down. They don’t want you to elect free agency.


My arbitration clock is ticking, cha ching!


Super 2. I’m still chewing on the generic sunflower seeds down here in AAA. Looks like you are enjoying David seeds. Some day I will enjoy a mouth full of the reduced sodium seeds. Have to watch my salt.


Nice article, to two of my favorite people on this site I have this to say;
Anthony, hope your believe in Solometo is warranted and he becomes what you see in him.
NMR, I hope you are wrong about Gonzale! Hope he’s more Trout than Hiura and finds a way to keep his swing in the zone a bit longer.


You and me both!

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Your third favorite?


6th. But it was really close to 5th.

Last edited 2 months ago by PirateRican21
Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)


It is an interesting discussion on Ortiz passing Priester on the prospect lists. Nutting and BC have the keys in their hand with IFA’s. Do they want to spend $5M on a collegiate draft choice, or $25,000 on an IFA signing (Ortiz). The answer is getting easier…….now with Shim coming on board too.


Definitely thought we’d see more Bucs on the back end of these lists. Gonzales seems to have fallen in esteem for a lot of folks, both on this site, and national outlets. I guess I’m just surprised at how little his overall production is being taken into account. Yes, he had strikeout issues this past year. But overall the guy has posted an OPS of .951 and .817 during two seasons in the minors. The latter is still a really solid performance in a year that included a slow start and some injuries, in a ballpark that is not hitter friendly like the other ones he’s played in (for which people detract from his performance).
Whether he can cut down the Ks will probably be the deciding factor for his success, but the power seems to exceed expectations and the overall primary stats are still there. I’m not hitting the panic button on him yet, and I think he’ll continue to put it all together. Here’s to Nick proving the doubters wrong in 2023 and losing prospect status in Pittsburgh before national outlets even get a chance to correct their mistake.


Speaking personally, it’s less the performance than the projection for me.

Dudes can put up bonkers numbers against A and AA pitchers without having to succeed against any big league-quality arms. Watch him in game action and his struggles against quality stuff really stand out. This even started showing up in the numbers a bit, with roughly a 200 point platoon split against same-handed pitchers. Same-handed pitchers are traditionally harder to hit, so one could connect struggles against quality stuff to struggles against more difficult matchups.

Couple that with the history, albeit brief, of similar dudes:

-Keston Hiura blitzed through the minors in just his second full season. Posted an 18% K-rate in AA as a 21yo and an OPS of almost 1100 before a tumultuous big league career that has him sitting at a 36% K-rate. Graded with equal or better hit and power tools as NickG with an extremely similar swing and approach.

-Carter Kieboom had success even younger, making it to the show as a 21 yo after posting an OPS over 900 in AAA. He’s been nearly a complete bust across parts of three big league seasons with little evidence of improvement. He, too, graded out with better hit and power than Gonzales with a very similar profile.

I was all over these guys as prospects, loved their swings as much as I do Nick’s. I’m getting nervous, though, that there’s something we’re missing with these types.


I think the swing is steep, a flatter approach might do it, but it that was it I’m sure it would have been fixed by now….


The list of catchers who can hit and field at a high level in the majors is a small one indeed and Endy has a great chance to be on that list. He really hasn’t hit any bumps in the road on his way through the system and hopefully that will continue. He appears to welcome the challenge of each new level so I really hope he understands it doesn’t matter what he does in the spring or the first half of the season the Pirates aren’t going to move him up till they are ready.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I’m actually surprised Logan O’Hoppe isn’t higher.


‘Logan O’Hoppe’ sounds like a new craft beer, lol.


On the serious side Jeff a 2.2 WAR projection for 79 games seems impressive if I’m reading that right on Fansgraph.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

He’s considered a solid defender and raked in upper levels with BB% over 10 and sub 20 K%. How well he hit and being a catcher, was surprised cause he wasn’t a just added to Top 100 guy.


this was some good stuff! is the guest appearance from someone in the comments going to be a regular feature? i enjoy it


Feels like we should have 6-8 guys with legitimate arguments for a top 100 spot by midseason.

And while I’m excited about Ortiz, I need to see some more before I fully jump on the bandwagon. I’d rank them Priester, Burrows, Ortiz for now, but am excited to see all 3 in Pgh sometime this summer

Last edited 2 months ago by justin

I’ll jump on the Endy wagon as the highest ranked prospect with a caveat (and I’ll include Hank Davis in the caveat). I see a lot of reviews of Endy referencing his versatility and that Hank’s bat can work elsewhere. I believe both comments are true and important, however their highest value is at catcher. Catchers with their potential upside are hard to find and the longer they can stay there the better. In our perfect – road to a championship – path, one may be a significant trade chip instead of moving off position.

btw – loved this format and a big shoutout for NMR representing and also his on the spot point on age. People grow, develop, mature at all different stages. Yes, younger ages give you more runway, but when one year differences become some big difference maker it seems a tad misguided.

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