Pirates Prospect Watch: Termarr Johnson Returns and Hits a Grand Slam

GREENSBORO, NC – Termarr Johnson returned to the Greensboro lineup tonight, after two days off. He returned in a big way, hitting a grand slam in his second at-bat to help fuel the Grasshoppers to an easy 9-1 victory. Check out my live reports from Greensboro, as well as the best players throughout the Pirates’ system on Saturday night.

Player of the Day


Johnson left Thursday’s game after being hit in the hand by a pitch. Talking with him before today’s game, the ball caught him in the heel of his left palm, below his thumb. Fortunately, it didn’t cause any issues. Johnson showed that to be true in his second at-bat in the game. After taking a first pitch slider low and inside, he absolutely crushed the second pitch for a grand slam.

This was the fourth homer in the last six games for Johnson, spanning back to last Saturday. He also added an RBI single, doing some nice work to take an inside pitch and loop it out over the shortstop’s head. The 2022 fourth overall pick is now batting .220/.361/.460 in 50 at-bats for Greensboro.

Ten More to Follow


Priester made his return to Indianapolis, throwing four shutout innings. He allowed four hits and three walks, while striking out six batters. Priester had a 9.10 ERA in 28.2 innings in Pittsburgh this year.


Triolo returned to Indianapolis, and played second base on Saturday night. He went 1-for-4 with a double, and struck out twice.


Massey only went three innings in his latest start, and only allowed a single run. His fastball was sitting 89-91 MPH, and he mixed in an upper 70s curveball and a low 80s slider. He picked up a strikeout on that slider in the second inning. In the third inning, he struck out two in a scoreless frame. You can watch that whole inning below.


Dixon had a nice night at the plate, picking up a triple and a home run, while also walking once and knocking in three. The homer saw him sit back on a hanging curveball, sending it out over the left-center field wall.


Florez followed Massey and pitched three perfect innings, striking out three. He showed good command of a fastball that sat around 92-93, with easy arm action from a tall delivery. He mixed in a low-80s breaking pitch.


Deese pitched the final three innings, allowing a hit, no runs, no walks, and striking out four. He’s faced some issues this month, with eight earned runs in three innings over his last two appearances. I did not stay for the final few innings, and missed the velocity on his stuff tonight.


Kranick made his second rehab appearance for Bradenton, and this went much better. He threw three shutout innings, allowing two hits, no walks, and striking out two. That’s an improvement over last time, when he allowed six runs in 1.1 innings, with five of them earned.


White has been on the IL for the last week, after starting the month on fire at the plate. He returned to action on Saturday night and picked up where he left off. White had two hits, with a double. He’s now batting .342/.468/.789 in the month of August.


The Pirates drafted Cotto in the 11th round out of Kentucky. Despite being out of college, he signed for an over-slot deal. The lefty made his pro debut on Saturday, throwing a scoreless inning and striking out two.


Suero hit his first home run with the Pirates organization, launching a two run shot in the ninth inning of Saturday afternoon’s FCL game. Suero is batting .211/.388/.342 since being acquired as one of three players in the Rich Hill/Ji Man Choi trade.

Saturday’s Home Runs

  • Ryan Vilade, CF, Indianapolis (5)
  • Domingo Leyba, DH, Indianapolis (5)
  • Joe Perez, RF, Altoona (2)
  • Eli Wilson, C, Altoona (1)
  • Estuar Suero, DH, FCL Pirates (1)

Saturday’s Minor League Results

INDIANAPOLIS (55-62) AT St. Paul

Score: Indianapolis 5, St. Paul 4
Indianapolis Starter: Quinn Priester, RHP (4.12)
–Line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Ryan Vilade, CF (2-for-2, 2 BB, HR [5], 2 RBI)
Attendance: 6,188

Notable Performers

  • Beau Sulser, RHP (3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR)
  • Domingo Leyba, DH (1-for-4, HR [5], 2 RBI)
  • Jared Triolo, 2B (1-for-4, 2B)

ALTOONA (52-58) AT Bowie

Score: Bowie 6, Altoona 5
Altoona Starter: Anthony Solometo, LHP (4.42)
–Line: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR
Player of the Game: Joe Perez, RF (1-for-3, BB, HR [2])
Attendance: 6,098

Notable Performers

  • Tsung-Che Cheng, 2B (2-for-4)
  • Eli Wilson, C (1-for-4, HR [1])

GREENSBORO (60-50) VS Bowling Green

Score: Greensboro 9, Bowling Green 1
Greensboro Starter: J.P. Massey, RHP (4.63)
–Line: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Termarr Johnson, 2B (2-for-4, BB, HR [4], 5 RBI)
Attendance: 7,157

Notable Performers

  • Santiago Florez, RHP (3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K)
  • Jaycob Deese, RHP (3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K)
  • Brenden Dixon, 3B (2-for-3, BB, HR [10], 3 RBI)

BRADENTON (64-48) VS Lakeland

Score: Bradenton 5, Lakeland 3
Bradenton Starter: Max Kranick, RHP (10.38)
–Line: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Lonnie White Jr., DH (2-for-5, 2B)
Attendance: 967

Notable Performers

  • Wilber Dotel, RHP (5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR)
  • Jesus Castillo, 2B (2-for-3, BB, SB [34])
  • Mitch Jebb, SS (2-for-5)
  • Rodolfo Nolasco, RF (2-for-4, RBI)
  • Charles McAdoo, LF (1-for-4, 3B)

FCL PIRATES (30-23) VS FCL Orioles

Score: Orioles 6, Pirates 4
FCL Pirates Starter: Roelmy Garcia, RHP (4.91)
–Line: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Estuar Suero, DH (1-for-4, BB, HR [1], 2 RBI)

Notable Performers

  • Magdiel Cotto, LHP (1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K)
  • Eddy Rodriguez, 1B (3-for-5)


Score: Cubs 9, Pirates 4
Pirates Black Starter: Nicolas Carreno, LHP (10.50)
–Line: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Isaac Paulino, SS (1-for-1, 2 RBI)

DSL PIRATES GOLD (40-12) VS DSL Brewers 1

Score: Pirates 4, Brewers 1
Pirates Gold Starter: Esmir Suarez, RHP (2.80)
–Line: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Yophery Rodriguez, CF (1-for-3)

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Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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Tim, this came up in yesterday’s article as well, but what’s your take on pitchers like Massey losing velocity from what was reported at draft time or even during their first months with the organization? If Massey’s FB sits at 89-91, I can’t consider him a prospect unless they’re asking him to dial it back to work on other things.


I am worried about TJ ‘s fielding aat second base. At this point he is looking like a possible DH.


A great many 19 year-olds are inconsistent in the field. He needs reps.


He’s fine there, there will be lapses, but he’s at least average there.


By definition they cannot ALL be average, and I’m not sure who you’d put behind him.

Kid is smooth as a corncob, but they drafted him to MASH.


I know Triolo’s best position is thrid base, but could he learn the outfield position? (It was said it was ok that we keep drafting middle infielders because they are athletic enough to move to the outfield.)



I’ve heard the Grasshoppers broadcaster’s home run call and cannot decide what in the name of the sweet, bearded, baby jesus he’s saying:

goin’ goin’ goin’ goin’ goin’ goin’. … then he pulls his groin and says gone!

What is the groin pull utterance and can we get that as a ring tone?


This week I listened to him for an hour plus for the first time. He made me laugh a few times. I’m still trying to decide what it would be like listening to him on a more regular basis. Any feedback from anyone that has listened to him several times would be appreciated.


Yeah, I’m undecided if I’d like him or get irritated by him.


I used to request videos from Anthony with those HR calls when he was doing the articles a few months back, love that guy.


I’ve often wondered if having a low BA and high OBP in the lower levels is an indication of anything from a scouting perspective. You have any thoughts on this Tim?


Johnson brought it to mind, but it was a general question since I recall seeing other guys hitting under 250 with OBPs greater than 340. The fact that you asked this thougyht makes me think you don’t see a general answer to the question.


Was thinking the same, is he too selective, or doesn’t see enough strikes. My first thought is that he is selling out for power, which in turn could make him too selective waiting for a pitch he could hammer. Not a complaint, I’m very impressed by his numbers so far this season.


For power guys, I could see a lot of walks with pitcher working around them, and maybe some extra strikeouts if they get a little impatient with seeig nothing in the zone. But for non-power and power guys alike I can see your too-selective suggestion as a possibility.


Hopefully Termarr and Skenes are playing in Pittsburgh next summer.


It would be nice, probably sometime in 25 for Termarr at best though. Skenes could potentially debut this year but next seems probable.


I’m irrationally hopeful, but at least I recognize that about myself.

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