First Pitch: Where Do Liover Peguero and Brennan Malone Rank in the Pirates System?

The Pirates made their first big move under Ben Cherington this week, trading center fielder Starling Marte to Arizona for two young prospects.

The prospects in return were shortstop Liover Peguero and right-handed pitcher Brennan Malone. Today we’ve added both players to the 2020 Prospect Guide rankings, with a profile on each player, along with where we have them ranked in the system.

So where do they rank? The non-spoiler alert is that we’ve got Peguero ranked 4th in the system, and Malone ranked 8th.

The 2020 Prospect Guide is available now for just $19.99, and includes our top 50 prospects, plus all future updates to the book. When a big move, such as the Marte trade, impacts our rankings in the book, we will provide an update. The final update to the book will be on Opening Day, with our finalized rankings and information on every player in the system.

We’ll have our finalized top 30 rankings on the site when the full book is released. The 2020 Prospect Guide is the only way to see the rankings early, and to get the full top 50 with profiles on every player.

John Dreker will be hosting a live prospect Q&A later this afternoon.

There have also been rumors that the Pirates have agreed to a deal with left-handed pitcher Derek Holland. We’ll have updates on that if any come up today.





By John Dreker

Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, plus one trade of note.

On this date in 1974 the Pittsburgh Pirates traded shortstop Jackie Hernandez to the Philadelphia Phillies for catcher Mike Ryan. Hernandez played three seasons for the Pirates, starting in 1971 when he became the everyday shortstop late in the year and helped lead the team to their fourth World Series title. In three years in Pittsburgh he played 214 games and hit .205 with 48 RBIs. Ryan was 32 years old at the time of the trade, with ten seasons in the majors. He was strong defensively with a great arm but not much of a hitter. In fact, he had batted below .200 in six of his nine full seasons. After the trade, Ryan played just 15 games in 1974, then became the manager of the Pirates A-ball team in Charleston for the 1975-76 seasons. Hernandez was released before he ever played a game for the Phillies. He re-signed with the Pirates and finished his career that 1974 season in Triple-A, although he did spend the next two seasons playing in Mexico.

Ted Power, pitcher for the 1990 Pirates. The Pirates signed the nine-year veteran in November 1989 as a free agent. The 35-year-old right-hander went 1-3, 3.66 in 40 relief appearances in 1990. He threw a total of 51.2 innings and recorded seven saves. The Pirates made the playoffs that season and Powers pitched three games in the NLCS, including starting game six, which was his only start all year. He would leave via free agency following the season. He pitched a total of 13 years in the majors with a 68-69, 4.00 record in 564 games, but that 1990 season was his only postseason experience.

Ken Gables, pitcher for the 1945-47 Pirates. He spent his entire big league career with the Pirates. Gables had a 13-11, 4.69 record in 62 games, 23 as a starter. His rookie season was his best, going 11-7, 4.15 in 138.2 innings. He was one of five Pirates starters to win at least ten games that year. Gables pitched just once during the 1947 season, giving up two runs and recording just one out in an early season outing. He was then sent to the minors, where he split the rest of the season between Atlanta of the Southern Association and Indianapolis of the American Association. Following the 1947 season, he was traded along with two other players and cash to San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League in exchange for pitcher Bob Chesnes. Gables spent a total of ten seasons in the minors and compiled a 68-96, 4.01 record in 350 games.

Donald Songer, pitcher for the 1924-27 Pirates. He pitched a total of 49 games for the Pirates, 16 as a starter, over four seasons. He was a member of two Pittsburgh clubs that went to the World Series, but did not participate in either postseason. Most of his playing time with the team came during the 1926 season when he made 15 starts and 20 relief appearances. He had a 7-8, 3.13 record that year in 126.1 innings. The Pirates sold him to the Giants on May 9, 1927, and he finished his Major League career later that season, throwing another 22 games for New York. Songer won a total of 99 games over eight minor league seasons, which included a high of 31 wins for the Enid Harvesters of the Western Association in 1922.

Stuffy Stewart, second baseman for the 1922 Pirates. He played parts of eight big league seasons over a 14-year span. He first played 12 games for the Cardinals during the 1916-17 seasons, then didn’t play in 1918, followed by spending the next three seasons in the minors. Stewart started the first three games of the 1922 season at second base for the Pirates, going 2-for-13 with two errors, before he was sent to the minors. The Brooklyn Robins took him in the Rule 5 draft once the season was over. He hit .238 in 176 Major League games, with 74 runs scored, 18 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. Of those 176 career games, just 50 were as a starter. He played 15 seasons in the minors and collected over 1,700 hits. He batted .300 six different times, though he also finished seasons with a .297, .298 and .299 average.

Jot Goar, pitcher for the 1896 Pirates. He made his MLB debut three games into the 1896 season with the Pirates in relief. He would pitch only three games that year, all in relief, losing one. In 13.1 innings, he gave up 36 hits, eight walks, hit a batter and allowed 33 runs. His 16.88 ERA with the Pirates is the second highest in team history for any pitcher with more than five innings pitched. He only pitched one other game in the majors, a two inning relief appearance for the Reds on May 1, 1898. One of Goar’s relief appearances for the Pirates was on May 20th, when he pitched the last six innings of a 25-6 loss to Brooklyn in Pittsburgh. The Pirates manager Connie Mack told Goar to lob the ball over the plate, allowing the Brooklyn hitters to pile up runs. The reason was that the game was already 6-0 Brooklyn and it started to downpour. The Pirates were trying to stall, hoping for the game to be called before five innings were played and the game was official. The move backfired when the weather cleared and by the end of the fifth, they were already down 17-0.

Al Buckenberger, manager for the 1892-94 Pirates. He took over for manager Tom Burns 60 games into the 1892 season with the Pirates record standing at 27-32. He would turn the team around, finishing with a 53-41 record the rest of the way. In 1893 he led the team to their best finish since joining the NL, going 81-48, good enough for second place, five games behind Brooklyn. The team’s .628 winning percentage that year is the sixth best in franchise history. The record next year however was a disappointing 53-55 when he lost his job to the team’s catcher, Connie Mack. For Mack, it was the start of a 53-year career as a manager. Buckenberger had managed for two seasons in the majors prior to joining the Pirates and then added another four seasons afterwards. He also managed for six seasons in the minors and was a minor league player for four seasons.

Bob Ferguson, Utility fielder for the 1884 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He was a star baseball player before the first Major League was organized in 1871. Ferguson was 26 years old before the National Association was formed in 1871, and 31 years old before the National League first played a game. In fact, the schedules were so short during the era he played in, that he played 824 Major League games over 14 seasons and twice led the league in games played. His BIG league totals, not surprisingly, don’t look like those of a star player, but the man they nicknamed “Death to Flying Things” was one of the best fielders of his time (he mostly played third base) and he could handle the bat too. He is regarded by most as the first switch-hitter in baseball, a lifetime .265 hitter with 357 RBIs and 544 runs scored. By the time he joined the Alleghenys, he was at the end of his career, already 39 years old, the oldest player in the majors at the time. Ferguson played ten games for Pittsburgh, seeing time at four different spots. He hit just .146, with six singles in 41 at-bats. He managed for parts or all of 16 seasons in the majors, including an 11-31 record as the second of five managers the 1884 Alleghenys had that season. The only home run Ferguson hit in his major league career, came off another great nickname in baseball history, Ed “The Only” Nolan, who it was said that he always wanted to be the only starting pitcher for the team he was on.

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.

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