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OOTP: The 2020 Pirates Have a Day Off, But the 2025 Pirates Are Just Getting Started


In real life, I hope you’re all safe right now, with plenty of supplies, and a place to avoid getting COVID-19.

In real life, I also realize we don’t have baseball to get us through sitting at home all day, every day, for so long.

So we’re using OOTP21 to run a season-long simulation of the 2020 season, which began yesterday. Every day we will post an update on the site with what the 2020 team did that day in the simulation.

Hopefully baseball returns, but even if it doesn’t, we’re going to have something for you to follow daily on here.

Why stop at one season to follow, though?

We’ve got three seasons for you to follow each day. The second season we’ll be writing about each day will be the 2025 season.

To get there, we’ll be speeding that simulation through the 2020-2024 seasons to get to 2025. In this simulation, I’ll only be looking each day at what the current prospects in the system are doing six seasons in the future.

To be clear, the results from the daily 2020 simulation are separate from the 2025 simulation. Think of it like two different realities, and the 2025 simulation as a projection for what the 2020 simulation might become.

Confusing? Let me know, because this is all new grounds for me.

Rather than just jumping straight to 2025, I thought I’d share the backstory of the system getting to that point.

I simulated the entire 2020 season in a separate simulation file, and the prospect-related results can be read below.

I’ll be doing the same thing for 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024, so when the 2025 simulation begins, you’ll know where every prospect is at, and where the Pirates are in terms of being competitive.

Let’s get to that 2020 recap:

Draft Picks

Here were the picks taken in the top ten rounds, plus any over-slot deals after the tenth round.

1: Spencer Torkelson, LF, Arizona State (7th overall, flyball hitter with pull tendencies. Has a lot of power, with 40/65 home run power and 30/55 gap power. His eye and discipline is 35/55 and he’s got average upside with his contact skills. He can play first, but rates better in the outfield, where his average range and above-average arm and fielding skills make him a slightly below-average corner outfield option. His bat will carry his value. Signed for $8.71 M right before the deadline.)

1s: Freddy Zamora, SS, Miami (33rd, 20/45 overall, Hits to all fields. 45/60 at avoiding strikeouts and 30/55 on contact skills. 50 upside gap power and 45 upside home run power. He’s a 40 at both middle infield spots right now, but has good tools with a 60 range and 55 arm, and plus fielding skills. Signed for $1.93 M.)

2: Chris McMahon, RHP, Miami (20/45 overall, reliever now, possible starter with 60 stamina. 35/60 stuff rating. 55/75 fastball rating at 95-97 MPH from a power three-quarters arm slot. 40/65 curveball and 40/65 changeup ratings. 25/40 control will be the biggest issue. Previously drafted by the Braves in the 33rd round in 2017. Signed for $2.98 M.)

3: Gavin Williams, RHP, East Carolina (20/55 overall, reliever/emergency starter upside now, with the chance to grow into a regular starter role. Fastball is 60/70 at 93-95 MPH. Curveball is 50/70, and the changeup is 50/65, giving the chance for three plus pitches. Control and movement are both 30/45, so he needs some work. Signed for $830,000.)

4: Ty Floyd, RHP, Prep (20/50 overall, reliever with a chance to start in the future. Flyball pitcher with a 92-94 MPH fastball from a three-quarters arm slot. 50/80 curveball rating. 50/65 fastball. 35/60 changeup. Control is 25/40 and movement is 25/50, so he’d be a project. DID NOT SIGN)

5: Jake Gelof, 2B, Prep (20/40 overall, below-average at second base, and can play shortstop in emergencies. Not much of a hitter, and below-average upside across the board except for 50 upside in contact and 55 in strikeouts. Signed for $660,000.)

6: Jordan Carrion, SS, Prep (20/40 overall, can play slightly below average at both middle infield spots. 65 range rating makes that possible. He’s speedy, with 60 grades on speed, stealing, and base running. 55 upside with plate patience, and 50 upside avoiding strikeouts. Also 50 upside gap power, but only 30 for home run power. Upside looks to be a top of the order hitter with a bit of gap power.)

7: Andrew Abbott, LHP, Virginia (25/45 overall, finesse pitcher who profiles as a reliever with a chance to start that could be limited by below-average stamina. Fastball is 50/60, curve is 45/65, slider is 35/50, and changeup is 30/50. He’s got good control at 50/65. His best path to making the majors is four average or better pitches and plus control. Drafted by the Yankees in the 33rd round in 2017.)

8: Bryce Bonnin, RHP, Texas Tech (20/40 overall, finesse pitcher with an over the top delivery who has a chance to start. Throws a sinker that is 50/55, and a slider that rates 55/70. That combo could make him a reliever, but his 45/55 changeup gives him a chance to start. Poor control at 25/40 could be the biggest thing to limit his upside. Drafted by the Cubs in the 26th round in 2017.)

9: Thomas Farr, RHP, South Carolina (20/35 overall, strictly a reliever right now. Fastball is 50/60, curveball is 40/55, and changeup is 30/55. Average upside with control. The control and changeup development from the fly ball pitcher will be the biggest impact to his future value. Drafted by the Rangers in the 37th round in 2019.)

10: Enrique Romero, C, Central Arizona (20/45 overall, doesn’t have a long-term position now with 35 ratings at catcher and second base. 30/50 contact skills, 35/55 plate patience, and below-average potential for gap and home run power. He puts the ball on the ground too often now, rating 25 in the power department at the moment in the process. Average speed, but an above-average base runner.

13: Hunter Haas, SS, Prep (20/40 overall, signed for $600,000 before the deadline. Line drive hitter with the chance for above-average gap power and average plate discipline. Below-average in future home run ability. Profiles best at second base, can play below-average short, and fill in at third. Average speed, but plus base running.)

22: Jale Berry, LHP, Prep (20/30 overall, signed for $660,000. Fastball is 45/55. Has the chance for a plus curve, changeup, and movement. Only 35 upside on control and not a lot of velocity at 89-91 right now.)

28: Justin Thorsteinson, LHP, Prep (20/30 overall, prep pitcher from Canada who signed for $600,000. Fastball is 45/55, changeup is 35/65, and curve is 30/50. Controlis also 30/50. Above-average stamina with the chance to start, but more a reliever now.)

30: Mitchell DeCovich, RHP, Central Arizona (20/30 overall, teammate of 10th round pick Enrique Romero from Central Arizona. Has chance for three above-average or better pitches, with a sinker, slider, and changeup. Profiles more as a reliever long-term, but has above-average stamina. Signed for $710,000.)

31: Ross Dunn, LHP, Prep (20/35 overall, signed for $710,000. Chance for an above-average fastball and plus cutter. Both pitches rate a 40 right now. Changeup has 25/50 rating. Control is 30/50. He’s a flyball and finesse pitcher with below-average stamina.)

International Signings

I’m only focusing on the biggest signings here. Anyone who plays OOTP knows you’ll only see a few six figure or more signings per year on the international side. These were the top guys:

Juan Carrillo, RF, Dominican Republic (20/40, signed for $2.4 M at age 16. A lot of ability with the bat, led by 25/70 gap power and 35/80 avoiding strikeouts. Line drive hitter with plus speed and above-average base running skills. Needs to improve contact skills from 25/45 and home run power from 20/35.)

Fabiano O’Callinghan, RHP, Brazil (20/30, signed for $650,000 at age 16. Ground ball pitcher sitting in the upper 80s. Average upside with the fastball, but the chance for a plus curveball. Below-average upside with control and his sinker.)

Pirates 2020 Simulated Results (2025 Forecast Version)

87-75, 1st in NL Central

You read that right.

I was surprised myself.

So much that I’m not even going to tell you how the playoffs went, because I haven’t completed that part of the simulation. Check the 2021 update tomorrow for the results of what happened in 2020. Gotta have something to look forward to, right? (Other than tomorrow’s big game against Tyler Glasnow in the 2020 sim).

In case this is confusing, I want to reiterate:

**We have a 2020 Daily Simulation and a 2025 Daily Simulation.

**The 2020 simulation outlined here is NOT the result of the 2020 Daily Simulation. It’s just a possibility.

**What this means is that we’ve seen the Pirates take first place in a season-long simulation, as we speed one project up to 2025. Can they do it again in the 2020 daily simulation that started yesterday? That will be interesting to follow, even after yesterday’s 9-4 loss to the Rays.

Prospect Reports

Here are our top 20 prospects, per the 2020 Prospect Guide (we’ll have updates soon on when the full book will be released with all players in the real-life system). This looks at how they fared in the 2020 simulation.

Mitch Keller: Keller had an impressive rookie season, with a 3.80 ERA over 166 IP. He had a 10.2 K/9, 5.4 BB/9, and 0.9 HR/9. His season is still going, as I haven’t gone through the playoffs.

Ke’Bryan Hayes: .271/.356/.425, 320 PA, 7 HR, 34:52 BB/K, Triple-A all year, missed four weeks with a sprained left ankle and eight weeks with a Rotator cuff strain early in the season.

Oneil Cruz: .311/.373/.520, 408 PA, 15 HR, 36:84 BB/K, Double-A all year, missed six weeks with a right strained hamstring.

Liover Peguero: .318/.407/.428, 562 PA, 5 HR, 70:103 BB/K, High-A all year.

Cody Bolton: 2.96 ERA in 130.2 IP with Altoona, 9.2 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9. Moved to Indianapolis in August, with a 2.61 ERA in 10.1 IP, and a 9:5 K/BB.

Tahnaj Thomas: 2.90 ERA in 77.2 IP with Greensboro, 59:38 K/BB. 5.62 ERA in 41.2 IP with Bradenton, 39:24 K/BB ratio.

Quinn Priester: 2.70 ERA in 40 IP in the GCL, 41:15 K/BB ratio. Moved up to Morgantown for one game at the end of the season.

Brennan Malone: 2.77 ERA in 26 IP in the GCL, 22:9 K/BB ratio.

Ji-Hwan Bae: .233/.282/.300, 510 PA, 1 HR, 30:93 BB/K ratio, 21 SB, Greensboro all year.

Braxton Ashcraft: 5.26 ERA in 39.1 IP in High-A. 4.62 ERA in 39 IP in Altoona. 75:38 K/BB ratio between the two.

Michael Burrows: 3.09 ERA in 11.2 IP, 5:4 K/BB ratio in Greensboro. 4.96 ERA in 52.2 IP, 30:35 K/BB ratio after moving up to Bradenton.

Travis Swaggerty: Had a .303/.371/.418 in 620 PA, with 12 HR and 25 SB, all in Altoona.

JT Brubaker: Had a 2.68 ERA in six starts, before going down for the season in early May with radial nerve decompression surgery for his elbow. He should be healthy by the start of the 2021 season.

Will Craig: Took a big step back in Triple-A, hitting for a .590 OPS. Spent most of the year back in Altoona, where he had a .773 OPS.

Nick Mears: Returned to Altoona, but went down with a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder on May 11th, which ended his season, but shouldn’t impact the 2021 season. Had a 3.21 ERA in 14 innings, with a 12:12 K/BB ratio before the injury.

Jared Oliva: Had an .821 OPS in 409 at-bats with Altoona, then a .768 OPS with Indianapolis over seven games at the end of the year.

Mason Martin: Moved back down to Greensboro, where he had a .738 OPS in 397 plate appearances.

Calvin Mitchell: Finally started to show his offense in his return to Bradenton, hitting .267/.355/.457 with 20 homers in 570 at-bats.

Sammy Siani: Split the season between Bristol and the GCL, with a .576 OPS in the GCL, and .703 in Bristol.

Travis MacGregor: Split the season between the rotation and the bullpen in Altoona. Had a combined 4.58 ERA in 90.1 innings, with an 87:43 K/BB ratio.

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Tim Williams
Tim Williams
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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