Prospect Roundtable: After Termarr Johnson, Which 2022 Pirates Draft Pick Stands Out?

If you missed it yesterday, we did a Prospect Roundtable with our views of the 2022 Pittsburgh Pirates draft.

Today we’re looking at which player interests us the most. The catch is that you can’t choose Termarr Johnson.

I guess it’s easy to have different answers when you have 20 players to choose from, but in our blind submission process for this article, we came up with four different answers. Do you agree, or is there a player we left out? Leave your pick in the comments!


Besides Termarr Johnson, I really don’t have a second pick in this draft who is the type of exciting player that we would do a roundtable article for when they make their first appearances at levels like we did with Anthony Solometo or Bubba Chandler. This draft class got really disappointing after the first round, but since we have to pick one, the most interesting is probably Yoel Tejeda, who hopefully signs, but isn’t a guarantee. Just being a 6’7″ high school pitcher is interesting, but there is some potential for a two-way player. The problem is that he’s already 19, so he’s older for a high school pick, and he’s a bit raw on both sides of the ball. At least for now, you can dream of a hard-throwing pitcher who can also contribute with the bat, but if he goes that route it will be a slow process, and the hitting side has a less likely chance of happening. Assuming he does sign, I would make sure I was tuning in for his first game on the mound, though from the scouting reports it seems like the fastest route gets him to Low-A in 2024.

WILBUR MILLER: Dominic Perachi, LHP

It’s not easy specifying a most-interesting pick out of such an uninteresting draft. All things being equal, I’d probably say Hunter Barco, but we’re not going to see him for over a year, so that’s no fun. Instead, I’ll go with Dominic Perachi, mainly because I’m hoping he’ll follow the so-far path of Tyler Samaniego. There’s some similarity – both are 6’4” lefties with good velocity and breaking stuff. Samaniego is a reliever and that’s likely Perachi’s path as well, and as such maybe he’ll move up through the system quickly. Samaniego currently has the better velocity, but if Perachi can add a click or so they’ll be pretty similar there, and Perachi does seem to have some projectability left. The advantage Perachi has is two breaking balls. There’s a difference of opinion on whether he throws a curve and slider or two curves thrown from different angles, not that it matters. I’ve liked the idea of a pitcher throwing two breaking balls since I realized the Pirates under the previous front office would usually make a pitcher scrap one if he threw two. Some guys just aren’t going to throw a useful change and this is one way to adapt. It’d be nice to see Perachi get on the mound quickly for Bradenton.

ANTHONY MURPHY: Miguel Fulgencio, LHP

I tried to dig a little deeper past the obvious names that followed up the first-round pick, like Thomas Harrington and Michael Kennedy. Those are players we are going to be keeping an eye on regardless, as there’s a good chance they push for top-30 prospect status out the gate.

Miguel Fulgencio not only has a cool name, but an incredible story. Went to Oklahoma State to play football, ended up transferring to community college to play baseball as an outfielder. During the pandemic shut down he switched to the mound and refined his game through YouTube. He’s 23, yes, but also has a Nick Garcia-ish vibe based off him converting to pitching at a smaller school and pitching incredibly well. Fulgencio went 7-0 this spring, recording five saves while posting a 1.75 ERA. He also struck out 60 while walking only eight in 46 1/3 innings while helping his team reaching the Junior College World Series.

He’s probably a reliever from the get-go but has reached up to 96-mph on his fastball and is left-handed. He also put-up good spin rates on his slider during his time in the Appalachian League, and struck out 28 in 19 1/3 innings.


In 2019, Hunter Barco was a late-first round talent out of high school. Baseball America rated him 32nd that year. A strong commitment to the University of Florida pushed him down to the 24th round. In 2022, Barco had a 2.50 ERA in 50.1 innings. A mock draft by Baseball America on April 20th had Barco going to the Red Sox 24th overall. This is a guy who entered the draft as a first round talent, and remained a first round talent up until he underwent Tommy John surgery in May.

Barco was a first round talent this time around because we was seen as a safe option who could reach the majors as a back of the rotation lefty starter. At this point, the risk is in the Tommy John recovery. That’s not automatic to return from, but it is enough to risk taking a first rounder if he falls to you in the second. The Red Sox were projected in April to get Barco with the 24th pick. After Tommy John, the Pirates got him with the 44th pick.

Barco is going to miss most of the 2023 season, which puts a damper on this. We’re looking at a guy who won’t do much until 2024, at which point he will start answering questions of whether he has returned to his pre-TJ form, and whether he was worth the risk. What I like is that he’s going to be spending his recovery at Pirate City. It’s not like he won’t get development time. He should come out of there with his ideal pitching approach in pro ball. The hardest part here is the long wait, but I’m really interested in seeing Barco in 2024, and how quickly he moves at that point.


Williams: Here’s What I’m Watching in the Pirates System in the Second Half

Where Will the New Draft Picks Fit in the Pittsburgh Pirates System?

After They Sign, When Will the New Draft Picks Debut?

Prospect Roundtable: After Termarr Johnson, Which 2022 Pirates Draft Pick Stands Out?

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Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of 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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Michael Kennedy could be the most important to the Pirates.

*Young, and able to control at least 3 pitches from the left side.
*Could make some solid jumps in his velocity the next few years, and
*The Pirates are extremely thin with LHP’s and especially SP’s

The Pirates will bring him along slow, but he fills a need for the future.


I like the pitcher from Yale with the sweeper😀


Kiley’s thoughts from ESPN (not sure if it’s bad form to post this much of his article that’s under a paywall…) :

“I’m about as in as you can be on Johnson; he’s going in the top half of my Top 100 and I think he’ll be in the top 10 before he graduates to the majors. Harrington is a sports science darling who also flashes four above-average pitches. Barco looked like a late first-rounder before Tommy John surgery this spring. It’s a funky delivery and average fastball, but his splitter is plus and his slider is now at least above average. Kennedy is a classic cold-weather projection lefty (some scouts mention Jon Lester) who is also among the youngest in the draft.

Gonzales is an above-average hitter with a good approach but below-average in-game power. Brannigan had tools galore on display as a two-way standout for the Irish: He’s got plus power, speed and defensive ability at third but is also up to 100 mph with a plus slider on the mound. His pitch selection at the plate is very poor and his command on the mound isn’t there yet. He was another guy whom I was told I had too low when I put the final rankings up, but I would’ve moved him up to about 150 or so. The Pirates have found success with a similar player in J.C. Flowers (fourth round, 2019 draft) who is now pitcher-only and drafted a prep prospect in Bubba Chandler last spring who is playing both ways this year.

Nielsen is a power lefty up to 95 mph with an above-average slider but is a reliever. Diamond had a bad spring with diminished raw stuff, but it’s been above average with starter traits in the past. Tejeda has plus-plus raw power but is a better pro prospect on the mound with solid-average stuff and some feel. Walsh popped up on the Cape before the draft with a plus slider and low-90s fastball. He could move quickly in relief after starting at Yale. Massey has an electric arm but had awful results at Minnesota, while Bosnic missed 2022 due to injury but showed above-average stuff last spring.”

Last edited 1 year ago by clemo83

Tim, there’s a man at your door delivering a gift. Says he’s from Bristol, CT.


Generally bad form but you won’t see me shed a tear over pool lil ESPN losing a click or two. Thanks man!


Add the Athletic to that sentiment.


I would love to hear their writeup…



Wilbur Miller

On the Barco front, Stumpf talked to some analyst who was unenthused about him. Said he was “a reach” in rd. 2, and not due to TJ. Of course, I have no idea how much stock to put in that.


I might be projecting, but feels like a lot comes down to this splitter scouts seem, well, split on. That’s at least what makes him intriguing to me. Little advancement seems to have come in the three years since HS and now otherwise.

Wilbur Miller

That’s the one time I’ve seen a view that down, so there’s that. Can’t get worked up about it anyway. When a guy who’s never thrown a pro pitch is gonna be out so long, I kinda read him out until he’s back, and then we’ll see what’s there.


I think you are right. But SEC coaches care about winning. They must. Development? That’s what the pros do.


In ’21 and ’22 pitching in the toughest conference in the country – the SEC, his conference stats are 15 Starts, record of 9-2, 3.23 ERA, 83 IP, 28 BB/98 K. This is a front-line talent!

TJ I think in late April, early May and it is usually a 15 month minimum. Possible to see him throwing by July, August 2023? Possibly by Instructs?


that scout is whack


Short answer…..none!

Although Harrington appears to have been a good selection and he has possibilities as a middle of the rotation starter. Barco has potential, but he doesn’t excite me. After that, there isn’t much to see to be quite honest. Very unimpressive draft on paper – too many seniors, older players, or pitchers with terrible numbers over multiple seasons in college. Three HS players selected? Did any other team pick less HS players than the Pirates?

No, this draft was one of the weakest in recent memory – on paper. Could some of these later picks shock the world and become another Brubaker or Stallings? Sure, but the odds are not in their favor.


Sorry if the selection of a player many guys who make their living judging baseball players talent say is the best HS hitter to come out in a decade doesn’t excite you.

Wilbur Miller

Some of the Termarr stuff seems over the top. Like Wade Boggs’ eye plus Vlad Sr’s bat control — if that critter existed he’d hit .750. But the more serious the observer, like Kiley and Eric L., the more on board they seem to be. I’m gonna get seriously impatient to see TJ in FCL games.


The headline of the article asked the question….”after Termarr Johnson.”


Yes, we know. You’re pissed they didn’t draft Greene and decided you didn’t like the rest of the draft because of it.


Everybody is allowed to get off on what they want, but I can’t imagine getting THIS upset over my favorite team not selecting players with an even lesser chance of success than the ones they did.

Joey McHighschooler or bust feels like an offshoot of this years PLAY THE KIDZ fetish.


Since Bleacher Report grades this as an A draft, you might offer a bit more evidence. And, even if that’s a reasonable assessment, the odds are not the side of these draftees.


Provide more evidence, says the guy peddling fucking Bleacher Report.


Some of these type comments from you are quite crass, while others are sharp as a tack. I vote for the latter on this one.

Sorry Roberto, but you deserved this one.


I suppose that’s the NMR special…;)


So, still nothing? And actually, I sell books.


BTW, my query was to rewards.


Roberto, you seem like a genuinely good guy who is knowledgeable and has opinions I agree with more often than not, but Bleacher Report isn’t the most credible site. They epitomize a mile wide and an inch deep type web site. Lots of better places to go for MLB draft grades, if that’s what you’re looking for.


There’s no good time for a TJ surgery. But part of me almost thinks it’s better for Barco to get Tommy John surgery out of the way off the bat. He can work with Pirates doctors and learn while he’s recovering. Then start from scratch and hit the ground running. Better now then have it completely halt his development and jolt his confidence right before he gets to Pittsburgh.

Last edited 1 year ago by clemo83

I think Thomas Harrington is going to be a HUGE surprise, relatively new to pitching, and shot onto the college baseball scene as a WALK-ON! I hope he gets a sniff of Altoona next year.

BTW. I LOVE the 2x weekly article drop formula, Tim.

Last edited 1 year ago by JimEastTennessee

Not much of a surprise when a team drafts you 1S, #36 , but I agree, he will come in as a mature pitcher and do very well. What he does this Fall will earmark where he will start his career FCL, A, A+?

A walk-on can mean a few things. First, maybe he was not talented enough to offer him a scholarship, or second, he had the skills, but also had the grades that he could be a walk-on and get his ride through an academic scholarship which does not count against the team NCAA allotment limit.


I saw a blurb somewhere that he chose Campbell to pursue his dream of pitching. In HS he was primarily known as a SS (and I think he was also a QB).


One of my college friends was offered a Big 10 football scholarship. He declined and enrolled in our DIII school. He said, ‘I wanted to get an education.’


I, too, am highest on Barco. Sure, the TJ is a risk, but when most drafted players fail any way, even the healthy ones, why not gamble on a first round talent. Plus, Imlive the name. 😉

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