The Arizona Fall League announced their rosters on Friday afternoon. The Pittsburgh Pirates have a total of nine players headed to the league, including five position players and four pitchers. It includes three top ten prospects in the system.
Here’s a list of the players going, who will play on the Surprise Saguaros when the season starts next month:
Henry Davis – Catcher who was announced as going earlier this month. He missed time twice this year with a wrist injury, so he’s making up for lost time. He has an .843 OPS over 56 games this year, which includes time at four different levels due to rehab appearances.
Blake Sabol – He’s listed as a catcher, but he’s probably going to get work elsewhere too. This is an interesting pick because he didn’t miss any time. He’s played a lot this year, with solid numbers in Altoona and a strong start for Indianapolis over the last few weeks. He has an .848 OPS in 112 games this season, with two weeks still left on the Indianapolis schedule.
Matt Gorski – Another player who was expected to go due to missed time. He just recently returned from the injured list after missing two months, which limited his time against upper level pitching this year. Gorski was having a breakout season at the time of the injury. He has 24 homers, 20 steals and a .958 OPS in 78 games this year.
Nick Gonzales – Another player who was announced as going earlier this month. He missed two months due to a heel injury, but he’s been back for a month now. He was struggling a bit with contact before the injury, but he has an .878 OPS in 25 games since returning to Altoona.
Jacob Gonzalez – Would have never guessed this one. He started off in Bradenton, about two years too old to be in the league and performed like someone who shouldn’t have been in the league, crushing pitchers for a 1.128 OPS in April. He moved up to Greensboro and started off even better than he was doing in Bradenton, but he has cooled off for a long time. Playing in the hitter-friendly home park, he ended with a devilishy mediocre at best .666 OPS in his final 82 games.
Quinn Priester – He missed most of the first half of the season due to a late Spring Training oblique injury. Until last night, he was dominating Double-A Altoona. He’s going to be able to make up for missed innings. Last year he threw 97.2 innings. This year he had 81 innings, not including Extended Spring Training work as he built up to return to regular games.
Tahnaj Thomas – Thomas has been a starter in the past, but he’s been in relief this entire season. After a slow start, he’s been outstanding since June 1st, posting a 1.98 ERA, 41 strikeouts and a .215 BAA in 36.1 innings during that time.
Omar Cruz – He missed time this year, which has limited him to just 61.2 innings, after pitching 99.1 innings last year, with much better results when he was healthy in 2021.
Colin Selby – Selby also missed time this season, limiting him to 31.2 innings. He has underrated stuff, that will work if he stays healthy. He has a 2.27 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 39 strikeouts this season in his limited time.
The 30-game schedule starts on October 3rd.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.