P2Daily: The Pirates Have Prospect Depth Where They Have Needs

I think the biggest complaint that can be levied against the Pittsburgh Pirates right now is how long their rebuild is taking.

The Pirates are heading in the right direction from a farm system standpoint. In fact, if you look at some of their needs, and line those needs up with system strengths, you see more of a fully shaped plan.

For example, the Pirates need catching. Ben Cherington made that a priority in 2021. He added Endy Rodriguez in the Joe Musgrove trade. Then, he drafted Henry Davis first overall that summer. That was followed by smaller trades for Carter Bins and Abrahan Gutierrez. They even let Blake Sabol move behind the plate, which has paid off for some extra depth.

One of those catching prospects is bound to work out, and it’s impressive how much depth at one position Cherington has acquired. Every hopeful contender needs catching, and the Pirates have gone from nothing to extremely strong depth at the position.

As we kind of pointed out in last week’s Roundtable, there are a lot of needs on this team. Alex Stumpf of DK Pittsburgh Sports spoke with Ben Cherington yesterday, who acknowledged the need for a first baseman and rotation help.

Not all of the help will come from the farm system. But the Pirates do have options at each position. The 2023 season should mark the debuts of Quinn Priester and Mike Burrows to the rotation. As for first base, the Pirates have upper level options that include Mason Martin, Malcom Nunez, Aaron Shackelford, Matt Gorski, and other players who might not be playing first base as their primary position.

There are options within the system for the Pirates’ needs. The 2023 season should see the farm fill some of those needs. With the right additions from the outside, the Pirates could be an entertaining team to watch next year.

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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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An ode to jongray, add around $50 million for two years to help now and not count a %100 on prospects, example;

Christian Vazquez 2 years 8 per
ross strippling 2 x 10
Andrew Heaney 2 x 10
taylor Rodgers 2 x 9
Carlos Santana 2 x 8

I don’t think Priester is ready, so keeping him in AAA for most of the season makes sense, Burrows could used extra time there as well. Ortiz would be first up. On the catching side Endy will split time with Vazquez and DH once he is called up and if he is ready to do catch full time or Davis comes up then trade Vazquez.


“With the right additions from the outside.” That really is the issue isn’t it?


We should have a pool for when we’ll sign our first FA and when we’ll sign our first FA projected to earn more than 2 WAR. As for the latter, I think it will be really early (in the next three days to make a splash) or really late (say, February for a 2ish WAR pitcher who hasn’t found a deal given the number of pitchers in that category).


Everytime I get a little excited about the prospects in our system, I am sobered by the lineups that the Dodgers, Phillies, Padres, Mets & Braves trotted out this postseason


If our players are retained our lineup could look like those. Reynolds, Hayes, O’Neil Cruz, Endy, Henry Davis, Bae, Nick Gonzalez, Temarr Johnson ALL have the pedigree to be All Stars. They all could be in the same lineup someday. Then we have the pitchers… Bubba, Roansy, Priester, Solomento etc.


Pedigree to be All Stars? Maybe. Not all of them will be though and some might even only be bit bench players. Depending on all of their production to come internally just won’t work.
If they’re going to last more than a few seasons as a contender that will necessitate acquisitions from the outside. I’m not saying they have to sign guys like Harper or Machado, but they may have to swing a trade for a guy like Soto at some point.


“… the Pirates could be an entertaining team to watch next year.” Will I always be dreaming of actually having a competitive/contending team to watch? I’m tired of “entertaining” teams. I guess one could argue that the ineptitude of management has made the embarrassment factor around the league entertaining. From Angelo Encarnacion’s picking up a ball with his mask (at least he had a career .250 BA!) to phenomenal base running blunders to Will Craig’s infamous defensive blunder against the Cubs in 2020 you never know what entertainment value the other team will gain laughing all the way home.


My only concern is starting pitching depth. Priester and Burrows will likely need more time as they’re both pitch to contact guys, which is OKAY but puts more emphasis on command, and I’m not sold on Oviedo and Ortiz just yet. From here, there is a huge gap in the system with the most intriguing prospects in A+, A, and FCL. This needs to be an area of focus this off-season, and I don’t mean signing a couple bounce-back or reclamation guys. There is always a trade market for good pitching; it wouldn’t hurt to have some “riches” here with the option to deal an established MLB arm or pitching prospect in the not so distant future.


Not at the same level as priester and burrows, but I feel like bolton and nicolas are two others names to watch that could likely impact at pgh this year.

b mcferren

Zach Thompson, Bryce Wilson and Miguel Yajure do not count as pitching depth


two will be DFAed and Thompson will be in the pen.


Pirates have quality depth in certain places, such as every IF spot except 1B, and little to no depth in others, LHSP’s and bullpen arms are the most glaring.

When the Owner forces the organisation to dumpster dive in the FA market, it’s imperative the GM executes a plan to solidify holes in the roster by dealing from strength from others. Thus far, BC hasn’t really even tried to do that. He settles for the path of least resistance, waiver wire claims.

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