The Athletic Top 100 Prospects List Includes Five Pirates

Keith Law from The Athletic released his list of the top 100 prospects in baseball on Monday morning. This is the fourth top 100 prospects list from a major source this off-season. It’s the first one to include five Pittsburgh Pirates. Here’s a look at where those players rank.

Law starts off his list with 2022 first round pick Termarr Johnson, who ranks 18th overall. This is the highest ranking so far for any Pirates prospect. Johnson was recently ranked by MLB Pipeline as the best second base prospect in baseball, and the 26th best prospect overall. Johnson was also ranked 31st overall by Baseball Prospectus and 49th overall by Baseball America.

Henry Davis is second among Pirates for Law, ranking 30th overall. He ranked 57th by Pipeline, 73rd by BA and 46th by Prospectus, so this is also his highest ranking.

Right behind Davis is fellow catcher Endy Rodriguez, who ranks 34th on The Athletic list. He was ranked 23rd by BA, who had him as the top prospect in the system. Baseball Prospectus had him in the same spot as MLB Pipeline, placing him 55th overall.

Quinn Priester ranks 64th for Law. He was surprisingly left off the first two lists posted this year (BA and BP), but Pipeline had him 60th. So there’s a difference in opinions between the top sources. It will be interesting to see how he does on the final two lists (ESPN and Fangraphs).

The fifth Pirates player just made it onto the back end of the list, which is his first top 100 ranking. Bubba Chandler is ranked as the 100th best prospect for Law. He did get a mention from BA as a possible prospect who could jump into the top 100 this year, but Law is the first to have him there.

Once the remaining top 100 lists are released, we will average out the results for one final article.

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.

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Guys like Swaggerty are the reason why I’d rather not bring in the Connor Joe types- or even Cutch if his name wasn’t Andrew McCutchen. I’d rather see some of these other guys get a shot. This team is going to stink bad, so who cares.

As for Termarr Johnson, I’d like to see him do something before I annoint him an early arriver. He looked OK his first month, but he wasn’t killing it. If he’s as good of a hitter as he’s supposed to be, I expect Mayer/Lawler type stats.


Termarr = Kahlil Watson


Based on what? They seem different in their skill set.


I hope he does better than Watson. His first cup of coffee outside of complex ball didn’t look great.


Total off topic. just was poking around and came up with this delicious tidbit.

Prior to 2022, Dansby Swanson’s career line is nearly identical to Jordy Mercer’s

Jordy Career: .256.315.386, 88 wRC+
Dansby, prior to 2022: .249/.319/.409, 88 wRC+

eat that as an afternoon snack


It is interesting, but Swanson’s calling card has always been his defense which if you are using fWAR, means a lot in the final tabulations. His D alone is probably worth at least 2 to 3 fWAR per year.


Hope he reverts back to being Jordy while with the Cubs.

b mcferren

I too always thought Swanson was a dud


not gonna go that far, but i definitely would be a little confused if my team gave him almost 200 million dollars

i mean kudos to the cubs for trying to improve. whatever.


Screw the cubbies

Kudo’s to BC

70 M= best defender in the game


I’d imagine this is the argument other fans are making against Bryan Reynolds…


Reynolds has at least been good at both hitting and defense at different times in his career. I truly believe having a bazillion different guys line up to either side of him the last two years hurt Reynolds on defensive metrics.


off topic. I think Rivas will be the one to push Cruz off of short.


John: you said there are only two important lists left, Fangraphs & ESPN. You must have forgotten my annual list of players I already know I am going to shower with praise in ‘23 no matter what they do (Bae; Cutch; Bednar) and players at a moment’s notice I’m already ready to rip apart on the PP Message Board (Velasquez, Connor Joe, Underwood). Just give me a reason


Call me a contrarian, or a curmudgeon, or even a F’ing idiot, but I would prefer the “experts” say our prospects suck than say they’re great. I’m probably just scarred from the days when Pirates had a 90+ win team and the best farm system according to the “experts” yet found a way to be a crap team for going on a decade now.

I’m not a Keith Law fan by any means, but I wish he had left Bubba off this list and downgraded Termarr, too. It gives me no joy to see how he loves them so.

Last edited 1 month ago by skliesen
Wilbur Miller

Think of Law as a reverse-reverse jinx.


Don’t worry I’m already searching Amazon for a Keith Law doll to stick needles in if Johnson or Chandler get off to a slow start.


The fall of Nicky the K is, unfortunately, palpable. We are debating whether Castro or Bae are the best second base options. But, I’d much rather be debating when we were going to call NG up to the bigs. I really thought that he was going to be another Gonzalez, Freddie.


The Pirates second first round pick in 3 years that did not play in a highly competitive major college conference. Travis Swaggerty from South Alabama in 2018 and Nick Gonzales from New Mexico State in 2020. One by NH and one by BC. Wasted picks so far.

Swagg’s is going into his age 26 season and will have to really get off fast at AAA to have any hope. Gonzales is not in as hard of a bind, but he has to start hitting and cut way back on the number of strikeouts. The problems of both are actually a compliment to the player development org within the Pirates MiLB System.

Wilbur Miller

Nick has a limited window here. If Termarr is real, he’s not gonna be a level-a-year guy. I give him better than 50-50, maybe a lot better, to reach AA this year. So it’s put-up-or-shut-up time.


I agree, I said the same about Endy after watching the 2nd half of the Marauders championship season. He never slumped, he was spraying the ball all over the diamond, even his outs were hit hard
all year. I thought they were skipping him over High A, especially after they announced Davis and Guttierez were starting there as well
If he is wrecking pitchers in Bradenton, they might feel GBO is not strong enough test for the kid
Endy started slow first few weeks which i think was more shock of being out on his own for the 1st time away from Pirate city
Put money away for Bae, Endy and Termarr. PLEASE

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Somewhat on the topic. I decided to do my own depth chart Pirates through Bradenton today. What I ultimately concluded is I don’t envy you having to do that lol


post it

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)


Do you think Termarr is a long term early contract kind of guy? That’s most likely the only way he’s getting in the majors early with the Pirates.

Wilbur Miller

If he really tears it up in the minors, it’s an obvious thing to consider. Like Tampa with Franco.


Yep. It’s not a situation where he gets endless amounts of time to heal and prove himself.


Perhaps if he’s healthy the whole year.


me 364 days of the year: Keith Law isnt what he used to be, and is too busy with board games

me today: Keith Law is the best evaluator in the business

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Until I remember how much Law loved (and really still does) Kevin Newman.



i’ll never forgive him for being the first to break the news that the pirates would draft tony sanchez -_-


Lol. I used to like him, but he has too many agendas which color his rankings for my taste. But, like you, today, he is numero uno. 😎😎

Wilbur Miller


Scam likely

Davis ahead of Endy is just silly.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

The bat and power look legit for Tank. When healthy. Where Gonzales could at times look overpowered, I watched Davis face a late 20’s reliever signed out of foreign ball who had straight gas (can’t remember who it was off top of my head. Some guy that began stateside and struggled, went overseas, saw some success, then came back), and couldn’t blow one past him. When it comes to defense, meh. They can worry about that later when Endy and Tank are both shoving and just want to get the bats in the lineup.


Law really liked Davis during his draft year. I guess this is just a bias that he has.


I don’t think they are far apart. Davis OBP and power are real, despite his injury struggles, and I like that Law doesn’t just do what the rest do and just drop him down after one bad luck year. Pirates fans shouldn’t let the talking heads get us down on prospects so easily. Swaggerty is another example of pirates fans jumping on their own player just to find out that maybe he will be a useful or better piece after all.

The first round expectations game is a farce. The average first rounder is a bench piece and Davis looks way better than that.


In Swaggerty’s case there is reason to jump on him. His issues have not been all about injuries. We should have taken Gorman in the draft. At the time of the draft there were some fears about his hitting. In the case of Davis I agree. Fans should not get down on him because of injuries. His power is real, and you saw what he ca be before he got hurt. I do worry a little about the HBPs, and whether he will have trouble staying healthy.


I disagree on Swaggerty. Injuries, a child born prematurely and in the hospital, and he still hit above average and played plus plus defense. .800 OPS second half too. He is coming into his own as a Harrison bader type player and I believe that is a fine outcome for a 1st round pick. Most of which end up out of the show.


You also forgot his wife’s battle with thyroid cancer in 2019(?)…This guy has been through the ringer, and I only think it has made him more resilient.

If he can play plus plus defense in CF and get on base 33% of the time, it’s likely he’ll be a 2.5 to 3.0 WAR player. He is being overlooked, almost an after thought by some. I think he becomes a pleasant surprise for the organization and a big fan favorite when he starts to get regular playing time in the show.


I’m a fan of Swag and I think that OBP hope is pushing it, at least for this year. I’d bet he’s far closer to .300 OBP if he gets extended time.


I just hope that we get to finally see a full season of Davis.


When you do your final article averages, please also include what level you expect them to start the year, and what progression in the system you see for them each this year. Thanks


Might be a high “ask”, but I like it.

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