The Pirates Could Have an Outfield Logjam in Greensboro

The Pittsburgh Pirates have had a lot of lower-level outfielders the last few years with significant tools. The progress has been lacking in many cases, even absent in some.

That leaves the organization in a quandary. You want to play the guys who are performing. You also want to give opportunities to the guys who aren’t, because you saw enough to acquire them in the first place.

This will be a challenge for the Pirates with their Greensboro outfielders. Or, more accurately, the outfielders I think are likely to be at Greensboro — no doubt the Pirates will have other ideas in some cases.

I think these decisions are especially challenging at the High-A level. Teams seem willing to promote their more highly regarded prospects up to that point even when they’re not performing, in the hope that they’ll “figure it out”. Teams don’t seem as willing to promote struggling prospects to Double-A.

Another factor that could affect outfield assignments is some upward pressure in the system.

Bradenton figures to have some good outfield prospects: Shalin Polanco, hopefully Lonnie White, Jr., Enmanuel Terrero, Esmerlyn Valdez, maybe Braylon Bishop.

You don’t want those guys sitting much behind somebody who’s repeating the level. Altoona could be a bit short on outfield prospects, possibly just Hudson Head and Matt Fraizer, unless Connor Scott repeats the level after a mediocre 2022 season.

So here are some outfielders who could be with the Grasshoppers in 2023:

Tres Gonzalez: The 2022 fifth-rounder could be a candidate to open 2023 at Altoona. He has a strong hit tool and an advanced approach at the plate. The place he’s really short is power and that doesn’t seem like a reason for him not to be in Double-A. In any event, at the least he’ll be a regular for the Hoppers.

Tanner Tredaway: Different story with tenth-rounder Tredaway. He only got 50 at-bats at Bradenton in 2022, but he batted just .160 with little power. He did have a 14:10 BB:K ratio. Tredaway was drafted as a fifth-year senior; he’ll turn 24 near the end of the 2023 season. Going to Low-A wouldn’t be an encouraging step.

Tanner Tredaway

Sammy Siani: Siani struggled badly with the Hoppers in 2022 (36.2% K rate, for starters), which got him some time in development purgatory. He looked for sure like a guy who’d have to repeat the level, but he’s had a big winter in Australia, so maybe not.

Rodolfo Nolasco: One of the more impressive exit velocity hitters in the system, Nolasco started 2022 with a couple bad months for Bradenton. Then he started hitting and was in the middle of a monster month of July when he got hurt. If he makes decent contact, he could be a lot of fun in Greensboro.

Jauri Custodio: I’m just guessing that Custodio could be a candidate to skip Bradenton (mostly . . . he got 14 at-bats there late in 2022). He’s 21 now but has only 128 at-bats the last three years, due to injuries and the plague, but he’s always hit very well, with very good control of the strike zone.

Jauri Custodio

Jack Herman: Now 23, Herman’s had a tough time the last couple years. He was badly overmatched at Greensboro in 2021 and the Pirates demoted him to Bradenton. He was back with the Hoppers in 2022 and didn’t hit very well, but went out for the year in mid-June after running into a wall making a great catch.

Jase Bowen: Bowen’s made slow but steady progress, spending most of two years at Bradenton before struggling late in 2022 with the Hoppers. He’s done just decently in Australia. He plays all over the field and could be more of a utility player for the Hoppers.

Sergio Campana: One of the more frustrating players in the system, Campana is a good defensive center fielder who gets an 80 for speed from FanGraphs and puts up good exit velocities . . . when he makes contact. After showing very little most of the way through 2021-22 with the Marauders, he started hitting for some power in the second half of 2022, but the Ks remained a serious issue.

Sergio Campana

Luke Brown: Drafted in round 9 in 2021, Brown just hasn’t hit. That includes batting .165 in 91 at-bats with the Hoppers in 2022. It’s hard to see how he gets much playing time in 2023.

THIS WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS

The Pirates Continue to Make Big Signings in Asia

The Pirates Could Have an Outfield Logjam in Greensboro – READING

Scott Randall: The Pirates Traded For an Interesting Control Specialist

Having followed the Pirates fanatically since 1965, Wilbur Miller is one of the fast-dwindling number of fans who’ve actually seen good Pirate teams. He’s even seen Hall-of-Fame Pirates who didn’t get traded mid-career, if you can imagine such a thing. His first in-person game was a 5-4, 11-inning win at Forbes Field over Milwaukee (no, not that one). He’s been writing about the Pirates at various locations online for over 20 years. It has its frustrations, but it’s certainly more cathartic than writing legal stuff. Wilbur is retired and now lives in Bradenton with his wife and three temperamental cats.

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john.benedict

Lolo Sanchez staying in Altoona? I know he was banged up last year
another on base machine

AdministrativeSky236

I am worried that there is a gap between exciting prospects in the FCL/Bradenton and those going to be in Indy this upcoming year. A few nice seasons from guys on this list could go a long way in bridging that gap. Though drafting a college guy 1.1 probably does that some too

Jerry4367

Wilbur are trying to destroy this site?

Jerry4367

Wilbur: Your demeanor is not repsenting this site is disapointing.

GreenWeenie

Nice cat.

robertkasperski

It may look nice but cats would kill you given the opportunity. Missing feeding time one time could prove fatal 🙂

robertkasperski

Those are the most dangerous!!!! My youngest has 3 and I get to cat sit if she is out of town. Her oldest one looks similar to your Percy, She is the creampuff as well. I fear her the most!

Scam likely

Alberto Rodriguez dfa by mariners, 22 with 2 options left, plays all 3 outfield position. Not a bad dfa guy.

leefieux

Not worried. MAy the cream rise to the top….if there IS any. None of them are highly rated. Interesting, yes. But, I a, not getting my hopes up. I have a feeling they’ll be surpassed by those behind them.

Last edited 18 days ago by leefieux
Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I’m hoping 2023 is the year of blossoming in the farm. 2021 seemed to have some intriguing breakouts, followed by a 2022 season of prospects that mostly treaded water. Not necessarily falling below expectations, but not exceeding them either. 2023 feels like the make-or-break year of whether or not the whole “trust the process” was worth the wait.

The glut of OF prospects is a perfect example of how there’s so many available options, yet at the same time it’s hard to disseminate between who should be where, and who deserves a push. Cause it’s a lot of, “He could be interesting” types that maybe show a flash of something here and there, but also still has too many Q’s.

Last edited 18 days ago by Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)
jimmyz

This is probably more of an issue in the upper levels but the glut of outfielders in the whole system is one reason why I feel like sometime this calendar year Cherington needs to be a buyer in a trade to cash in one some of the chips he’s acquired since taking the job and too add some certainty to the MLB roster in the near future. Doesn’t particularly matter if it’s before the season starts or if he both buys and sells at the trade deadline.

leefieux

We all hope that ‘this is the year’, lol.

SouthernBuc

I appreciate the rundown of all the candidates. Is it just me, or given the overall depth of the Pirates minor leagues, is this list not very impressive?

ArkyWags

A few under the radar breakouts from this group would go a long way towards that. A lot of these guys look decidedly meh. The only guys who look like they could be something are Gonzalez and Nolasco.

john_fluharty

“the Pirates have improved from dreadful to mediocre” – that sums up our off-season pretty well lol

leefieux

And mediocre might be an optimistic outlook, lol.

1979andCounting

THIS is what I’ve been waiting for, thanks. He had a very slow start in April-May last year……..so wondering if Cutch himself has some explanation. That’s exactly what he needs to avoid in ’23. Good numbers on EV over 100 mph is encouraging. There are barrel stats that are not mentioned here. Good reminder too that Cutch has one of the best strike zone discipline, so that’s got to continue. If his bat speed is down, he’s more likely to cheat and swing to counter that. And no journalists are ever talking about his ACL injury…..I’m not sure it’s still not an issue. It will be a VERY FUN and interesting ST just to watch him.

Catch_22

If memory serves, he would catch fire in June and run that hot streak through August and cool off in September..

Catch_22

Not only that, but they’re also optimistic the Pirates field a competitive squad this year.

robertkasperski

When one tries to move upwards from gawd awful, You have to achieve mediocrity before you can get to the top. It is a step. I was saying that this would be the off season that the rebuild will start hitting the Bucs. My gut feeling that was this would be the first offseason in a while that there would be better additions to the big league roster. At least the additions this year have been older guys that had plated well in the show before instead of a bunch of never was guys that most of us never heard of. My hope is that they are at least more competitive and mid 70s in wins would be good and .500 or better would be astounding!

Catch_22

Semantics. If they field a .500 team or close to it, I’m ecstatic after what we watched last summer.

leefieux

I’ll be glad if they make it to the low 70s.

1979andCounting

Spending $30 mil in the offseason! Now I’m not a fan of Hill or Hedges, but it’s still a helluva different BC.

ArkyWags

I’m putting the bar at 70 wins this year. Some stuff will go right, more will go wrong, there will be growing pains. I expect a sharper jump up to .500 territory in 24.

chuck_conner

The darkest hour is just before dawn. I remember the middle 50’s, with the O’Brien brothers. Terrible, but in ’59 they came in second place and we all know what happened in 1960. Just ask any New Yorker, and duck.
I don’t think this is the year, but it’s spring training, everyone has hope. Hope is what I have to have, I need it, it’s the only thing left.

1979andCounting

They lost Bednar for 2 months last year, and we had to watch Crowe blow saves. So 61 W was really 67 W’s. Surely they’ve improved way more than 3 games.

PirateRican21

In a way this is my concern about this off season, the bullpen still looks like bottom of the league. I mentioned my wish that they added Chafin way back in August. Somehow he is still available? Someone that could handle the 8th and fill in for Bednar if he struggles, other wise I don’t see this team getting to 75 wins this year.

1979andCounting

Well, there’s going to be some new arms which is needed. We’ve got Garcia, Hernandez (rule 5), Holderman, Moreta, Ramirez, Selby, Stephenson. Four or five of these may come north. So at least BC is trying. BP arms are a dime a dozen, so
doubtful BC is going to spend here. Hembree may have left a bad taste too.

Catch_22

That’s probably where they’re at, maybe a little more than 70, true talent level.

It’s not going to be a hodgepodge of nothingness this year.

leefieux

Just a hodgepodge of meh?

Anthony

Especially if it’s in-person 😉

Zack

Could they be “less watchable” than last year? Is that even possible?

chuck_conner

He 36 and hit 17 HR’S last year. Had a terrible may and June, but did pretty good the rest of the year.
Hope, remember hope!!

Anthony

IDK Wilbur, Santana’s quality of contact is still roughly in the 90th percentile of all MLB players. It’s actually even better than Reynolds.

Zack

Watching them give at bats to Tsutsugo and VanMeter was so incredibly painful. Chavis had his moments, but then they drug it out with him…and wow was it painful to watch him not be able to reach throws to first. The front office and the management staff were both to blame. The moments of excitement from young players masked the pain of poor performing veterans.

This off-season feels different simply because it is more of them signing competent players versus players that couldn’t crack another roster.

Catch_22

My God are you cynical. I’ve talked to lots of people and read lots of articles on the Buccos additions (P2 authors, except you) and you’re honestly the only one that is taking this hard stance.

I think Cherington leaves quite a bit to be desired, but I think he did well this off-season, all things considered.

Colin

Honestly, the negativity on this site has become nauseating. We’re not the fucking Mets or Yankees. We’re not signing big FAs on half billion fuckin contracts. Some of you folks need get an alcoholic beverage of your choice and chill the hell out and just enjoy some baseball. This is the first off-season in years that I’ve been this excited for Bucco baseball, knowing We’re most likely not contending but still glad to see some steps taken in the right direction

Catch_22

My man, you get it!

Cobra

Nothing wrong with Wilbur allowing neither Nutting nor Ben to escape criticism/accountability just because we are (*checks ownership talking points*) a small market in a structure Nutting voted to approve a year ago. The fan base has been treated like crap. That said, fun offseason highlighted far and away by the Cutch signing

Catch_22

Come on, man. he’s celebrating how cynical he’s become. It’s always been there, but it’s now intolerable.

He’s taking quotes out of context. It’s a f*cking parody act.

DanInNC

Nailed it. Wilbur is currently unreadable. Shame, because I think somewhere in there is a lot to add to the discussions in this community.

Catch_22

I agree with the last sentence. I enjoy reading what he sees at Pirate City and Bradenton.

leefieux

Catch22….I like you, but cynicism is closer to reality than the wide eyed optimism that you’re touting.

Catch_22

It’s taking things out of context that really triggered me today.

Kinda went off the deep end today and I need to re-evaluate my purpose in these rooms.

Regardless if someone lies, makes stuff up, takes quotes out of context, I need to learn how to deflect it better.

BTW, I like you as well. Always have.

leefieux

You like me, too? Aww…let’s get a room. 😎😎😎

Catch_22

Do you have quotes? Keep the Mark Madden takes.

Stalker? You’re an old cynical f*ck that is overly sensitive when questioned.

Anthony

I have to agree; this is more about Reynolds. And what I hate about it the most is that Mackey contributed to this view by misreporting information about the situation. I heard him on a podcast the other day trying to explain how he got to the “6/$80M” that he reported. It wasn’t from a source. He made it up and basically said that “no one told him it was false.” His logic didn’t even make sense in the context of all the factual reporting on the topic. Not that I had a ton of respect for him, but I definitely lost any that I did have.

Catch_22

That would be about Bryan Reynolds, Sally.

Catch_22

No, you’re taking quotes out of context. Like the one you keep parroting from the Fangraphs article…

“the Pirates have improved from dreadful to mediocre, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.”

Why would you leave that part out? Because you’re a whiny cynical b*tch and it doesn’t agree with your bullsh*t?

Catch_22

I repeat, you take things out of context to suit your dumb, idiot narrative.

Why did you leave that part out? I know why and you know why.

john_fluharty

We were never going to add a bunch of high profile guys to a crappy team, so the fans were never going to be happy with this off season. Cutch was probably the only thing we could have done to make fans happy.

GreenWeenie

Did they set the bar low as part of a plan to train fans into being ecstatic about a mediocre team or did they “tank” to get higher draft picks, prospects thru trades….in order to build a winning ball club?

Scam likely

Don’t make me turn this car around.

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