Pirates Prospect Daily: Bubba Chandler To Focus On Pitching In 2023

While most of the focus is on major league camp, a little bit of news came out on the minor league side of things.

Drafted as a two-way player, Bubba Chandler will focus on pitching for the 2023 season, and put aside the hitting in the mean time. 

Chandler showed plenty of potential on the mound last year, and while he showed some power at the plate, really struggled to make contact. 

I originally had a feature breakdown planned out for Chandler hitting, but decided to hold it off until the season started to see if he had made any adjustments instead. For now he will look to try and take the next step in his development on the mound.

While it was always a long shot, but a fun story to monitor, this always seemed like this was going to be the end game.

There’s no denying Chandler’s athleticism and versatility, as he also played quarterback in high school.

Last year he scrapped the football side for the first time and played baseball full-time, splitting his time on the mound and as the DH. Now his focus will be even more narrow, looking to refine an arsenal that has a lot of promise.

The added focus should help if he starts the year in Greensboro, which already isn’t the most forgiving place to pitch in the minors.  

In the MLB.com article, he did mention there is the chance he looks to hit again, potentially in 2024 or beyond, but if he has the breakout season a lot of people believe he can have, it may not really be necessary for him to do so.

Luis Ortiz Third Pitch Progress

There’s getting exciting about small sample sizes, and then there is getting exciting over three pitches.

That’s where I’m at for Luis Ortiz after his first Spring game. We know what the fastball and slider can do, but being able to drop in a changeup every now and again would be a game changer for the young righty.

Big plus for him recognizing and taking advantage of these games by throwing it on a 3-2 pitch with two outs. Might not see that in the regular season, but he’s using these games for what they are and trying to get the feel how it works in game situations.

Pirates Prospects Daily

By Tim Williams

**Spring Training Recap: Pirates 7, Orioles 4 Pirates won their first game yesterday

**Don’t Count Quinn Priester Out Due to Low Strikeouts Feature on Quinn Priester and his strikeout rate

**Pirates Prospects Daily: Bryan Reynolds Plays Left Field In His Spring Training Debut In case you missed it from yesterday

**Pirates DVR: Ke’Bryan Hayes Home Run, Quinn Priester, Malcom Nunez

Song of the Day


First road game of the Spring. Pirates are still send a lot of guys who will/could make the team

Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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This looks like an easy and correct decision……Bubba with a .584 OPS in A-ball! Hitting a freaking moving baseball is just simply hard to do. If he can’t at A-ball, very little chance he can get to the bigs with his bat.


Why am I hearing John Fogerty in my head??
oh yeah….Boom!!! Swags!!

Last edited 27 days ago by robertkasperski
Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)


b mcferren

Swaggerty BOOM


Rough day for Bae. But I think it’s best for him to get a few weeks with Indy and if he continues to struggle, the silver-lining might be to limit the amount of angst with such a decision.


Ji Hwan Kae, today


The downside, of course, is sending Bae down increases the chances that Owings makes the team. I wouldn’t mind Owings as the 26th-man, but I don’t trust Shelton to treat him as such.


But we have to keep his bench bat ready by playing 5 times a week!


The mind of a genius–give him 15 ABs just in case he’s needed for 1 AB!


In Shelton’s defense: if we don’t give regular at bats to Chris Owings, what kind of message does that send to future unsigned FA’s who slash .104/.254/.143 the previous season and want to play in Pittsburgh ?


Cruz with two hits today, both to left and one of them a homer, like it. So far the swing and miss is under control, so far…


Glanced at Gameday, so far I guess it is a good thing this game isn’t be covered by TV or radio.


Wish it was now…. Boom!! Swags for the Tie!


Oviedo got hammered!


Seems to have done better his second inning.


Love these notes-style pieces; quick hitters on a couple cool topics.

I said to Scott yesterday that I’m actually feeling the slightest bit of universal DH regret. I supported it because pitchers collectively just stopped trying and were making a mockery of them game, but that does create a massive barrier to entry for dudes like Bubba who want to succeed at the plate.


So if there was no DH, would you’ve like to see Chandler developed as a two way?



I don’t buy into the safetyism of coddling pitchers from any activity other than throwing baseballs. Joe Musgrove just f*cked up his foot with a kettlebell, Lirinao broke his hand playing Santa, life’s unpredictable and nobody can do a thing about that.

As long as they didn’t hold back Bubba’s pitching timeline in favor of developing the bat, two-way dev would’ve only made him a better-hitting pitcher, which still sucks, but very well could’ve given an edge over the typical shitty-hitting pitcher.

You could’ve legitimately built a couple wins-worth of value if you developed a full staff that was at least marginally competent with the bat, which is as much value as shifts or framing or any of the other “innovations” of recent time.

b mcferren

not even any radio today???



Looks like Detroit is not carrying it either…….


There are two televised game right now! Watching Painter go up against the twins.

Last edited 27 days ago by PirateRican21

Burnett and Martin throwing out the first pitch on PNC opening day, McCutchen leading off, I’m assuming. I’m usually not into that sort of thing, but that will be rather nice.


Bold move to remind fans that Huntington had them contending in year 6 of a rebuild! Of course that still leaves Cherington three more years, but might also remind some of us that it was the fourth year of Huntington’s tenure that we started seeing positive signs (above .500 at the trade deadline, for example). Will we see such signs this year?


The fact that Nutting contacted AJ is interesting. Could Bob really be interested in winning again? Does he miss it as much as us fans? Why else highlight 2 of our best players (who were FA’s nonetheless) as an anniversary tribute?


The Coonely Era was so cold and corporatized that they actively did not give a f*ck about fan satisfaction. Banal crap like this feels like some kind of turning point in comparison.


Agree.. While a few may say it is an attendance ploy, I appreciate these flashbacks and am glad both seem excited to be a part of it.


I admit to fighting back fireworks-night cynicism but absolutely agree. It’s a game and there’s nothing wrong with fond memories of when it was fun!


My least favorite is “Faith Night”, I’m not anti-religion, but c’mon mixing religion and baseball is just very awkward at best. How about Philosophy Night, Why Am I Here Night, Cynic Night, Nihilism Night (and then don’t have it).


“I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.”


hahaha, that’s hilarious…they should hire YOU!


Nihilism Night (and then don’t have it).”

omg, that’s hilarious!


From all I’ve read here, this is a sensible approach for Chandler. Does he agree? He’s a young man. They don’t give up their dreams easily, particularly when forced. If not, it could have an effect on his development.


If Chandler lets it affect his development he will only hurt himself in the long run. It will cost him more time in the minors and he will take longer to hit the bigs and the money.


It’s more likely to have a negative effect if he was forced but no matter how he might get there, he wouldn’t be the first ‘prospect’ to fail because of a bad attitude.


Very fair observation, but let’s realize he is only 20 years old and I could absolutely see him being disappointed. Not sure how I would have handled it at that age if I felt I had been promised that opportunity. I guess my point is, he may not intentionally (and you didn’t imply this) have it affect him or have any bad intent, but the reality is part of his ‘dream’ is on hold and realistically is over.


One can only hope that his family, agent, and manager and coaches all are in his ear and telling not to worry about it. If he is meant to hit as well as pitch, the opportunity will present itself. They should be reminding him the ultimate goal is to hit the majors and to do so as soon as possible to unlock his earning potential. I absolutely am not depending on him thinking about all this all on his own, You are rigfht at a 20 year old does not always think clearly and he needs reassurance from his family, advisors, and the team management.


Except for catcher, that is a lineup of 2022/23 prospects, will be interesting to see what they can do today.


Re:Ortiz ‘ Might not see that in the regular season,’

Then what is the point of developing one if he is just going to throw it on ST?


He should be throwing the changeup even more than he would if he had mastered it IMO. If this pitch can turn him from a 2 pitch (bullpen candidate) to a legit starter, he needs to throw it and throw it.


And do that at Indy.


There are those who might not be ready to say on March 1st that today — with a chance to get to .500 this Spring — is a must win, but I pretty much think today is a must win



Sheltie needs to let his SPs go longer than 2 IP! The man has too quick of a hook!



b mcferren

is going to look great in one of those yellow pillbox hats


The problem with Chandler keeping up the 2-way thing is his pitching is probably ready for GBO but the bat is definitely not. I guess they could start him in Bradenton to work on refining his command while he tries to see if he can ever make enough contact to stick, but I like that the Pirates are taking an aggressive approach with him as a pitcher. Totally defensible, as much as I would have liked to see him do both.


Bubba doesn’t sound too happy about the decision. Wonder how much him being allowed to hit affected his decision to sign initially.


Too bad. He is now Pirate property and he has to do what they want. Of course, he could just quit but he’d have to return his bonus and get a real job. Lots of openings in retail out there.


I think he clearly showed that hitting isn’t something that he should be focusing on. He did demonstrate potential as a pitcher. Baseball is tough enough and it’s pretty clear that Ohtani is an exception to the rule. If Bubba objects, it says more about his maturity than about the team breaking it’s promise.


This information is likely out there, but I wonder where he stood as a hitter only? Was he Bishop status – later rounds but over slot, or was he considered a top 3 round prospect (raw as it seems) but with a bat fast enough that with time could develop?

I think the observation of his arm is way ahead of his bat is spot on. I hope they at least let him take some BP so he retains some muscle memory. To me it was more they infield drills that were worrisome, just swinging a bat I hope would not jeopardize his health.

Last edited 27 days ago by SouthernBuc

Bench Battles
10) Connor Joe…………….90%
11) Tyler Heineman……….60%
12) Ji-Hwan Bae……………60%
13) Chris Owings…………..50%
14) Kevin Plawecki………..40%
15) Cal Mitchell…………….40%
16) Canaan Smith-Njigba..40%
17) Tucupita Marcano…….30%
18) Jared Triolo…………….30%
19) Travis Swaggerty……..30%
20) Miguel Andujar…………10%
21) Ryan Vilade…………….10%
22) Jason Delay…………….10%
23) Malcolm Nunez………….5%
24) Drew Maggi……………….5%


Seeing a 30% probability for Swaggerty makes me wonder if he will ever contribute anything meaningful at the major league level. Right now his ceiling might be a AAAA player.


Indy could be good with all of these top prospects heading there.


At least for a few months! Then again with promotions come demotions and we have a couple if not a few AAAA guys.


I wish Bubba still played both ways for another year and then see where he’s at.


Boy, if Ortiz could have that change of pace pitch be consistent, watch out!

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