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Pirates Prospects Daily: MLB Pipeline Likes The Pirates Outfield Depth

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One of the themes I keep running back to when looking at how the Pittsburgh Pirates 40-man roster might line up for Opening Day, is that there are plenty of options to play in the outfield, but no standout prospects.

Whether that’s a good thing or not is still remained to be seen, but the fact remains that the Pirates have a good amount of depth when it comes to the outfield, and that trickles all the way down the system.

MLB Pipeline released their Top 30 prospects in the Pirates system on Wednesday and just like every list national outlets put out, there were quite a few surprises in it.

An initial thought on the list, they are really high on the outfield depth, with a total of seven pure outfielders ranked. Add in three players that played some outfield last year, but have primary position elsewhere, and another that is mentioned as potential move out there at some point in his career.

That’s a total of 11 players that could factor in the outfield picture at some point in the feature, out of the 30 total prospects ranked by MLB Pipeline.

The amount of names are thicker towards the backend of the list, which also includes maybe the most surprising inclusion, Matt Fraizer.

After being named the Pirates Minor League Player of the Year in 2021, Fraizer struggled to repeat his success in Double-A, and along with his age (25), it’s interesting to see him on there still.

Travis Swaggerty is the same age as Fraizer, but played all of last season in Triple-A outside of his very brief stint in the majors. He and Canaan Smith-Njigba are fighting for a roster spot this spring.

Hudson Head wraps up a trio of outfielders ranked together, coming in at 24. The results haven’t really translated too much, but he continues to flash the tools to be a successful baseball player.

The top ranked outfielder, Lonnie White Jr., hasn’t played much due to injuries, but has the raw skillset to catch up quickly. He could be joined by Shalin Polanco in Bradenton, and was MLB Pipeline’s pick to breakout in the system this year. Polanco was ranked 26th.

Ji-Hwan Bae (13) and Endy Rodriguez (2) both have experience in the outfield, and could see playing time there this year in Pittsburgh, but have other positions they play primarily.

The outfield isn’t usually one of the first positions of strengths that come up for the Pirates, but it’s the position that has the second most representation on the list. As they continue to look for a long-term solution at the position, there will be plenty of options for them to give an opportunity too.

Pirates Prospects Daily

By Tim Williams

**In my latest First Pitch, I explored the subject of POWER, in the first part of a series I’m writing to take a look at what the baseball tools actually are.

Spring Training Recap: Pirates 1, Orioles 1

Pirates DVR: Quinn Priester, Henry Davis HBP, Draft Prospects Shine

**Missed yesterday? Anthony wrote about the bullpen depth on display in the split squad games.

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TODAY’S LINEUP

Pirates are at the Philadelphia Phillies today at 1:05 PM

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Anthony Murphy
Anthony Murphy
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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