Pirates DVR: Yordany De Los Santos, Connor Scott Catch, Maikol Escotto Home Run

Welcome to the Pirates Prospects daily video rundown, where we pull some of the top videos of the Pittsburgh Pirates across the internet. 

Yordany De Los Santos

One of the Pirates big international amateur free agent signings from a couple years back, De Los Santos has found his way into a couple of Major League spring training games during the last couple of days.

He certainly has the frame to be a major leaguer, it will be about filling out and getting experience. 

Connor Scott

It’s another season, so means another opportunity to see Connor Scott make some great plays in the outfield. 

Playing in Altoona last year, he was no stranger to coming up with a big grab in key situations.

Maikol Escotto

There’s a lot of power in the bat of Escotto, as evident by this three-run home run that registered an exit velocity of 104.2.

Injury Updates for JT Brubaker, Lonnie White Jr and Jared Triolo

There are some injury notes from the local media regarding two Pittsburgh Pirates prospects and starting pitcher JT Brubaker.

JT Brubaker is dealing with elbow/forearm discomfort and manager Derek Shelton said that he will likely begin the regular season on the injured list.

Alex Stumpf has updates on third baseman Jared Triolo and outfielder Lonnie White Jr, and neither is good.

Triolo will require hamate surgery. His return time is unknown at this point. He ended the 2022 season on the injured list with a knee injury.

White Jr, who has barely played since being drafted in 2021, had surgery on his left thumb. He will be out for approximately 7-9 weeks, barring any recovery setback. He had an upper body and lower body injury at the same time last year, preventing him for doing any type of baseball activities for quite some time, then his return amounted to two games in late July before he was injured again. He came to camp healthy this year, but was just recently hurt during a game.

Pirates Make Four More Cuts on Monday Afternoon


The Pittsburgh Pirates announced four roster cuts on Monday, getting the Spring Training roster down to 32 players with three days left before Opening Day. Infielder Mark Mathias has been optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis, while infielders Drew Maggi, Chris Owings and pitcher Tyler Chatwood have all been reassigned to minor league camp.

Mathias hasn’t been with the Pirates long after coming over in a trade with the Texas Rangers earlier this month. He hit .222/.417/.278 over eight games.

Maggi has seen extensive playing time this spring, getting into 24 games. No other player has been in 20 (or more) games. He hit .345/.424/.724 in 33 plate appearances, mostly appearing off of the bench.

Owings had the opportunity to opt out of his contract, since he didn’t make the Opening Day roster. He decided to accept the minor league assignment. He hit .250/.405/.406 this spring in 42 plate appearances.

Chatwood has allowed nine runs over five innings this spring, in his five appearances.

The Pirates have one more Spring Training game after today (tomorrow afternoon), then they will have an off-day before opening up the season on the road against the Cincinnati Reds.

Pirates Draft Prospect Watch: Have Yourself a Weekend, Dylan Crews


The Pittsburgh Pirates have the first overall pick in the July 2023 MLB draft. Our draft preview looked at the top prospects for the pick.

At this stage, the draft is very much up in the air. Every Monday, we’ll recap notable performances from around the prep and college ranks, with video to give you an early look at who could be available to the Pirates. This is our fifth weekly recap of the weekend action for the top college draft prospects.

Dylan Crews was our first draft prospect profile. The LSU outfielder went 3-for-5 on Friday against Arkansas, with his seventh homer, two RBIs and a run scored.  He went 3-for-4 with a homer, a HBP, two runs and two RBIs in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. He went 2-for-4 with a homer, four runs, three RBIs and a walk in the second game. He’s hitting .531/.658/.988 in 24 games, with ten doubles, nine homers and 26 walks.

Here’s the Friday home run

Here’s another homer

Here’s the third homer

LSU right-handed pitcher Paul Skenes is a top ten draft prospect, who is off to a tremendous start. He was our fourth prospect profile. He continued that strong pitching on Friday against Arkansas, going seven innings on one run, two hits, three walks and 12 strikeouts. He’s 5-0, 0.72 in 37.1 innings, with an 0.56 WHIP, a .112 BAA and 71 strikeouts.

Here are some highlights

Chase Dollander is considered to be a top two pitcher in the class right now, along with Skenes. We took a closer look at him in our second prospect profile. The University of Tennessee right-hander went up against xxx on Friday, trying to rebound from his worst college start. He had a bit of a bounce back against Texas A&M, but he wasn’t dominant. He went 6.2 innings, with three runs on three hits, two walks and eight strikeouts. He is 4-2, 3.93 in 34.1 innings, with a .228 BAA and an 8:53 BB/SO ratio.

Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford has a chance to go #1. He was recently rated as the top draft prospect by The Athletic, with his athleticism being the thing that pushed him ahead of Crews for Keith Law. Baseball America had him ranked second in their latest update. However, Langford is out of action for at least another month after injuring himself by getting hit with a foul ball off of his own bat. That’s going to cost him some big opportunities to prove himself in front of scouts.

Jacob Wilson from Grand Canyon University has a long shot at being the #1, but he’s still a top ten prospect now. The son of former Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson had a series against Sam Houston this weekend. He went 0-for-3 with an RBI and a walk on Friday. He went 4-for-7 on Saturday in a high scoring/extra-innings contest. He had a double, two runs and three RBIs. Wilson went 4-for-4 with a double and run scored on Sunday. He has a .495 average in 24 games, with ten doubles, four triples, two homers, six walks and four strikeouts in 99 plate appearances.

Shortstop Jacob Gonzalez from Ole Miss is another name to watch. He played against Florida this weekend in a big test, starting with a doubleheader on Saturday. He went 1-for-4 with a double, walk, RBI and run scored in game one. He went 1-for-5 with a run scored in game two. Gonzalez went 1-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and a walk on Sunday. He’s hitting .326/.466/.543 in 24 games.

Walker Jenkins is the first of two high school players we plan on adding, though if anyone else starts getting mentioned higher, they will be added too. Jenkins was our third player profile article. His stats are going to be hard to come by, but I’ll add updates where I can.

Here’s a video where Baseball America talks about him and shares highlights. They give Jenkins an Austin Meadows comp, but don’t let that scare you off just because Meadows is 28 years old with 6.7 career WAR. He’s been hurt a lot in his career. No one is drafting Jenkins in the first round hoping for that outcome as a ceiling. The comp is based on the tools from a lefty swinging high school outfielder, though their arm strength puts them in completely different area codes. Jenkins has a plus arm, which you can see here. The rest of the comp fits.

Pirates Prospects Daily: Chris Owings Adds To Depth In Indianapolis By Not Opting Out


When it was announced that Chris Owings was among the non-roster invites for spring training, his experience and versatility made him look like an ideal candidate to fill out the bench.

A strong showing in spring only strengthened his case to be included, but eventually he found out that he wasn’t going to be part of the Major League roster to begin the season. He did have an opt-out clause in his contract, meaning he could become a free agent should he not make the team, but instead accepted the assignment to minor league camp.

One thing that was brought up by Ben Cherington while on the broadcast of the game against the Baltimore Orioles was them continuing to try and build as much depth as possible. 

Not only will the Pirates have some of their best prospects in the system in Indianapolis to begin the season, it will also have a player with nearly 2,500 career plate appearances at the major league level.

The Indianapolis infield could field any number of names that could include Nick Gonzales, Jared Triolo, Malcom Nunez, Ji-Hwan Bae, Liover Peguero, and Tucupita Marcano before we even factor in Owings. Peguero would be a strong candidate to start the season over in Altoona just due to the number of names in Indy.

They’ve succeeded in putting enough depth in place, something that will be needed over the course of an 162-game schedule. That will come in handy as well if the offense continues to struggle into the regular season.

Eddy Yean Fastball Velocity

The Pirates went with a bullpen game on Sunday, using eight different pitchers, with most pulled from the minor league side of things.

One of those players was Eddy Yean, who was acquired along with Wil Crowe in the Josh Bell trade. A still very young 21 years old, the righty hasn’t posted the best numbers in his two years with the Pirates, but his fastball/slider combination remains intriguing.

His first pitch hit 99 mph, which is an interesting development. Pulling as much video as I could on him, he had never hit more than 96 mph, even going back to 2022 when he focused on shorter outings. 

Yean has the frame that would support more velocity, it would just be a matter of controlling it. He also seems like a prospect that a longer approach would need to be taken, but could also have a decent payoff.

Pirates Prospects Daily

By John Dreker

Pirates lost 8-1 to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday. Here’s the boxscore. Connor Joe was hit by a pitch and removed, with the Pirates saying he was day-to-day. Pirates are on the road today at 1:05 PM against the Minnesota Twins. The lineup will be added below once it becomes available.

**Pirates Reassign Angel Perdomo and Miguel Andujar to Minor League Camp The latest roster cuts

**Pirates Prospects Daily: Did the Pirates Do It Again with Vince Velasquez?

**Pirates DVR: Thomas Harrington, JP Massey, Michael Kennedy

Song of the Day

It could very well be a manic Monday with the amount of roster moves that still need to be made

Today’s Lineup

Pirates DVR: Omar Cruz, Noe Toribio, Eddy Yean

Welcome to the Pirates Prospects daily video rundown, where we pull some of the top videos of the Pittsburgh Pirates across the internet. 

Omar Cruz

The lefty has spent a good chunk of the last two seasons in Altoona, originally as a starter before eventually settling into a bullpen role, seeing some added swing and miss with the switch.

With the Pirates going with a bullpen type of game on Sunday, they got quite a few minor league names into to pitch, including Cruz.

Noe Toribio

The righty split 2022 with Double-A Altoona as well as Indianapolis, struggling once he got to Triple-A. He still showed some good swing and miss metrics, even without the strikeout totals to go with it.

He also kept the ball on the ground. In Sunday’s game, he got a couple of whiffs that eventually led to a strikeout, before getting a double play to end the inning.

Eddy Yean

Yean was the second piece of the Josh Bell trade, along with Wil Crowe. Yean pitched an inning on Sunday, striking out a pair, but also walking a batter and allowing two hits in the process. 

The 21-year-old Yean sat mostly in the 93-95 mph range on his fastball on Sunday, but was able to dial it up to 99 on his first pitch of the outing.

Pirates Reassign Angel Perdomo and Miguel Andujar to Minor League Camp


The Pittsburgh Pirates announced after Sunday’s game that they have reassigned pitcher Angel Perdomo and IF/OF Miguel Andujar to minor league camp. That trims their roster to 36 players, though that number includes Chris Owings, who had an opt out yesterday, but decided to accept an assignment to Indianapolis instead after being told he won’t make the Opening Day roster.

Andujar was designated for assignment over the winter, but he cleared waivers and accepted his assignment to Indianapolis. The Pirates agreed to a $1.525M contract with him for 2023, which likely helped him clear waivers, and in turn they were able to keep him in the system. He hit .195/.244/.366 in 45 plate appearances this spring, which is the sixth highest total of PA’s for the Pirates.

Perdomo was vying for a lefty spot in the bullpen, but he allowed eight runs over 9.2 innings this spring. He made ten appearances, finishing with nine hits, five walks and 13 strikeouts. He was limited to just 34 minor league innings last year, though they came with a 1.85 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and 56 strikeouts. He had brief big league time with the 2020-21 Milwaukee Brewers.

Opening Day is just four days away, so expect more cuts soon.

Pirates Business: Minor League Splits

The season is almost upon us and come this time next week, I’ll be breaking down the opening day payroll for the Pittsburgh Pirates. With that in mind, I wanted to cover something you won’t hear about anywhere else—minor league splits.

As I detailed when I covered optional assignments, pre-arbitration players typically sign split contracts, which pay different rates for players’ time in the majors versus their time in the minors. While many know and understand what a player is making in the majors, not many understand or discuss a player’s minor league pay.

Other payroll sources like Spotrac and Roster Resource take these minor league expenses into account, as all players on the 40-man roster are included in payroll calculations. They often use an estimate that simply blankets every minor league player—but not around here.

Per the Basic Agreement, minor league rates are to be set at fifty percent of a player’s total compensation—major and minor league—from the prior season, or the minimum, whichever is greater. For 2023, the minimum was agreed to $58,800 for players signing their first contract (think Endy Rodriguez) or $117,400 for players signing their second contract or with prior Major League service (Liover Peguero, for example).

Obviously, trying to calculate this for every player in the league would be a massive endeavor, which is likely why an estimate is often tacked on at the end. However, it’s much easier for me to figure out with fewer players to track, along with having a player’s total compensation as a part of what I do already.

Therefore, I thought it would be enlightening to share the minor league rates I’ll be using this season to calculate payroll expense for a player’s time in the minors. Of course, these are just estimates, as I don’t know what the split amounts will be exactly, but using these estimates makes more sense to me than just tacking on a few million dollars at the end of the season for minor league pay, as other sites do.

This list will only include players who the club renewed with their reservation rights—those they tendered contracts. A player who doesn’t have enough service to have yet reach arbitration, but was brought in on a minor league contract—think Tyler Heineman—will likely have agreed to a different minor league rate in their contract than the fifty percent figure cited above. For example, Heineman will be making $150,000 in the minors if selected and subsequently optioned, whereas it would have been $339,088 had he been tendered.

I’ll highlight one example for anyone who still may not understand that calculation in the form of a player that will be easy to understand—Connor Joe.

Last season, Joe spent the entire season in the majors with a payrate of $702,000. As a player who still has options, Joe could theoretically see the minors this season. If he does, he will be paid at a rate of $351,000—fifty percent of his total compensation from 2022.

With that in mind, here’s a list of the rest of the pre-arbitration players currently on the Pirates roster:

Ji Hwan Bae – $117,400

David Bednar – $357,500

Mike Burrows – $58,800

Rodolfo Castro – $190,165

Roansy Contreras – $227,502

Wil Crowe – $357,500

Oneil Cruz – $232,372

Chase De Jong – $403,846

Yerry De Los Santos – $261,538

Jose Hernandez* – $117,400

Colin Holderman – $251,169

Connor Joe – $351,000

Max Kranick – $264,839

Tucupita Marcano – $196,658

Mark Mathias – $186,824

Cal Mitchell – $193,621

Dauri Moreta – $209,963

Luis Ortiz – $117,400

Johan Oviedo – $215,967

Liover Peguero – $117,400

Yohan Ramirez – $217,301

Endy Rodriguez – $58,800

Colin Selby – $58,800

Canaan Smith-Njigba – $231,682

Jack Suwinski – $244,015

Travis Swaggerty – $117,400

Jared Triolo – $58,800

Ryan Vilade – $117,400

Pirates Payroll Updates

—With the news that Robert Stephenson was likely to start the season on the IL, I replaced his spot in the bullpen with Dauri Moreta, which raised the estimate by $515,037.

—For 2023, the payroll estimate stands at $74,253,908 for the Labor Relations Department, while it’s $90,670,575 for CBT purposes.

Pirates Prospects Daily: Did the Pirates Do It Again with Vince Velasquez?


To be fair, if there was only going to be one game to show the majority of Pirates fans what the potential impact Vince Velasquez could make in 2023, Saturday night was it.

The free agent pickup had eluded any sort of television broadcast up to what was his last spring training outing, and then he made it count. 

Velasquez pitched five strong innings, allowing three hits, one run, and three walks, while striking out seven.

His fastball was lights out, generating eight swings and misses, while posting a 36% Called Strike Plus Whiff Rate (CSW%). 

The success he saw on Saturday could be possibly based off of familiarity, as the Baltimore Orioles are the only team he faced during Grapefruit League outings, four in all total.

It was really just his start on March 19 that has really inflated his ERA, as in his other three starts he combined to allow just two earned runs across ten innings, while striking out 11.

Velasquez is kind of the ultimate test for the Pirates coaching staff. They’ve had success putting Tyler Anderson and Jose Quintana back on the right path, where they each would eventually cash in at some point after leaving the team.

While he had some hype coming up the Philadelphia Phillies system, the success never really translated to the extent it had for Anderson and Quintana, so he may not exactly qualify as a ‘reclamation project’ like the others did.

The Pirates enter 2023 trying to avoid a third straight 100-loss season. That fact tells you that much has gone right recently, but if there is one thing going for them, it’s been their ability to tinker with pitchers at the Major League level to get the most out of them.

Pirates Prospects Daily

By John Dreker

The Pirates lost 6-4 to the Orioles last night. The Velasquez outing was the only real highlight. Here’s the boxscore. They take on the Atlanta Braves this afternoon on the road. It’s a 1:05 PM start. MLB.com lists it as one of the free games of the day. We will post the lineup below once it becomes available.

**Pirates Inch Closer to Opening Day Roster Pirates made a roster decision to get closer to Opening Day

**Pirates Draft Prospects: Paul Skenes is Exceeding Very High Expectations Our fourth draft prospect profile.

**Pirates Prospects Daily: Upper Level Catcher Picture Becoming Clearer

**Pirates DVR: Canaan Smith-Njigba RBI, Jun-Seok Shim, Quinn Priester

Song of the Day

I picked today’s song by Willie Mae Ford Smith because she’s from Rolling Fork, Mississippi, which was devastated by a tornado on Friday night. She’s a famous gospel singer. I don’t listen to gospel, so I don’t know any of her songs, but this seemed like the best one of a few I tried out.

Today’s Lineup

Rich Hill scratched due to illness