Where the Pirates' Top 30 Prospects are starting season

April 6th, 2023

With the Minor League season opening this week, here's where the Pirates’ Top 30 Prospects are projected to start:

1. Termarr Johnson (MLB No. 25), 2B -- Extended spring training (hamstring)
2. Endy Rodríguez (MLB No. 54), C -- Indianapolis (Triple-A)
3. Henry Davis (MLB No. 56), C -- Altoona (Double-A)
4. Quinn Priester (MLB No. 59), RHP -- Indianapolis (Triple-A)
5. Nick Gonzales, 2B -- Indianapolis (Triple-A)
6. Liover Peguero, SS -- Altoona (Double-A)
7. Bubba Chandler, RHP -- Greensboro (High-A)
8. Luis Ortiz, RHP -- Indianapolis (Triple-A)
9. Michael Burrows, RHP -- Indianapolis (Triple-A)
10. Anthony Solometo, LHP -- Greensboro (High-A)
11. Jared Jones, RHP -- Altoona (Double-A)
12. Thomas Harrington, RHP -- Bradenton (Low-A)
13. Ji-Hwan Bae, 2B -- Pittsburgh (MLB)
14. Lonnie White, OF -- Injured (thumb)
15. Hunter Barco, LHP -- Injured (Tommy John rehab)
16. Malcom Nunez, 1B -- Indianapolis (Triple-A)
17. Matt Gorski, OF -- Altoona (Double-A)
18. Jared Triolo, 3B -- Injured (hamate)
19. Dariel Lopez, 3B -- Injured (knee)
20. Kyle Nicolas, RHP -- Altoona (Double-A)
21. Michael Kennedy, LHP -- Extended spring training
22. Travis Swaggerty, OF -- Indianapolis (Triple-A)
23. Matt Fraizer, OF -- Altoona (Double-A)
24. Hudson Head, OF -- Greensboro (High-A)
25. Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP -- Indianapolis (Triple-A)
26. Jun-Seok Shim, RHP -- Extended spring training
27. Shalin Polanco, OF -- Bradenton (Low-A)
28. Canaan Smith-Njigba, OF -- Pittsburgh (MLB)
29. Yordany De Los Santos, SS -- Extended spring training
30. Tsung-Che Cheng, SS -- Greensboro (High-A)

Team to watch
The Pirates’ deep system is spread throughout the levels, but a stop in Indianapolis should provide good return on your investment. There are eight members of the Top 30 in Triple-A, including Top 100 prospects Endy Rodríguez and Quinn Priester. Five of the top 10 are at the highest level of the Minors.

Teams on MLB.TV and MiLB.TV
Pittsburgh Pirates
Triple-A Indianapolis Indians
Double-A Altoona Curve
Single-A Bradenton Marauders

Players we could see in MLB in 2023
With eight Top 30 players in Triple-A … take your pick. Rodríguez is likely to hit his way to Pittsburgh, and Pirates fans might see him behind the plate, at second base or even in the outfield (though he’s focusing on his catching so far). Priester had a rough first start but leads a group of Indy arms, all of whom could help out this year: Luis Ortiz made a splash last year and Mike Burrows should be ready at some point in 2023.

New faces
Thomas Harrington didn’t pitch after signing as the Pirates’ pick in the Competitive Balance Round A last year, so he’ll be making his organizational debut with Bradenton. The Bucs went over slot to sign high school lefty Michael Kennedy last year as their fourth-rounder. He’ll build up in extended spring training and head out this summer. Jun-Seok Shim was one of the top pitchers on the international market and Pittsburgh signed the Korean right-hander for $750,000; he’ll make his pro debut later this summer.

On the shelf
Lonnie White can’t avoid the injury bug. The former multisport start has had trouble staying on the field. This time it’s a left thumb injury that required surgery, suffered while sliding into second base in a Minor League Spring Training game. Shim would have been held back to monitor workload, but an ankle issue from before he reported slowed his spring development a little bit.