Here's where the Pirates' Top 30 prospects are starting the season

April 5th, 2024

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

1. Paul Skenes (MLB No. 3), RHP -- Indianapolis (Triple-A)
2. Termarr Johnson (MLB No. 42), 2B -- Greensboro (High-A)
3. Jared Jones (MLB No. 58), RHP -- Pittsburgh (MLB)
4. Anthony Solometo (MLB No. 78), LHP -- Altoona (Double-A)
5. Bubba Chandler (MLB No. 89), RHP -- Altoona (Double-A)
6. Thomas Harrington, RHP -- Altoona (Double-A) -- injured list (rotator cuff strain)
7. Braxton Ashcraft, RHP -- Altoona (Double-A)
8. Mitch Jebb, SS -- Greensboro (High-A)
9. Tsung-Che Cheng, SS -- Altoona (Double-A)
10. Jack Brannigan, SS -- Greensboro (High-A)
11. Michael Burrows, RHP -- Indianapolis (Triple-A) -- injured list (Tommy John rehab)
12. Lonnie White, OF -- Greensboro (High-A)
13. Zander Mueth, RHP -- Extended spring training
14. Hunter Barco, LHP -- Greensboro (High-A)
15. Michael Kennedy, LHP -- Bradenton (Single-A)
16. Shalin Polanco, OF -- Bradenton (Single-A)
17. Yordany De Los Santos, SS -- Extended spring training
18. Jun-Seok Shim, RHP -- Injured list (shoulder)
19. Garret Forrester, 1B -- Bradenton (Single-A)
20. Jase Bowen, OF -- Altoona (Double-A)
21. Kyle Nicolas, RHP -- Indianapolis (Triple-A)
22. Patrick Reilly, RHP -- Greensboro (High-A)
23. Enmanuel Terrero, OF -- Greensboro (High-A) -- injured list (wrist)
24. Jesus Castillo, UTIL -- Bradenton (Single-A)
25. Jhonny Severino, SS -- Extended spring training
26. Estuar Suero, OF -- Extended spring training
27. Tres Gonzalez, OF -- Altoona (Double-A)
28. Omar Alfonzo, C -- Bradenton (Single-A)
29. Bralyn Brazoban, OF -- Dominican Republic complex
30. Tony Blanco Jr., OF/1B -- Extended spring training

Team to watch
It would be sound advice to say that watching any team that Skenes is on would be wise, but he does pitch only once every five days or so. ... So go watch some of the other great arms in Altoona. Solometo and Chandler are the Top 100 guys, but Harrington (when healthy) and Ashcraft are legit, while Cheng, the middle infielder, gives the Curve a fourth healthy top 10 guy.

Teams on MLB.TV and MiLB.TV
Triple-A Indianapolis
Double-A Altoona
High-A Greensboro
Single-A Bradenton

Players we could see in 2024
Hmm, I wonder who could possibly excite Pirates fans ... we recently predicted a May arrival for Skenes, the top pick in last year’s Draft who has already shown he can dominate Triple-A hitters in his first start. The Pirates’ big league bullpen is solid, but Nicolas, now a full-time reliever, should get another shot to contribute.

New faces
Joining Skenes from the 2023 Draft are (in Draft order): Jebb (Greensboro), Meuth (extended), Forrester (Bradenton), Reilly (Greensboro). It can be tough for a new international signee to break into a Top 30 of a deep organization like this one, but Brazoban, who got $2 million to sign in January, deserved the spot. He’ll get started in the Dominican Summer League.

On the shelf
Harrington should get to Altoona once he gets cleared from his rotator cuff strain, something they don’t expect to be a long-term injury. Both Shim (shoulder) and Terrero (wrist) are on the 60-day injured list. Burrows is closing in on a year removed from TJ surgery and is working his way back to a competitive mound.