Former No. 1 pick sidelined by fracture in wrist

May 24th, 2022

Welcome to the Pirates prospect update, where you’ll find news, promotions and standout performances, all year long.

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Pirates GM gives update on Henry Davis (May 24)
Ben Cherington provided an additional update on Davis after announcing on 93.7 The Fan on May 22 that the Pirates' No. 2 prospect had a small fracture in his wrist.

“We're hoping that he can ramp up baseball activity in days, not weeks,” Cherington said. “But it's obviously going to go off how he's feeling, and he's feeling better from what I know. But we're going to be cautious too and listen to what he's saying. But our hope is that he's ramping up baseball activity before too long.” -- Justice Delos Santos

Pirates recall RHP Roansy Contreras; select contract of OF Cal Mitchell (May 24)
A day after calling up right-hander Yerry De Los Santos, the Pirates added even more young talent to their already young roster, calling up No. 6 prospect Contreras and No. 25 prospect Mitchell. In 28 innings with both Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, Contreras has a 2.89 ERA with 34 strikeouts to 14 walks. For Mitchell, who was slashing .306/.362/.500 with five homers and six steals with Triple-A Indianapolis, this is his first Major League callup. -- Justice Delos Santos

Gorski blasts three homers for Grasshoppers (May 22)
Matt Gorski
continued his torrid May. The Pirates prospect entered the day with 14 homers, including nine through his first 17 games this month. It was his last, however, that mattered the most for High-A Greensboro.

Tied, 3-3, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Gorski connected on his third tater of the game to left-center to send his club past visiting Bowling Green, 4-3. The 24-year-old drove in all of the Grasshoppers' runs after slugging a two-run blast to left in the first and a game-tying solo shot to left in the fourth. Gorski's four RBIs matched a season high and gave him 37 on the year to go along with a .294 average and a .1.131 OPS.

Pittsburgh's second-round pick in 2019 has already matched the 17 homers he belted last year for Greensboro, moving into a tie for the Minor League lead with Cardinals prospect Moisés Gómez of Double-A Springfield. Full story »

Gonzales homers in 4th straight multihit day (May 19)
Don’t look now, but Nick Gonzales is starting to heat up.

The top prospect homered as part of his fourth straight multihit game in Double-A Altoona’s 5-4 loss to Richmond. Gonzales doubled in his first at-bat before smacking his fourth dinger of the year, a game-tying two-run shot to left off Flying Squirrels lefty Jake Dahlberg. MLB’s 18th-ranked prospect extended his hitting streak to seven games and is slashing .351/.409/.595 with five extra-base hits, five walks and six RBIs in his last 10 games. -- Stephanie Sheehan

Davis placed on 7-day IL in Double-A (May 18)
Henry Davis
was placed on the injured list with a left wrist injury on Wednesday. MLB's No. 22 prospect was promoted to Double-A Altoona on May 10 after producing a .341/.450/.585 slash line and nine extra-base hits -- including five homers -- over 22 games for High-A Greensboro.

He was hit by a pitch in the first inning of his Eastern League debut but remained in the game, finishing with a homer and a walk. Davis sat out the next game, and was again hit by a pitch in the first inning of the Curve's May 12 matchup. He played all nine innings, going 0-for-3, but has not appeared in a game since. -- Josh Jackson

Gonzales goes yard in three-hit night (May 17)
This is more like it! It's taken some adjusting for Nick Gonzales since joining Double-A Altoona, but after leading the Curve to a 12-2 victory over Richmond, the top Pirates prospect looked more like his usual self.

Gonzales collected three knocks -- a pair of doubles and his third home run with the Curve -- drove in three runs and scored three times. The 22-year-old laced a double to left in the first, led off the fifth with another two-bagger to right and drilled a two-run dinger to left in the sixth. The No. 19 overall prospect capped off his night with a sacrifice fly to right in the eighth that plated the Curve's 10th run.

The 2020 No. 7 overall Draft selection has nine extra-base hits, 10 RBIs and 18 runs scored over 31 games with Altoona this season. -- Rob Terranova

Mitchell clubs a pair of jacks for Indianapolis (May 13)
Cal Mitchell hadn't left the yard in his previous 16 games entering Friday night, but the 27th-ranked Pirates prospect made up for lost time with a pair of jacks in Triple-A Indianapolis' 7-5 win over Charlotte.

The 23-year-old mashed a two-run shot to right-center field in the third and then provided the difference in the game with another two-run blast in the 10th. Mitchell is sporting a .312/.387/.548 slash line with five homers and 19 RBIs in 26 games this season. -- Rob Terranova

Davis homers in Double-A debut (May 10)
In his first Double-A plate appearance, Henry Davis got hit by a pitch. In his third, it nearly happened again.

Instead, Davis simply left the yard.

Baseball’s No. 23 overall prospect cranked a two-run homer to left field for his first Eastern League hit and reached base three times in his debut at the level as Altoona sank visiting Somerset, 4-3. Full story »

Report: Top '21 pick Davis promoted to Double-A (May 8)
The first overall pick in last year's MLB Draft just earned a promotion, according to a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Henry Davis, the Pirates' No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline and No. 23 overall, is reportedly headed to Double-A Altoona after hitting .341 with a 1.035 OPS and five home runs in 22 games at High-A Greensboro this season.

The Pirates selected Davis with the first overall pick out of the University of Louisville, where he hit .370/.483/.663 with 15 homers in 50 games in 2021. Full story »

Cruz smacks 110+ mph homer (May 7)
Oneil Cruz is a powerhouse with an electric swing.

The No. 25 overall prospect showed off his strength in Triple-A Indianapolis' 8-2 victory over Louisville.

The designated hitter was 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs in the win.

Cruz rocketed his first hit of the game as a two-RBI double to right field in the second inning that came off the bat at 115 mph. The 23-year-old's second hit came in as a solo homer to center field that fell just short of the previous speed, coming off the bat at 113 mph, per the team. The fourth inning blast was his second of the season. Cruz picked up his fourth RBI in the seventh inning on a hit by pitch with the bases loaded.

This was Cruz's fourth multihit game of the season.

Roansy Contreras handled the brunt of the pitching load for the Indians, tossing four shutout innings, allowing just one hit while striking out six. This is the 22-year-old's longest outing without giving up a run in 2022, and he fanned the most batters without giving a run this season as well. -- Ethan Sands

Davis homers in first pro three-hit showing (May 3)
Twenty-seven games into his pro career, Henry Davis posted his first three-hit performance and first showing with multiple stolen bases, also his fourth home run of the season. The Pirates' No. 2 prospect (and MLB's No. 23), who was 3-for-5, opened the scoring in High-A Greensboro's 8-5 win over Asheville with a two-run dinger with a line drive to left field in the first inning.

The right-handed-hitting Davis singled to left in the fourth and scored another run, then collected another base knock to left in the seventh. He followed that single with a swipe of second, then led a double steal to take third. He's ripped off five bags over 19 games this year after stealing one in eight games in his debut pro campaign last year.

The 22-year-old catcher, who served as DH during the three-hit game, has a .343/.453/.571 slash line this season. -- Josh Jackson

Bae homers in five-hit night (April 29)
Pittsburgh's No. 16 prospect Ji-hwan Bae left no base untouched in a five-hit performance that led Indianapolis to an 8-1 win over Iowa.

Bae totaled a career-high 10 bases on a career-high five hits, three RBIs, two doubles and his second home run in as many games.

The left-handed batter kicked things off with a basic single on an 0-1 count in his first at-bat to begin his hitting display. Bae followed with his first double of the night. In his third at-bat he launched a solo home run in the fifth inning to give his team a 2-0 lead, and in his final at-bat doubled home two more runs to give his squad the last two runs of the night.

Coming into April 29, the second baseman had just one hit in his last 22 at-bats. The one hit came in Bae's most recent appearance on April 27.

Bae was originally projected to be a first-round pick in the 2017 KBO League draft, but he signed as a free agent in 2017 out of South Korea. He has played five seasons in the Minors beginning in 2018.

Although the 22-year-old has shown promise over the years, the Pirates currently have six second basemen on their roster. -- Ethan Sands

Peguero homers in monster game (April 28)
In what has been a brilliant start to the season, Liover Peguero may have put up his best game in Double-A Altoona’s 9-8 loss to Akron.

Peguero had a season-high four hits with a home run and two doubles, tallying his eighth multihit game of the season and extending his hitting streak to eight games. In 15 games this year, the 21-year-old has a .359/.379/.641 slash line with 23 hits, 12 extra-base hits and 16 RBIs.

The Pirates’ No. 6 prospect rose up prospect lists after setting career-highs in nearly every counting stat at High-A Greensboro last season. The tools to dominate at the plate are there, and it seems like Peguero has figured out how to optimize his swing to drive balls into the gap with a contact-oriented approach. -- Nick Trujillo

Burrows fires another scoreless outing (April 27)
It was a pitchers' duel in Double-A Altoona’s 2-1 win over Akron, and Mike Burrows came out on the winning side. The No. 11 prospect fired five scoreless innings, striking out seven while working around two hits and two walks.

The 22-year-old started his night by striking out the side on 12 pitches, setting down Guardians prospects Jose Tena (No. 9), Brayan Rocchio (No. 4) and George Valera (No. 1) with 12 consecutive strikes. He ran into trouble when a single and a walk put two on with two out in the second, but he fanned the next batter to escape the jam. He struck out the side in the third and again allowed a single and a walk the following inning, this time putting two on with nobody out. After a sacrifice bunt, he induced a popup and a groundout before sending down the final three batters he faced in order. 

The 2018 Draft pick tossed 43 of his 66 pitches for strikes and lowered his ERA to a sparkling 1.00 with 23 K's and four walks in 18 innings.
-- Stephanie Sheehan

Triple-A Indianapolis nearly twirls second no-no of season (April 26)
After laying claim to the first no-hitter of the year, Triple-A Indianapolis came within two outs of the second one.

Instead, the Indians settled for a most unconventional one-hit shutout.

Despite yielding nine walks, four Indianapolis pitchers combined to hold Iowa hitless over 8 1/3 innings before capping off a 4-0 blanking of Iowa at Principal Park. Full story »

Peguero knocks in 4 during double dip (April 21)
Liover Peguero drove in four runs for Double-A Altoona during a doubleheader against New Hampshire.

The No. 78 overall prospect plated his first run of the afternoon on a double to left field in the first inning in the opener, and then tripled that total in the second game with two singles and a double. His offensive production helped the Curve record a sweep with 5-2 and 11-2 victories.

The sixth-ranked Pirates prospect's three-RBI performance was one off his professional best. He's driven in four three times in his four-year career, most recently on April 9, when he went 2-for-4 with a bases-clearing double in a 9-1 win. -- Ethan Sands

Castillo hits first Major League homer (April 18)
Diego Castillo belted the first home run of his career on Monday against the Brewers. It’s a surreal moment for the 24-year-old infielder, who was battling for a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Following an impressive Spring Training, where he hit .371 with six home runs, Castillo finally displayed his power at the Major League level. After only hitting eight home runs from 2015-19, the Pirates’ No. 21 prospect found his form and doubled his home run total in 2021, hitting 19 home runs between the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate and the Bucs' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates. He was acquired at the Trade Deadline last year in the Clay Holmes trade.

Castillo will always remember his first home run not only because of the milestone but also because of the strange sequence. On a 1-1 count, he swung on a pitch that hit him. After limping around, he got back into the batter's box, then on the next pitch, he launched the homer. It came off the bat at 96.7 mph and traveled 360 feet. -- Joey Pollizze

Nicolas, Jones strut their stuff on the bump (April 17)
Two of Pittsburgh's brightest young hurlers lived up to their reputation with a pair of eye-opening performances.

Kyle Nicolas was perfect in his second start of the season, retiring all 12 batters he faced in Double-A Altoona's 6-2 loss to Richmond. The No. 19 Pirates prospect struck out five and needed only 46 pitches to complete four frames. Nicolas, who was the 61st overall pick in the 2020 Draft, is unscored upon while fanning 10 in 7 2/3 innings this season. The 6-foot-4 right-hander was 6-4 with a 4.18 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 99 frames last year across two Minor League levels.

One rung down the ladder, Jared Jones had everything working in his second outing of the season. The 12th-ranked Pirates prospect mowed through High-A Winston-Salem's lineup to lead Greensboro to a 6-1 win. Jones surrendered two hits and a walk while striking out eight, including the side in the third, across five frames. The 20-year-old lowered his ERA to 1.08 and has struck out 15 in 8 1/3 innings over two starts. Jones made his professional debut last year with Single-A Bradenton and posted a 4.64 ERA in 18 appearances (15 starts) while averaging over 14 strikeouts per nine innings. -- Michael Avallone

Martin, Mitchell each homer and double (April 16)
Mason Martin and Cal Mitchell combined for seven hits, four extra-base hits and six RBIs in Triple-A Indianapolis’ 16-13 loss to St. Paul.

Martin, Pittsburgh’s No. 24 prospect, went 4-for-5 with a homer, double and two RBIs as the cleanup hitter. He smacked a two-run homer in the second inning, giving him 10 extra-base hits and a 1.303 OPS in nine games this season.

Mitchell homered in his first at-bat and followed that with a three-RBI double in the second, ending his day 3-for-5 with four RBIs. The Pirates’ No. 28 prospect is batting .355 with a 1.124 OPS and 12 RBIs in his first nine games. -- Nick Trujillo