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Pittsburgh Pirates 2022 MLB Draft Report Card

To see 2022 Draft Report Cards for every team, see our Draft Report Card landing page here.

Best Pure Hitter: This is perhaps the easiest category for any team this year. SS Termarr Johnson (1) was cited as the best pure hitter to come out of the high school ranks since perhaps Joe Mauer back in 2001. He has an exceptional blend of pure bat-to-ball skills, a mechanically efficient swing, bat speed, power and pitch recognition that allowed him to thrive in any environment he faced as a high school player. The expectations for his hitting ability are high and he’s the first high school hitter to get a 70 future hit tool on his scouting report since implementing tools grades for draft prospects (2021 was the first year).

Best Power Hitter: Johnson’s (1) hitting ability is more impressive than his power production, but don’t sleep on his power either. He showed plus raw power as a high schooler and given his batting ability, could easily produce 60 in-game power at the big league level. Both his average and 90th percentile exit velocities in his pro debut (89 mph, 105 mph) speak to his impact ability. 

Fastest Runner: 3B/RHP Jack Brannigan (3) is not the best base runner presently (he stole bases at a 67.7% rate in college and had a similar success rate in his pro debut) but he is a double-plus runner just in terms of his pure speed.

Best Defensive Player: Brannigan (3) is a toolshed who was selected as a two-way player, but he only hit and played third base during his pro debut. He has a huge arm that will be an asset for him at the position, and a chance to be an above-average defender at the hot corner.

Best Fastball: Brannigan’s (3) big arm doesn’t go anywhere when he gets on the mound. He sits in the 96-97 mph range and has touched 99-100 mph at peak—which speaks to his natural arm talent as a two-way player.

Best Secondary Pitch: Brannigan (3) also has a slider that flashes plus potential, though it’s less consistent than a number of secondaries from other Pirates prospects: RHP Thomas Harrington (1s) showed impressive development of both a slider and changeup that are above-average pitches, while LHP Hunter Barco (2) similarly has an above-average slider and changeup from the left side.

Best Pro Debut: The Pirates didn’t activate a number of their top-drafted prospects in 2022. Johnson (1) played well, especially after being promoted from the FCL to Low-A Bradenton, but OF Tres Gonzalez (5) got into 25 games and slashed .317/.411/.390 with a 137 wRC+, with excellent plate discipline (12.6 K%, 9.5 BB%) and contact ability (4.9% swinging strike rate).

Best Athlete: OF Tanner Tredaway (10) is a strong athlete who went 24-for-28 in stolen base attempts during the 2022 season with Oklahoma. Brannigan (3) is an obvious contender for this category as well given his two-way ability, while pitchers like Harrington (1s), Michael Kennedy (5) and RHP Derek Diamond (6) have athleticism that gives them impressive body control and command traits.

Most Intriguing Background: Harrington (1s) was originally a walk-on for Campbell before he pitched himself into a Friday night starting role for the team during his draft-eligible sophomore season. He showed some of the best command in the 2022 draft class and turned that into a signing bonus just over $2 million.

Closest To The Majors: Barco (2) has the sort of pitch mix, command and SEC track record to move quickly in a scenario where he didn’t have Tommy John surgery. The Pirates don’t seem to be in a position where they need to aggressively push their top prospects, but Johnson (1) is such a unique hitter that he could force his way up the minor league ladder quickly.

Best Late-Round Pick (Or NDFA): LHP Miguel Fulgencio (13) had a unique path to a 13th-round pick as a pitcher after playing football at a high level and also hitting at Cowley (Kan.) JC before he began focusing on pitching. 

The One Who Got Away: The Pirates took a pair of two-way players on the third day who didn’t sign: RHP KC Hunt (12) got to campus at Mississippi State as a two-way player but has since focused on pitching, while RHP Yoel Tejeda (19) has big upside on the mound and as a power-hitting corner infielder with a big frame (6-foot-7, 215 pounds) and a fastball that could get into the upper 90s soon.


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