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  1. 1. Endy Rodriguez | C
    Endy Rodriguez
    Born: May 26, 2000
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 170
    Signed By: Anderson Taveras (Mets).
    Minors: .323/.407/.590 | 25 HR | 4 SB | 458 AB

    Track Record: The Mets didn't spend much to sign Rodriguez, inking him for $10,000 as an 18-year-old out of the Dominican Republic in 2018, but they're paying the price now for letting him go. New York shipped Rodriguez to the Pirates in January 2021 in a three-team deal that sent Joe Musgrove to the Padres and netted the Mets Joey Lucchesi. Rodriguez has raked ever since. He won the batting title in the Low-A Florida State League in 2021, hitting .294 with 15 homers. He then took another leap forward in 2022, hitting 25 homers and posting a .996 OPS across three levels and ending the year with Triple-A Indianapolis. Rodriguez was especially impactful from July 1 to the end of the season, ranking first among qualified minor league hitters in average (.377), slugging (.723), OPS (1.181) and extra-base hits (43).

    Scouting Report: The switch-hitting Rodriguez turned in one of 2022's biggest breakout performances on the strength of his exceptional bat-to-ball skills and contact quality. Scouts covet Rodriguez's pure hitting ability--he has hit .310 in full-season ball the past two seasons--and his power emerged more consistently from both sides of the plate in 2022. Rodriguez always seems to have a plan at the plate and controls the strike zone well. His proclivity for strong swing decisions allows him to maximize his above-average power potential despite middle-of-the-road exit velocities. Rodriguez has steadily added strength to his wiry frame, too, and is very athletic. Those in the Pirates organization rave about his aptitude, leadership and baseball IQ. Rodriguez made strides defensively in 2022. He improved his blocking and receiving, especially after he settled into a more consistent defensive stance and got consistent reps once Henry Davis was promoted to Double-A Altoona in May. Rodriguez made a conscious effort to improve his throwing accuracy to second base and his transfer after struggling with inconsistency in 2021, when he threw out just 17% of basestealers. He nearly doubled that figure in 2022 and threw out 45% of baserunners once he arrived in Altoona. Opposing evaluators were impressed with Rodriguez's game management, and Pirates minor league pitchers liked throwing to him. He still needs to refine his framing, but any concerns in that regard could be mitigated if MLB introduces an automated ball-strike system. Rodriguez also spent time at first base, second base and left field in 2022, and he's athletic enough to handle any of those positions.

    The Future: Rodriguez emerged as one of baseball's best catching prospects in 2022 and profiles as an impact big leaguer with plus hitting and power potential. He could ultimately become one half of an enviable catching duo with Davis in Pittsburgh. It's easy to dream on Rodriguez becoming a foundational piece who helps usher the Pirates out of their lengthy rebuild.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 60. Power: 60. Speed: 45. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55

  2. 2. Termarr Johnson | 2B
    Termarr Johnson
    Born: Jun 11, 2004
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'8" Wt.: 175
    Minors: .222/.366/.365 | 1 HR | 6 SB | 63 AB

    Track Record: Amateur evaluators have long marveled at Johnson's preternatural feel for hitting and magnetic personality. He's one of the purest high school hitters in recent memory, possessing the best hit tool and strike-zone judgment of any prep hitter in the 2022 draft. The Pirates selected him No. 4 overall and signed him to a $7,219,000 bonus to forgo an Arizona State commitment. He debuted in the Florida Complex League and finished the year with Low-A Bradenton, hitting .275/.396/.450 in 14 games.

    Scouting Report: The 5-foot-7 Johnson is one of the most interesting top 10 picks in recent draft history because of his size and likely future as a second baseman, but it's rare to find a teenager with his feel for hitting. Johnson is a lefthanded hitter who greets pitchers with a sizable leg kick before lashing at pitches with remarkable bat speed, which suggests potential for plus raw power along with a future as a 70-grade hitter. He pairs remarkable bat control and ability to manipulate the barrel with a discerning eye. He also showed the ability to identify strikes and punish them. Like many young hitters, Johnson will need to adapt to premium velocity and offspeed pitches in pro ball, especially considering he faced weak competition in high school. There's pressure on Johnson's bat to perform because of marginal supplemental tools. His body is already close to maxed out. The Pirates will give him a shot to stick at shortstop and he's sure-handed defensively, but his average arm and limited range are better suited for second base. Johnson draws rave reviews as a teammate and plays with notable passion.

    The Future: Johnson is a long way away--he will still be 18 years old on Opening Day--but his brief pro debut teased his potential as an impact big league hitter for both average and power.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 70. Power: 60. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50

  3. 3. Henry Davis | C
    Henry Davis
    Born: Sep 21, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 210
    Signed By: Adam Bourassa.
    Minors: .264/.380/.472 | 10 HR | 9 SB | 212 AB

    Track Record: Injuries have beset Davis' professional development since the Pirates made him the No. 1 pick in a 2021 draft that lacked an obvious top prospect. Pittsburgh signed him to a $6.5 million bonus that was $2 million under slot value. Davis appeared in just eight games in 2021 before an oblique injury ended his season. A pair of left wrist injuries limited him to just 53 non-rehab games in 2022 between High-A Greensboro and Double-A Altoona.

    Scouting Report: Even in a limited sample size, Davis has reaffirmed the hitting traits that made him the top college bat in his class. He packs considerable strength into his brawny 6-foot-2 frame, and it translates to easy plus power. Davis' barrel control and flat bat path allow him to hit all types of pitch shapes. He cuts an unorthodox presence in the batter's box. Davis sinks into a wide stance, lifting the bat just above his shoulder, sans batting gloves, and then bends forward at the waist, unwilling to cede any ground on the inside part of the plate. Therein lies the problem. Davis, an intense competitor convicted in his approach, was hit by nearly as many pitches (20) as he had extra-base hits (23) in 2022. The Pirates have tried to convince Davis to move off the plate to maintain his health and development. Davis' catching lags behind his bat. He's a stiff mover who needs to continue to clean up his footwork and pitch framing. Davis' arm strength is his calling card, but evaluators note he has struggled with inaccuracy so far as a professional. Some wonder whether a corner outfield position may be a better long-term fit considering his throwing arm, though he's only a fringe-average runner.

    The Future: Davis needs to stay on the field. His ceiling remains that of a middle-of-the-order hitter, though his defensive position remains a question mark.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 55. Power: 60. Speed: 45. Fielding: 40. Arm: 60

  4. 4. Luis Ortiz | RHP
    Luis Ortiz
    Born: Jan 27, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 163
    Minors: 5-9 | 4.56 ERA | 138 SO | 38 BB | 125 IP

    Track Record: Ortiz was one of the Pirates' best player development success stories in 2022. They initially signed him for just $25,000 as a 19-year-old out of the Dominican Republic in October 2018. Even a year ago, Ortiz operated in relative obscurity while striking out 30% of hitters for Low-A Bradenton, benefiting from his work with pitching coach Fernando Nieve as he improved throughout the season. Pittsburgh jumped him to Double-A Altoona to begin 2022. Ortiz took off from there, zooming through the upper levels before making his MLB debut on Sept. 13, when he became the first Pirates starter to throw 100 mph since Gerrit Cole in 2015.

    Scouting Report: Power oozes from Ortiz's operation. He has a starter's build at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds and is one of the hardest throwers in Pittsburgh's system, and he does it without overwhelming effort in his delivery. He averages 96.5 mph on his four-seamer. He also throws a two-seamer that touches 99 mph and befuddles righthanded hitters. The Pirates worked with Ortiz to create more distinction between the two fastballs and he became more comfortable deploying both in the second half of 2022. Ortiz also enhanced his upper-80s slider, throwing it harder with more vertical break. It's now easily a plus offering and his best swing-and-miss pitch. Ortiz trusted his solid-average changeup more, though it performs better against righthanded batters. He repeats his delivery well enough to suggest playable future command. The next step is adding polish, specifically around game-planning and sequencing.

    The Future: Ortiz owns one of the system's most tantalizing pitch mixes and has a shot to win a spot in the big league rotation in 2023. He has midrotation potential.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 45

  5. 5. Quinn Priester | RHP
    Quinn Priester
    Born: Sep 15, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Cary, Ill., 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Anthony Wycklendt.
    Minors: 5-5 | 3.29 ERA | 89 SO | 30 BB | 91 IP

    Track Record: The Pirates have challenged Priester with aggressive assignments every year since drafting him 18th overall out of high school in 2019 and signing him to a $3.4 million bonus. That trend continued in 2022. Priester's debut was delayed two months by an oblique injury, but he spent the majority of his age-21 season with Double-A Altoona, posting a 2.87 ERA over 75 innings despite again being one of the youngest pitchers at that level.

    Scouting Report: Priester is an analytically minded pitcher who immerses himself in data and revels in game-planning. He relies on a deep repertoire of pitches he can throw for strikes at any time to help mitigate the lack of an elite swing-and-miss offering. His 94-96 mph four-seam fastball has decent velocity but ordinary shape, resulting in one of the lowest four-seam whiff percentages in Pittsburgh's system. Priester instead turned to a sinker midway through 2021 that has better angle. He now throws it nearly as much as his four-seamer, and he generated a 51% groundball rate with Altoona in 2022. Priester's best secondary pitch continues to be his 78-82 mph curveball, a plus offering with good shape that batters chase as it dives out of the strike zone. He also added an upper-80s slider during the pandemic in 2020 that is still inconsistent but has above-average potential. He also throws a firm upper-80s changeup with decent arm speed and fade. The 6-foot-3 Priester looks the part of a workhorse starter and repeats his delivery well, though scouts still have concerns he can become too rigid. The Pirates said they made subtle tweaks to Priester's delivery early in 2022 to help with his durability.

    The Future: Priester should return to Triple-A Indianapolis to begin his age-22 season. He has the ceiling of a midrotation starter.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50. Curveball: 60. Slider: 50. Changeup: 50. Control: 55

  6. 6. Bubba Chandler | RHP/SS
    Bubba Chandler
    Born: Sep 14, 2002
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: Cam Murphy
    Minors: 1-1 | 2.61 ERA | 60 SO | 28 BB | 42 IP

    Track Record: Chandler's athletic feats are legendary at North Oconee High, where the Georgia native excelled as a three-sport star and committed to Clemson to play both baseball and football. The Pirates made sure Chandler never reached campus, signing him to an above-slot $3 million deal after selecting him in the third round of the 2021 draft. He debuted that summer as a hitter in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League and returned to the FCL in 2022 as a two-way player before ultimately reaching Low-A Bradenton.

    Scouting Report: Chandler is dynamic enough to warrant a shot at both pitching and hitting, but most evaluators believe he ends up exclusively on the mound. His athleticism allows him to naturally create tension in his delivery, which leads to premium velocity that he already holds deep into starts as a 19-year-old. His 95-97 mph four-seamer is one of the best in Pittsburgh's system. Hitters whiffed on it 40% of the time in 2022, and it has great carry at the top of the zone. The rest of his operation is still quite raw. Chandler's best secondary pitch is an 86-88 mph changeup that flashes plus. His mid-80s slider is a work in progress--sometimes appearing as two distinct pitches--but it improved with more reps. Chandler has little issue repeating his delivery but still posted a 16% walk rate. The Pirates attribute some of the command issues to youth and inexperience as he learns to pitch and not simply rely on his stuff. At the plate, the switch-hitting Chandler has legitimate power potential--his average exit velocity was nearly 90 mph--but he also struck out nearly 40% of the time against low-level pitchers.

    The Future: Chandler has immense upside--and also a long way to go to reach it. He is expected to return to Low-A Bradenton to begin 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Slider: 60. Changeup: 55. Control: 50

  7. 7. Liover Peguero | SS
    Liover Peguero
    Born: Dec 31, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 160
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2017.
    Signed By: Cesar Geronimo (D-backs).
    Minors: .259/.305/.387 | 10 HR | 28 SB | 483 AB

    Track Record: Peguero made his unlikely MLB debut in 2022, three years after the Pirates acquired him alongside Brennan Malone in a deal for Starling Marte. He raced to a .784 OPS in his first 54 games with Double-A Altoona in 2022 and was just a two-hour drive away from Pittsburgh when the club needed a last-minute replacement after Tucupita Marcano tested positive for Covid on June 17. The Pirates called up Peguero and he debuted a day later. It was the high-water mark of Peguero's season. He put up a .612 OPS in 67 games upon returning to Altoona.

    Scouting Report: Peguero bundles an array of intriguing traits but doesn't always blend them together. He has a chance to become an above-average hitter thanks to impressive bat-to-ball skills and lightning-quick hands. His penchant for hard-hit balls allows for average power potential, though his swing isn't necessarily geared for lift. Peguero continues to work on optimizing his bat path to keep his barrel in the zone longer. More advanced pitchers exploited his aggressive approach at times in 2022 by peppering him with breaking balls, and his 5.6% walk rate was one of the lowest in the system. Some wondered whether Peguero carried those struggles into the field. He's prone to bouts of wildness and struggled with his throwing mechanics, making the most throwing errors of any infielder in the system. Still, the ingredients remain for a future plus defender. Peguero turns in his share of dazzling plays, thanks to a plus throwing arm, soft hands and sizable range. He is a plus runner who stole 28 bases in 2022.

    The Future: Peguero will be just 22 years old on Opening Day. He has the ceiling of a first-division shortstop if everything comes together.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 55. Power: 50. Speed: 55. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50

  8. 8. Nick Gonzales | 2B
    Nick Gonzales
    Born: May 27, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: New Mexico State, 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Derrick Van Dusen.
    Minors: .264/.382/.435 | 7 HR | 6 SB | 269 AB

    Track Record: Some wondered whether Gonzales could jump on a fast track because of his advanced hitting ability when the Pirates drafted him No. 7 overall in 2020 out of New Mexico State. But injuries have slowed his ascent. A broken finger sidelined him for a month in 2021. He missed two months in 2022 after tearing the plantar fascia in the heel of his foot, limiting him to just 74 games. Gonzales struggled prior to the injury, striking out nearly 33% of the time in his first taste of Double-A. Upon returning, he cut his strikeouts by 10% and posted a .913 OPS in his final 28 games with Altoona. He got additional at-bats in the Arizona Fall League.

    Scouting Report: Gonzales continues to show more swing-and-miss than expected for a player who built his game around elite bat-to-ball skills. Scouts still believe he can hit for high averages on the basis of his short levers and punchy swing. He has strong hands and transfers considerable energy through his lower half, which, combined with his barrel ability, suggests average power potential despite his 5-foot-9 frame. Now, Gonzales needs to optimize when to chase that power. He gets over-aggressive in his approach, especially against breaking pitches, and it hurts him. He's a limited defender, which puts pressure on his bat. Gonzales occasionally played shortstop in 2022, and the Pirates tried him at third base in the AFL for the first time. His fringe-average arm and range still work best at second base.

    The Future: Gonzales hasn't fully captured the magic that made him a star in college through two incomplete pro seasons. To that end, the Pirates had him focus on keeping his bat path through the zone longer. There's hope that more consistent at-bats will help Gonzales find his rhythm and chase his ceiling as a solid first-division second baseman.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 60. Power: 50. Speed: 55. Fielding: 45. Arm: 50

  9. 9. Michael Burrows | RHP
    Michael Burrows
    Born: Nov 8, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 192
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Waterford, Conn., 2018 (11th round).
    Signed By: Eddie Charles.
    Minors: 5-6 | 4.01 ERA | 111 SO | 31 BB | 95 IP

    Track Record: Burrows, a Connecticut high school product, expected to honor his commitment to UConn in 2018 until the Pirates swooped in and signed him to an above-slot $500,000 deal in the 11th round. The 22-year-old reached the upper levels for the first time in 2022, pitching 94.1 innings across Double-A and Triple-A, and also appeared in the Futures Game. Health prevented Burrows from pitching a full season for the second consecutive year. He spent a month on the injured list with a shoulder injury late in the season after he had missed two months in 2021 with an oblique injury.

    Scouting Report: Burrows has built a reputation as a two-pitch data darling. His plus 93-95 mph fastball has some of the best carry of any four-seamer in Pittsburgh's system. He pairs it with a 77-81 mph hammer of a curveball that routinely surpasses spin rates of 2,900 rpm. Burrows' one inning at the Futures Game showed a glimpse of how the two pitches work in tandem in short bursts by generating five total whiffs and earning the distinction of best fastball and breaking pitch at the game. Burrows needs a third pitch to take a step forward to remain on a starter's track. The Pirates are bullish on Burrows' mid-80s changeup, and he finally threw it more in 2022. As a result, he flashed solid-average potential and more feel for the pitch. Pittsburgh may also explore adding a second, shorter breaking ball to his arsenal to help turn over lineups more efficiently. Burrows throws plenty of strikes via a repeatable delivery that uses a short arm path and over-the-top release, though some evaluators see more control than command.

    The Future: Burrows presents potential to become a No. 4 starter, though the allure of deploying him as a multi-inning power reliever remains strong. He should arrive in Pittsburgh at some point in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 50

  10. 10. Thomas Harrington | RHP
    Thomas Harrington
    Born: Jul 12, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 185

    Track Record: The rare projectable college pitcher with limited innings, Harrington was a two-sport star at Southern Lee High in Sanford, N.C., who only became a full-time pitcher as a junior and made only one start as a senior in 2020 before the pandemic ended his season. Harrington received minimal Division I interest and opted to walk on at Campbell. He quickly made an impact, winning the Camels' Sunday starter role entering the spring and pitching his way to Big South Conference freshman of the year honors. He was even better as a sophomore in 2022, posting a 2.53 ERA to go with 111 strikeouts, 18 walks and only one home run allowed in 92.2 innings. The Pirates drafted him 36th overall and signed him for $2.047 million.

    Scouting Report: Harrington provides an intriguing foundation for the Pirates to mold. When he signed, his deep arsenal was fronted by a low-90s two-seam fastball. He also experimented with a four-seam fastball at Campbell in 2022 that touched 96 mph. Both his sweeping low-80s slider and tailing mid-80s changeup have intriguing shape, but neither showed plus potential as an amateur. Harrington also flashes a slower upper-70s curveball as a change-of-pace look for hitters. Scouts like his arm action, while his athleticism allows him to repeat his delivery, suggesting plus command potential. Harrington could enhance his entire profile if he finds a way to unlock a bit more power in his arsenal. And there's reason to believe more could be in the tank, because Harrington added nearly 20 pounds of muscle in two years at Campbell and has room on his 6-foot-2 frame to continue adding strength.

    The Future: Harrington is a polished strike-thrower who could move quickly through the lower levels. He will make his professional debut in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50. Curveball: 40. Slider: 55. Changeup: 55. Control: 60

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