Top 5 Pirates Prospect Performers

4-12-22 By Craig W. Toth (aka @BucsBasement on Twitter)

Exactly a week ago the Indianapolis Indians opened their season-along with the other Triple-A teams across America-in what would be the first of the now standard six game Minor League Baseball series. A few days later they would be joined by the Double-A Altoona Curve, the High-A Greensboro Grasshoppers and Low-A Bradenton Marauders as they began a shortened three game weekend series of their own.

When Friday rolled around my head was spinning, in a good way, as I tried to imagine how I would take in all of the MiLB and MLB action I could during the weekend; after a Indians double-header, coupled with the Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals over the previous 24 hours.

Then I remembered I was scheduled to head to Altoona that afternoon to check out the Curve and all their top prospects; a story I will surely get around to telling very soon. However, for now I’ll try to stick to my weekend of MLB on the main television, with MiLB.TV pumping through my cellphone and laptop in its own little version of surround sound on my couch.

This eventually led to whole other level of overload in preparation for what will be our second weekly feature-the first being Gary’s amazing Five Pirates Thoughts At Five-here at Inside The Bucs Basement; where I list and breakdown my Top 5 Pirates Prospects Performers during the previous week’s series throughout Pittsburgh’s Farm System.

Obviously, each of these will be a snapshot-or the classic small sample size-in the beginning; yet, as the season progress, they will start to form a picture of which players have separated themselves from the pack. Also, I realize that by limiting myself to just 5 Pirates Prospects, there are some that will be left off the list.

This is where you enter the discussion. Let me know who you think I may have overlooked and/or who your Top 5 would be. But, most of all, let’s have some fun with this!

1) Liover Peguero

Maybe I’m a little biased…okay, I’m totally biased because I witnessed his first homer of the season in person in the 4th Inning of Altoona’s Home Opener against the Harrisburg Senators.

However, it was his 2 for 4, 4 RBI performance the following day that cemented his place on this list.

2) Cal Mitchell

Mitchell was on my short list of players that I suggested Ben Cherington needed to protect from the Rule 5 Draft by adding him to the 40-Man Roster back in November. Clearly he did not agree, not that it matters too much anymore as the Rule 5 Draft was eventually cancelled. However, I stand by my belief that Mitchell is one of the three most MLB ready outfielders in the Pirates Farm System.

During his opening week in Indianapolis, Cal had a hit in all but one game that he played, blasted two homers and stole a couple bags.

3) Endy Rodriguez

Endy is flat out exciting and impactful no matter he plays on the field; starting at catcher, in left field and at second base over Greensboro’s first three games.

At the plate Rodriguez smacked three doubles and a triple in only 13 at bats. At only 21 years old, the Pirates Top 10 Prospect, will be one to keep an eye on once again as the season progresses. And, if I had to guess this won’t be the last time he finds his way into the Top 5.

4) Michael Burrows

The cat is officially out the bag when it comes to the potential of Burrows as a starting pitcher within Pittsburgh’s Organization; if it wasn’t already. Last season, for the Grasshoppers-in spite of missing nearly two months of action-the big right-hander posted a 2.20 ERA and a .898 WHIP across 13 starts.

This year he took the ball in Altoona’s second game of the season, and then proceeded to strike out 4, walk none and allow two hits in 4 inning of work; needing only 48 pitches to dispose of the Senators’ lineup.

5) Cody Bolton

Bolton hadn’t taken the mound since August 15th of 2019 due to the cancelled 2020 MiLB Season, and a subsequent knee injury/surgery while gearing up last year.

Like Mitchell, Bolton was not added to the 40-Man during the off-season, which ultimately put his future with the Pirates in danger.

Flash forward to last week when Bolton made two appearances for the Indianapolis Indians; first as the Opening Day starter, and somewhat surprisingly as a reliever in their game on Saturday night. In 3.2 innings of work he struck out 5, walked 1, gave up 3 hits and didn’t allow a single run.

There you have it! My Top 5 Pirates Prospect Performers for the first week of the year.

Now remember, let me know I missed, who your Top 5 is and be sure check back each and every Tuesday during Minor League Baseball Season!

Published by Craig W. Toth

Former Contributing Author at InsidethePirates.com, Co-Host of the Bucs in the Basement Podcast and life-long/diehard Pittsburgh Pirates Fan!

5 thoughts on “Top 5 Pirates Prospect Performers

  1. Nice summary, Craig. I think it’s hard not to be excited about Peguero and Mitchell after they make contact like these videos. Those aren’t cheapies. Mitchell’s swing looked especially smooth, a classic screamer that would’ve kept going if not for additional barriers in the flight path past the RF fence. Beautiful!

    Like

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