Pittsburgh Pirates 2019 Top 50 Prospects

Oneil Cruz - Photo credit @PatrickCavey, Breaking Down the Future

Pittsburgh Pirates Top 50 Prospects for 2019

Since Pittsburgh is a franchise that will never be near the top of the charts when it comes to salary, player development must be a priority. The current Major League roster is no exception to that. Adam Frazier, Gregory Polanco, Starling Marte, Josh Bell, and Jameson Taillon are all homegrown talents that are expected to be the faces of the franchise.

Many of the names, especially in the top tier of this list, remain the same as last year’s Pirates Top 50 without any major graduations and only the trades of Austin Meadows and Shane Baz to Tampa Bay and Taylor Hearn to Texas impacting the Top 10. With that being said, the current Top 50 will likely look completely different after the 2019 season. With 9 of the top 20 rated prospects expected to either debut or be contributors in 2019, we could see a major shift in the top rated talent in Pittsburgh. Currently Pittsburgh’s system is full of potential contributors, however, beyond Keller it lacks that game changing talent. For Neil Huntington and his front office it is generally quantity over quality. Especially internationally, where they would rather sign a multitude of prospects to small bonuses versus offering a large bonus to a smaller number of prospects. Handling the international market this way does not allow Pittsburgh to get the game changing prospect that could produce a potential superstar and that shows in the current Top 50.


Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1:
Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster


Tier 1:
1. Mitch Keller, RHP

Age: 22 (DOB 04/04/1996)
2018 Highest Level: Triple-A
Keller struggled a bit after being promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis at the end of June. Those struggles just appeared to be normal growing pains, as Keller actually improved his K/9 from 8.0 in Double-A to 9.8 in Triple-A. Expect Keller to be an option for Pittsburgh by mid-season. At 22, Keller is still working with ace upside and a mid-rotation floor.
ETA: 2019


Tier 2:
2. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B

Age: 21, (DOB 01/28/1997)
2018 Highest Level: Double-A

Photo credit @PatrickCavey, Breaking Down the Future

Hayes set a career high with 7 home runs and 45 extra base hits in 2018. While it doesn’t appear that Hayes will ever be a power hitter, he is driving the ball more and should have no issue continuing to hit as he approaches the majors. Hayes will likely have little left to prove in the minors by mid-season and could easily be in Pittsburgh by September.
ETA: 2019

3. Oneil Cruz, SS
Age: 20 (DOB 10/04/1998)
2018 Highest Level: Single-A

Photo credit @PatrickCavey, Breaking Down the Future

Where Cruz will play in the field remains a bit of a mystery. Pittsburgh stuck with the 6’6” shortstop in the middle of the infield through 33 errors in 2018, but the hot corner or corner OF seem like a more likely home. At the plate, Cruz broke out in 2018 by lowering his K rate from 30% to 23%, raising his OBP from .297 to .343, and improving his SLG from .350 to .488. The upside is huge, but the growth will need to continue while he finds a home in the field.
ETA: 2021

4. Travis Swaggerty, OF
Age: 21 (DOB 08/19/1997)
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
Swaggerty showed what he is capable of, slashing .288/.365/.453 with 4 home runs and 9 steals in his Low-A debut. He really struggled in the final month of the season after a promotion to full Season A ball, but that doesn’t dull the tools. Swaggerty could easily be a 20/20 guy in a few years, with a great arm and above average instincts in centerfield.
ETA: 2021

5. Cole Tucker, SS
Age: 22 (DOB 07/03/1996)
2018 Highest Level: Double-A

Photo credit @PatrickCavey, Breaking Down the Future

After a very solid showing in the Arizona Fall League, (.370/.442/.457), Tucker is continuing his march toward Pittsburgh. While I wouldn’t expect him to be in the running to be the Opening Day shortstop in 2019, a hot start could earn Tucker a call up sooner rather than later.
ETA: 2019

6. Cal Mitchell, OF
Age: 19 (DOB 03/08/1999)
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
A hot start with a bit of a late season drop off isn’t much of a surprise for a prep OF in his first taste of full season ball. Mitchell slashed .364/.418/.625 in April with 14 extra base hits. A July slump evened things out a bit, but like Oneil Cruz, Mitchell will play all of 2019 at 20-years-old and should be much more physically prepared for the long grind of a full minor league season this time around.
ETA: 2021

7. Bryan Reynolds, OF
Age: 23 (DOB 01/27/1995)
2018 Highest Level: Double-A
Reynolds heated up with the weather in 2018 by turning it on in July and August after missing all but 6 games in April and May with a hand injury. Slashing .342/.409/.470 in August, Reynolds showed the upside that led Pittsburgh to deal for him. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Reynolds start the year back in Altoona, with a potentially quick promotion to Indianapolis.
ETA: 2020

8. Lolo Sanchez, OF
Age: 19 (DOB 04/23/1999)
2018 Highest Level: Single A
Another of the young group Pittsburgh pushed to Single A in 2018, Sanchez showed improvement just about every month in Single A. The fleet footed centerfielder slashed .299/.375/.364 in August with 7 stolen bases while playing plus defense. The upside is real.
ETA: 2021


Tier 3:
9. Kevin Newman, SS

Age: 25 (DOB 07/04/1993)
2018 Highest Level: MLB
Newman got his first taste of the majors in 2018. He struggled a bit in his debut after earning a September call up after a solid season at Triple-A Indianapolis. With shortstop currently up for grabs in Pittsburgh, Newman may be a hot Spring away from winning the job.
ETA: 2019

10. Kevin Kramer, 2B
Age: 25 (DOB 10/03/1993)
2018 Highest Level: MLB
Despite being very different players, Kramer and Newman (The Seinfeld Duo) have seemed to go hand in hand since both were drafted in the first 2 rounds of the 2015 MLB Draft. Kramer’s bat has improved with every promotion, finally showing off the double-digit power and solid contact combo that he demonstrated at UCLA in 2018. While Adam Frazier appears to be getting the first shot at 2B in 2019, Kramer played some SS and some 3B in 2018, making a utility spot a possibility on Opening Day.
ETA: 2019

11. Jared Oliva, OF
Age: 23 (DOB 11/27/1995)
2018 Highest Level: High-A
The speedy versatile outfielder continued to improve in 2018 after an aggressive promotion to High-A Bradenton to start the year. Oliva had 37 extra base hits to go along with 33 steals and a solid .354 OBP making him one of the better top of the lineup options in the system right now.
ETA: 2020

12. Luis Escobar, SP
Age: 22 (DOB 05/30/1996)
2018 Highest Level: Double-A
After flying up the rankings in his breakout performance in 2017, Pittsburgh was aggressive pushing Escobar through High-A to a July promotion to Double-A Altoona. There was a dip in Escobar’s K rate, as he fell back to closer to his career levels at 7.7 K/9, which was to be expected with a jump to Double A. Expect Escobar to start in Altoona where he will continue to work on command and getting his 4.1 BB/9 down enough to stay in the rotation.
ETA: 2020

13. Steven Jennings, RHP
Age: 20 (DOB 11/13/1998)
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Jennings, a second round pick in 2017, is all about projection at this point. Pittsburgh has fared quite well with prep starting pitchers, so a bit of a slow start shouldn’t be cause for concern. With a lot of projection and time, Jennings can easily reach that top of the rotation potential.
ETA: 2022

14. Will Craig, 1B
Age: 24 (DOB 11/16/1994)
2018 Highest Level: Double-A
I’m going to freely admit, before making the following statement, that it is a very small sample, so please don’t call me out for it. However, small sample or not, the Arizona Fall League was Craig’s coming out party. Craig slashed .304/.378/.570, smashing 6 home runs in 79 at bats. If the AFL was any indication, Josh Bell better watch his back in Pittsburgh.
ETA: 2019

15. Braxton Ashcraft, RHP
Age: 19 (DOB 10/05/1999)
2018 Highest Level: Gulf Coast League
Ashcraft, much like Jennings a few spots above him, is all projection. At 6’5” and only 195 pounds, Ashcraft has plenty of room to grow and mature and should see steady improvement in his 90-92 fastball and above average slider. This could potentially slot him into the middle of the rotation in a few years.
ETA: 2020

16. Travis MacGregor, RHP
Age: 21 (DOB 10/15/1997)
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
MacGregor made the leap to full season Single A in 2018 with solid results, prior to an injury that led to needing Tommy John surgery in September. MacGregor had raised his K/9 and lowered his BB/9 & H/9, all while working on getting his off-speed offerings to catch up with his fastball. Hopefully MacGregor will be fully healthy to start 2020.
ETA: 2022

17. Jason Martin, OF
Age: 22 (DOB 09/05/1995)
2018 Highest Level: Triple-A
Martin’s 2018 season was truly a tale of 2 halves. Martin torched the Eastern League, slashing .325/.392/.522 before his June promotion. However, his debut in Triple-A left much to be desired, slashing .211/.270/.319 in Indianapolis. He likely squandered what could have been a shot at the right field job while Polanco recovers from September surgery. Martin will need to show he can hit in Indianapolis to catch the big club’s eye again.
ETA: 2019

18. Ji-Hwan Bae, SS
Age: 19 (DOB 07/26/1999)
2018 Highest Level: Gulf Coast League
Having finally settled into the Pittsburgh system, Bae adjusted to everything stateside fairly well. Showing a strong ability to get on base (.362 OBP) and using his speed on the base paths (10 SB), Bae could eventually find himself in the mix for a spot at the top of the lineup in a few years.
ETA: 2023

19. Clay Holmes, RHP
Age: 25 (DOB 03/27/1993)
2018 Highest Level: MLB
Holmes struggled a bit in his brief MLB debut in 2018. A groundball machine in the minors, Holmes left his heavy fastball and cutter up in the zone much too often. However, his solid 4 pitch mix is still intriguing as a starter, which is where Pittsburgh would love to see him as a back of the rotation option. However, while the bullpen may be his eventual home, he still has too much potential for a permanent change at this point.
ETA: 2019


Tier 4:
20. Stephen Alemais, SS

Age: 23 (DOB 04/12/1995)
2018 Highest Level: Double-A
Alemais improved his stock in 2018 by proving he could also play a solid 2B by moving out of SS to play alongside 5th-ranked prospect Cole Tucker in Altoona. Alemais will continue to have to negotiate around prospects with a higher profile as he continues to progress through the system. That being said, Alemais has improved every season he has been in the system and likely profiles at worst, as a utility infielder at the major league level.
ETA: 2019

21. Juan Pie, OF
Age: 17 (DOB 04/01/2001)
2018 Highest Level: Dominican Summer League
Pie secured the biggest bonus of any Pirates international signing in 2017. He impressed in his debut with 22 extra base hits and a .382 OBP thanks to a 14% BB rate. With good size, Pittsburgh feels he can grow into more power and currently projects to stay in CF. It’s early, but Pie is definitely one to keep an eye on.
ETA: 2023

22. Cody Bolton, RHP
Age: 20 (DOB 06/19/1998)
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
Bolton is yet another in the growing list of prep arms that Pittsburgh continues to snag in the amateur draft. The 6th round pick in 2017 impressed in his 9 starts at Single-A West Virginia in his full season debut. With a strong 4 pitch mix, Bolton posted a 9.1 K/9 and a 1.4 BB/9, showing plenty of potential to be a mid-rotation starter.
ETA: 2021

23. Conner Uselton, OF
2018 Highest Level: Rookie League
Uselton has yet to show the upside that lead Pittsburgh to draft him with a Competitive Balance B pick at No. 72 overall in 2017. A hamstring injury basically wiped out his 2017 season and he never really got going in his Appalachian League debut in 2018. The tools are there, with potentially above-average power and speed and a plus arm; let’s just hope they show soon.
ETA: 2022

24. Brandon Waddell, LHP
Age: 24 (DOB 06/03/1994)
2018 Highest Level: Triple-A
Waddell was called up to AAA Indianapolis at the end of May and struggled mightily, allowing 26 hits and 13 earned runs in his first 19 innings across 7 appearances and 3 starts. However, Waddell settled in and showed that the back of the rotation upside is still there by limiting opponents to only 20 more earned runs over his final 61 innings. This translates to a 2.95 ERA including 5 quality starts.
ETA: 2019

25. Max Kranick, RHP
Age: 21 (DOB 07/21/1997)
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
2019 is an important season for the big righty. Kranick threw more innings in his first season of full season ball than in his previous 2 seasons combined and saw a nice jump in his K/9 from 6.7 to 8.9. Kranick should start 2019 in High-A and could easily see a promotion to Double-A before the year is over.
ETA: 2020

26. Nick Burdi, RHP
Age: 25 (DOB 01/19/1993)
2018 Highest Level: Major League
The results were not overly important for Burdi in 2018. What was important was getting back on the mound after missing most of 2 consecutive seasons due to having Tommy John surgery in May 2017. If Burdi can harness his triple digit fastball and wipeout slider, he can be a high leverage reliever in the near future. Burdi will start the 2019 season in the majors, as he still has the Rule 5 roster restriction.
ETA: 2019

27. Mason Martin, 1B
Age: 19 (DOB 06/02/1999)
2018 Highest Level: Single A
Martin struggled with Pittsburgh’s very aggressive assignment to full-season Single-A to start 2018. Martin did bounce back after being sent back down to rookie ball; however, he will need to work on his K rate to continue to move up the rankings. Martin struck out 40% of the time in 2018, but at 19 he has some time to work out those kinks while continuing to show off his potential plus power.
ETA: 2021

28. Deon Stafford, C
Age: 22 (DOB 03/17/1996)
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
Stafford doesn’t have any one skill that jumps off the page at you. What Stafford does have is a solid all-around profile that should give him a good shot at being an MLB backup catcher, at worst. The defense is improving and I’m sure Pittsburgh would love to see him lower his 26% K rate, but he has double digit home run power and that doesn’t grow on trees behind the plate.
ETA: 2021

29. Gage Hinsz, RHP
Age: 22 (DOB 04/20/1996)
2018 Highest Level: Missed entire 2018 season due to open-heart surgery
It’s been a very encouraging winter for Hinsz after having open-heart surgery and sitting out all of 2018. Hinsz was able to pitch in the Puerto Rican Winter League, where he made 5 very successful starts allowing just 5.8 H/9, 2.5 BB/9, 8.3 K/9 and only 3 earned runs in 25 innings. 2019 will be a big year for the hard throwing righty. Hinsz could climb back up these rankings quickly with a healthy 2019.
ETA: 2021

30. JT Brubaker, RHP
Age: 25 (DOB 11/17/1993)
2018 Highest Level: Triple-A
What a difference a year makes. Brubaker started 2018 repeating Double-A after, what I would call, a reasonable first shot. However, Brubaker wouldn’t be stuck repeating Double-A for long, after a dominant 6 starts cutting his H/9 from 10.4 to 7.5, his BB/9 from 3.1 to 2.1 and raising his K/9 from 7.6 to 9.0. After a quick promotion to Triple-A, Brubaker will now likely get a shot in the Pittsburgh rotation at some point in 2019.
ETA: 2019

31. Domingo Robles, LHP
Age: 20 (DOB 04/29/1998)
2018 Highest Level: High A
An August promotion to High-A Bradenton at 20-years-old was a nice aggressive push for the young lefty. Some of the numbers from those 5 starts look ugly, but that mostly came from giving up 9 earned in 3.1 innings in his High-A debut. Following that with 3 quality starts, Robles could still add to his average fastball as he continues to fill out and find himself in the middle of the rotation in Pittsburgh.
ETA: 2021

32. Santiago Florez, RHP
Age: 18 (DOB 05/09/2000)
2018 Highest Level: Gulf Coast League
A bit of a project, the 6’5” Florez made his stateside debut in 2018 and saw very solid steps forward. A reduction of his BB/9 from 6.4 to 4.8 and improving his K/9 from 5.1 to 7.3, Florez is commanding his potential plus fastball much better. With an already league average curveball and a changeup that he is continuing to develop, Florez could eventually be a mid-rotation option in Pittsburgh.
ETA: 2022

33. Brett Kinneman, OF
Age: 22 (DOB 08/28/1996)
2018 Highest Level: Low A
“He’s just a throwback to everything the game used to be when we all fell in love with it. … I grew up loving Mickey Mantle, and I call him Mickey Mantle because he reminds me of Mickey Mantle. … He plays the game like Pete Rose played it. He plays the game like you’d picture maybe Ty Cobb, Stan Musial, Joe DiMaggio, who had a great respect for the game, Willie Mays – He’d always make great turns. … They didn’t play the game according to the score, they played the game the way it’s supposed to be played. He reminds me of that since his freshman year.” All of these quotes were used to describe Kinneman, by his college coach Elliott Avent in an interview with D1baseball.com, and I simply couldn’t describe the sweet swinging lefty with loads of power potential any better than that.
ETA: 2021

34. Connor Kaiser, SS
Age: 22 (DOB 11/20/1996)
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
You can’t talk about Kaiser without mentioning his 3 home run, 10 RBI performance against Clemson to reach the Super Regional. At 6’4”, Kaiser is expected to grow into more power as he fills out, but right now his strength is his glove. Committing just 1 error in 201 chances in his professional debut, he could rise quickly if the bat catches up to his glove.
ETA: 2021

35. Jonah Davis, OF
Age: 21 (DOB 07/02/1997)
2018 Highest Level: Rookie League
Davis exploded onto the scene in Bristol after being drafted in the 15th round last June. Slashing .306/.398/.612 which is good for an OPS of 1.010, Davis amassed 33 extra base hits in just 206 at-bats. While Davis has swing and miss concerns, I look for Pittsburgh to be aggressive and send Davis to start 2019 in full season ball, where he could fly up these rankings, provided he has another impressive showing.
ETA: 2021

36. Aaron Shortridge, RHP
Age: 21 (DOB 05/29/1997)
2018 Highest Level: Short Season A
Shortridge commands a quality 3 pitch mix well, excelling in his 8 start Short Season-A ball debut. With room to grow as a starter, Pittsburgh will continue to develop him as one, despite only making 15 career starts in 3 years at Cal Berkeley. The bullpen experience could help Shortridge’s stuff play up, should an eventual move be necessary.
ETA: 2021

37. Jack Herman, OF
Age: 19 (DOB 09/30/1999)
2018 Highest Level: Gulf Coast League
Sometimes it’s hard to avoid getting too excited about one specific prospect. Herman may be that guy for me. The 30th round pick in 2018 was named a Baseball America Top 20 Prospect in the GCL and a GCL All-Star. With 14 extra base hits in 141 at bats and 1.04 K/BB ratio, Herman showed a fantastic approach, with room to grow. It was a small, but fantastic, sample.
ETA: 2023

38. Shendrik Apostel, 1B
Age: 18 (DOB 04/24/2000)
2018 Highest Level: Dominican Summer League
Power potential. While that is not all that Apostel brings to the table, it is the first thing you notice. Well, maybe after you take in the fact that at 18-years-old, he is 6’5” & 245 pounds. After getting off to a slow start, Apostel turned it on after a scary HBP at the beginning of July. In his final 20 games of the season, he slashed .319/.410/.542 with 10 extra base hits in 89 plate appearances.
ETA: 2024

39. Tahnaj Thomas, RHP
Age: 19 (DOB 06/16/1999)
2018 Highest Level: Arizona Rookie League
Acquired from Cleveland at the beginning of the off-season, Thomas is a big righty with a lot of upside. Sitting 93-95 with room to add velocity, a potentially plus curveball, and a work in progress changeup, Thomas has the potential to find himself in the rotation in Pittsburgh in a few years. Thomas took a huge step forward in becoming a pitcher in 2018, so hopefully that will lead to longer outings and continued development.
ETA: 2020

40. Pablo Reyes, Util
Age: 25 (DOB 09/05/1993)
2018 Highest Level: MLB
After an impressive September call up, Reyes will be in the thick of the fight for a utility role with Pittsburgh in Spring Training. Reyes has continued to show the ability to hit for a bit of power (double digit HR potential), steal a few bases (15-20 SB potential), and play multiple positions (2B, 3B, LF and RF in his 18 Gm debut). He could easily find himself on the 25-man roster in April.
ETA: 2019


Tier 5:
41. Eduardo Vera, RHP

Age: 24 (DOB 07/03/1994)
2018 Highest Level: Double-A
Vera threw 137.1 professional innings from 2012 through 2016. Vera finally made it to Single-A in 2017, after fully recovering from 2015 Tommy John surgery and hasn’t looked back. Vera flew through Bradenton in 9 starts and more than held his own in 17 Double-A starts at Altoona. While Vera isn’t a big strikeout pitcher, he does use his 4-pitch mix well and should continue to grow as he throws more innings.
ETA: 2020

42. Dario Agrazal, RHP
Age: 24 (DOB 12/28/1994)
2018 Highest Level: Double-A
Armed with a power sinker and above average command, Agrazal has the stuff now to potentially be a high leverage reliever. Pittsburgh has continued to work on developing a better breaking ball and change, in hopes that he can be a backend starter. Injuries have limited him to just 17 starts since June of 2017, so staying healthy and getting starts is the key at this point.
ETA: 2020

43. Rodolfo Castro, 2B/SS
Age: 19 (DOB 05/21/1999)
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
Castro was part of 5 young bats that Pittsburgh pushed to Single-A West Virginia to start last season. The switch-hitting Castro was the 2nd youngest of the group, and while he took his lumps, he had a largely successful year. Castro has solid power for a middle infielder, hitting 35 extra base hits and he has kept a steady K rate of about 23%. While I’m sure Pittsburgh would like to see that go down, it is the BB rate that they need to see go back up, after being cut nearly in half from 2016 to 2018.
ETA: 2021

44. Michael Burrows, RHP
Age: 19 (DOB 11/08/1999)
2018 Highest Level: Gulf Coast League
Is it a shock to anyone that Burrows is a projectable prep righty? It is even less surprising to me that his fastball has great sink while touching 93 with room to add velocity as he fills out. Burrows and Pittsburgh were almost destined for each other in the 11th round last year.
ETA: 2020

45. Cam Vieaux, LHP
Age: 25 (DOB 12/05/1993)
2018 Highest Level: Double A
Pittsburgh has stayed aggressive with the big lefty since they drafted him in the 6th round in 2016. Vieaux is not a hard thrower and seems most effective when his fastball sits 90-92, allowing him to work his solid off-speed offerings. At 25, I would expect Pittsburgh to be looking to define a role for Vieaux and try to push him to Triple-A in 2019.
ETA: 2019

46. Braeden Ogle, LHP
Age: 21 (DOB 07/30/1997)
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
With only 87.2 professional innings in 3 seasons, Ogle is starting to fight a battle with time. When healthy, Ogle has a solid 3-pitch mix and can run his fastball up to touch 97. Still only 21 for the first half of 2019, Ogle will need to hope the shoulder inflammation that cost him nearly all of 2018 is cleared up and he can put together a nice bounce back.
ETA: 2021

47. Osvaldo Bido, RHP
Age: 23 (DOB 10/18/1995)
2018 Highest Level: Short Season A
At this point on a prospect list, you’re looking for upside and Bido certainly has that. With a fastball sitting 94-96 and a strong cutter, Bido made a big jump in 2018 from the DSL to Short Season-A West Virginia. While Bido was a bit old for his level, he saw excellent improvement in command in his stateside debut, posting a 2.3 BB/9 after walking 6.4 per 9 in 2017. He’s one to keep an eye on.
ETA: 2022

48. Grant Koch, C
Age: 21 (DOB 02/05/1997)
2018 Highest Level: Short Season A
A 5th round pick in 2018, Koch struggled a bit at the plate in his debut; however, a .235 BABIP may have contributed greatly to those struggles. Koch has shown the ability to hit for power, smashing 13 HR as a sophomore at Arkansas. Koch is good enough behind the plate to be an offensive-minded catcher, if the above average power potential continues to develop.
ETA: 2021

49. Hunter Stratton, RHP
Age: 22 (DOB 11/17/1996)
2018 Highest Level: Single A
A 16th round pick in 2017, the 6’4″ Stratton has increased his velocity to sit 91-93, adding a curveball and changeup for a solid 3-pitch mix. Pittsburgh confidently pushed Stratton to full season-A ball in 2018 and started him out in the bullpen, where a couple of brutal outings over 3.2 innings got Stratton off to an awful start. However, once Stratton was moved into the rotation, he improved every month, posting a 2.82 ERA in 10 starts through July and August. He still has some command issues to work out and I’d love to see a little bit more swing and miss, but Pittsburgh has a solid find for a starter drafted in the 16th round.

50. Dylan Busby, 3B
Age: 23 (DOB 11/28/1995)
2018 Highest Level: Single A
Busby certainly didn’t have the first full professional season he would have hoped for. Busby got off to a slow start, despite a 15% BB rate in April. Through the first 19 days of May, the bat had started to come around. Busby had 7 extra base hits in 48 plate appearances; however, everything would be derailed from there due to an injury (Busby took a fastball to the head). He does appear to be healthy again, as he was able to get 50 at bats at the end of July and beginning of August, so let’s all hope for a healthy 2019.
ETA: 2020

About Ryan James 12 Articles
An absolute sports fanatic. Be it at the office, a family gathering or my wife’s restaurant you can usually find me talking sports, especially baseball. When I am not at the office working for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at a small bureau in the Dept. of Human Services, I love to golf, go to Baltimore to catch the O’s or Ravens and spend time with my amazing wife of 5 years. Follow me on Twitter @RyanJames5.

1 Comment

  1. Martin at 17???!!! Bad August in AAA, yep, but outside of that dude raked and played stellar defense. Lowest ranking this preseason because its wrong.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Born To Be A Ballplayer: Ke'Bryan Hayes Showcases Full Baseball Background | Prospects1500
  2. Mitch Keller looks to build on tough Triple-A start | Prospects1500

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