MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo was on the Pirates’ pregame show today to discuss the future of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The man who has a pulse on the Minor Leagues took a stab at predicting the Pirates lineup for 2023.
Our @JonathanMayo was on the AT&T SportsNet broadcast today before the game. Here’s a projected 2023 Pirates lineup they showed during the segment.
— Jake Crouse (@JakeCrouseMLB) August 11, 2021
Based off of his prediction, three current Pirates made the cut; Bryan Reynolds remains in center field, Jacob Stallings behind the plate and Ke’Bryan Hayes over at the hot corner.
While there is a lot of familiarity with those three positions, the other five spots are all occupied by prospects. Here is a little bit on how these players were acquired by the Pirates.
Catcher: Jacob Stallings – Stallings was a 7th round selection from the University of North Carolina in the 2012 MLB Draft. He’s now in his sixth season with the Pirates, spending the last couple as the team’s primary catcher behind the dish.
First Base: Mason Martin – Martin was a 17th round draft pick out of high school from the state of Washington in 2017. According to Pipeline’s Pirates’ Top Prospects list, Martin ranks #15 in the system.
Second Base: Nick Gonzales – General manager Ben Cherington made Gonzales his first ever pick in his new position with the Pirates by selecting him with the seventh pick in 2020 out of New Mexico State. Gonzales is the Pirates’ top prospect according to Pipeline.
Shortstop: Liover Peguero – The first big move of Cherington’s tenure was the trade that sent Starling Marte to Arizona. That deal yielded the Bucs two prospects, one of those being Peguero. Pipeline has Peguero ranked fourth on the team’s list.
Third Base: Ke’Bryan Hayes – The sure-handed Hayes was the 32nd overall pick by the Pirates in 2015. Hayes is now in his second season with the Pirates, and is widely considered a cornerstone of the team’s future.
Left Field: Tucupita Marcano – Marcano is one of the newest faces in the Pirates system after being acquired in last month’s Adam Frazier trade. A natural infielder, Marcano has started to get some looks in the outfield this season. He’s ranked as the Pirates #7 prospect.
Center Field: Bryan Reynolds – Acquired in the Andrew McCutchen trade, Reynolds burst onto the scene with the Pirates in 2019. After a down 2020, Reynolds is in the midst of a career year, manning center field.
Right Field: Oneil Cruz – Cruz was acquired by then-GM Neal Huntington from the Dodgers in the 2017 Tony Watson trade. Cruz is a natural short stop and has yet to play an inning in the outfield, but his big frame (6’7″, 210 lbs.) and strong arm may move him off of short stop. Cruz is the Pirates’ #3 prospect.