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Pirates Minor League Updates: Paul Skenes, Bubba Chandler Shine

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Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Bubba Chandler

This is one in a weekly update on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ top 10 prospects.

The top two pitching prospects — Paul Skenes and Bubba Chandler — were terrific with the Pirates and in Double-A, respectively.

On the position player side of things, Termarr Johnson belted two home runs and Jack Brannigan had a big impact in his return from the injured list.

Full updates on the top 10:

1. RHP Paul Skenes (Pittsburgh Pirates)

  • Weekly stats: 0-0, 1.29 ERA, seven innings, six hits, one walk, eight strikeouts, one appearances/one start
  • 2024 stats (MLB): 4-0, 2.14 ERA, 46.1 innings, 11 runs, 38 hits, eight walks, 61 strikeouts, eight appearances/eight starts

Though he didn’t get the win, Skenes was again brilliant for the Pirates when facing the Tampa Bay Rays. The right-hander tossed a career-high seven innings and hit 101.5 mph for strike three on the final pitch of his outing.

2. INF Termarr Johnson (High-A Greensboro)

  • Weekly stats: .250/.318/.550, 5 for 20, two home runs, four RBIs, one steal, five games
  • 2024 stats: .222/.384/.371, 44 for 201, 10 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 28 RBIs, 11 steals, 65 games

Johnson is up to double-digit home runs this season after going deep twice for Greensboro. His numbers continue to improve after a slow start and is riding a four-game hitting streak.

3. RHP Bubba Chandler (Double-A Altoona)

  • Weekly stats: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, seven innings, no runs, two hits, one walk, 10 strikeouts, one appearance/one start
  • 2024 stats: 3-5, 4.37 ERA, 47.1 innings, 26 runs (23 earned), 37 hits, 21 walks, 57 strikeouts, 13 appearances/11 starts

Chandler was dominant in his lone start of the week for the Curve and set a career-high with 10 strikeouts. At one point during the game, the right-hander struck out seven in a row.

4. LHP Anthony Solometo (Double-A Altoona)

  • Weekly stats: DID NOT PITCH – PLACED ON THE DEVELOPMENT LIST
  • 2024 stats: 0-4, 6.27 ERA, 33 innings, 23 runs, 32 hits, 21 walks, 24 strikeouts, 13 appearances/10 starts

Amidst his struggles this season, the Pirates placed the left-handed pitching prospect on the development list.

5. RHP Thomas Harrington (Double-A Altoona)

  • Weekly stats: 0-0, 3.00 ERA, six innings, two runs, five hits, one walk, three strikeouts, one appearance/one start
  • 2024 stats (AA) : 0-1, 3.11 ERA, 37.2 innings, 20 runs (13 earned), 36 hits, three walks, 36 strikeouts, eight appearances/seven starts

Harrington was solid for Altoona against Bowie on Saturday. His excellent command has been a key reason for his success since returning from the injured list.

6. RHP Braxton Ashcraft (Triple-A Indianapolis)

  • Weekly stats: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4.1 innings, no runs, three hits, three walks, four strikeouts, one appearance/one start
  • 2024 stats (AA, AAA): 3-2, 3.23 ERA, 64 innings, 25 runs (23 earned), 57 hits, 11 walks, 71 strikeouts, 13 appearances/12 starts

Ashcraft made his second start since his promotion to Indianapolis and although he wasn’t as sharp as he was in his debut, he put up a zero.

7. INF Mitch Jebb (High-A Greensboro)

  • Weekly stats: .118/.286/.118, 2 for 17, four steals, five games
  • 2024 stats: .194/.271/.284, 43 for 222, four doubles, two triples, four home runs, 29 RBIs, 15 steals, 57 games

Jebb dipped back below the Mendoza Line with another poor showing at the plate. When he did get on, last year’s second-rounder showed off his speed with four steals.

8. INF Tsung-Che Cheng (Double-A Altoona)

  • Weekly stats: .217/.217/.304, 5 for 23, two doubles, one RBI, one steal, five games
  • 2024 stats: .221/.331/.357, 47 for 197, eight doubles, seven home runs, 29 RBIs, 13 steals, 61 games

Cheng had another lackluster week. Like many other Pirates’ position player prospects, it’s been a disappointing season for the infielder.

9. INF Jack Brannigan (High-A Greensboro)

  • Weekly stats: .308/.438/.615, 4 for 13, one double, one home run, four RBIs, four games
  • 2024 stats: .223/.362/.410, 42 for 188, nine doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 25 RBIs, nine steals, 52 games

Brannigan returned from the injured list with a vengeance had had a strong showing in four games played.

10. RHP Mike Burrows (Low-A Bradenton*)

  • Weekly stats: 0-0, 5.40 ERA, 1.2 innings, one run, two hits, two walks, no strikeouts
  • 2024 stats (FCL, A-): 0-1, 12.00 ERA, three innings, four runs, three hits, four walks, no strikeouts, two appearances/two starts.

Burrows began a rehab assignment in the FCL last week and was bumped up to Bradenton this week, where he made one appearance.

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