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Pirates Prospects

Pirates Prospect Watch: Pitching Shines, Bats Cool Off

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Jared Jones, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pirates prospects

We’re at the point where the Pittsburgh Pirates begin to slim down the number of players involved in spring training, sending prospects to minor league camps and their respective farm teams as the big league club ramps up for the beginning of the regular season. With exciting talents like Bubba Chandler making their last auditions of the spring this past week, here’s a look at the young Bucs’ noteworthy performances, both good and bad. 

The Young Bucs’ week played out as an inverse of the Pirates’ established major leaguers. Where the big league arms have struggled mightily and the batters mash, the prospects’ bats cooled off while most of the pitchers continued to shine. 

  • Infielder Tsung-Che Cheng homered and singled in eight at-bats.
  • Termarr Johnson made just five plate appearances, hitting a single against Atlanta on Friday.
  • Jase Bowen went 0-for-2 in three plate appearances, although he added a sacrifice fly on a play that turned into two outs when catcher Abrahan Gutierrez tried to grab and extra bag.

Young Arms Shine

  • Paul Skenes made just one appearance last week, missing a scheduled appearance due to illness. The Pirates’ first overall pick in 2023 allowed a home run in two innings of work, striking out three batters in the process.
  • Jared Jones started against Toronto on Tuesday, walking one batter and striking another out in two innings. He then went 2.2 innings in relief on Sunday, tagged with a pair of unearned runs after an Oneil Cruz error—one of them coming on a double from former Pirate Rodolfo Castro.
  • Bubba Chandler pitched a perfect inning in his only live action of the spring.
  • Braxton Ashcraft dealt with traffic in both his appearances, working around a walk and a hit batter in one inning against the Orioles before letting the Phillies load the bases. A Termarr Johnson error turned what should have been an inning-ending ground ball into a pair of unearned runs.
  • Kyle Nicolas struck out two batters and allowed a run in one inning.
  • Quinn Priester struggled after a strong showing in his first outing of the spring, allowing six runs in 5.2 innings—including a grand slam against the Phillies.

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