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Pirates Prospect Watch: Spring Training Studs and Duds



Jared Jones, Pittsburgh Pirates

Spring training is well underway, as the Pirates’ preseason slate began over the weekend with losses to the Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles. Here are some performances of note from the Buccos’ young players during those two contests.


  • 22-year-old shortstop Tsung-Che Cheng, who topped out with Double-A Altoona last season, went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts in Saturday’s game. He also flew out as a pinch hitter against the Orioles on Sunday.
  • Shortstop Jack Brannigan, who spent much of 2023 in High-A Greensboro, went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and a walk. He was also thrown out at home trying to score from second on a single during Saturday’s game.
  • Second baseman and 2022 first overall pick Termarr Johnson went 0-for-4 with a pair of fly outs and two swinging strikeouts.
  • Jared Jones worked a 15 pitch scoreless inning in Saturday’s game, allowing a single and forcing one weak contact apiece with his slider and fastball.
  • The Twins tagged Kyle Nicolas for three runs and the loss on Saturday, working two singles and a three-run homer against him. Nicolas also managed to freeze a pair of batters looking.

Other Pirates of Note

While they already graduated from the Pirates’ system—or joined the club from another big league team—there were several other performances of note over the weekend.

  • Former first overall pick Henry Davis hit two line drive singles and scored a run. He also caught five innings.
  • 2020 first round pick Nick Gonzales went 1-for-2 with a double, the only extra base hit in Pittsburgh’s shutout loss against Baltimore.
  • Oneil Cruz went 0-for-2 in his first major league action since suffering a season-ending ankle fracture last April. He struck out on a pitch clock violation and also helped turn a double play on defense.
  • Edward Olivares, who the Pirates acquired in December in return for minor leaguer Deivis Nadal, went 1-for-3 with a two-run, game-tying triple.
  • Gilbertino Celestino, who the Pirates inked to a minor league contract as their first signing of this offseason, went 3-for-5 with a stolen base.

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