This past season, the Pittsburgh Pirates used 67 different players throughout the year. That number marked the franchise record for most players used in one season in club history, eclipsing last year’s mark of 64.
A number of those players were Pirates’ prospects. Some, like Jack Suwinski, made their major league debuts. Others, such as Oneil Cruz and Roansy Contreras, received their first extended look in the big leagues.
Looking ahead to next year, a handful of Pirates’ prospects are on track to make their big league debuts, and several included are considered to be the Bucs’ top prospects.
Endy Rodriguez, who ranks in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects, could be the first of the top-tier guys to make their way to Pittsburgh. Rodriguez already has a handful of games under his belt with Triple-A Indianapolis.
Historically, the Pirates don’t put their top prospects on the opening day roster, but Rodriguez could be on the field at PNC Park sooner rather than later.
Rodriguez is coming off of a terrific season at the plate between three levels, combining for a .323 batting average, a .997 OPS, 25 home runs and 95 RBIs in 2022.
Three former first-round draft picks could also reach the big leagues at some point next season and like Rodriguez, all three are considered Top 100 prospects in baseball.
Henry Davis, though he battled wrist issues in 2022, is quickly working his way up the minor league ranks and is performing well in the Arizona Fall League this offseason.
2020 first-rounder Nick Gonzales finished the year alongside Davis in Double-A Altoona. Both players bring high upside at the plate.
The last of those three former first round draft picks is right-hander Quinn Priester. Like Rodriguez, Priester enjoyed a cup of coffee at Triple-A to end the season and is just one step away from becoming a major league player.
The thought of the quartet of top Pirates’ prospects all taking the field for the Pirates in 2023 is surely exciting for fans who have suffered through back-to-back 100-loss seasons.
With players such as Cruz and Contreras and eventually Rodriguez, Davis, Gonzales and Priester, the future is starting to become the present.
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