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Pirates Prospect Watch: Altoona, Greensboro and Bradenton Season Previews

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Pirates prospects, henry davis, pittsburgh pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate — the Indianapolis Indians — have already begun their 2023 season. This week, the Pirates’ other top three affiliates will be joining them by beginning their regular season slates.

The Double-A Altoona Curve open their season on Thursday night when they take on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The High-A Greensboro Grasshoppers and Low-A Bradenton Marauders will each kick of their seasons on Friday night.

Notable Pirates’ prospects are scattered throughout the different levels of the minor leagues with each of the top four affiliates housing talented prospects to begin the season.

The Pirates’ rebuild has been underway for the last couple years and while some of the younger assets have worked their way to Triple-A and the big leagues, plenty of Pirates’ prospects of note continue to climb the ladder with these three affiliates.

If you’re a fan of minor league baseball and tracking progress of Pirates’ prospects, here is what you need to know.

Double-A Altoona

  • Manager: Callix Crabbe (first season)
  • Prospects of Note: C Henry Davis, RHP Jared Jones, INF Liover Peguero, RHP Tahnaj Thomas
  • Storylines: Davis’ development, Important year for Peguero and Mason Martin, Can Matt Fraizer return to 2021 form?

2021 first-overall pick Henry Davis will pickup his 2023 season where he left off 2022 with the Curve. With Endy Rodriguez at Triple-A, Davis will get a chance to catch everyday while also getting some occasional time in the outfield.

With other notables such as Peguero, Jones, Thomas and others beginning the year in Double-A, Altoona will be the home of some of the organization’s more intriguing prospects.

High-A Greensboro

  • Manager: Robby Hammock (first season)
  • Prospects of Note: RHP Bubba Chandler, INF Tsung-Che Cheng, RHP Po-Yu Chen, LHP Anthony Solometo
  • Storylines: Chandler’s first year as full-time pitcher, Cheng’s possible emergence as one of Pirates’ better prospects, Pitching staff as a whole

The Grasshoppers are loaded with several of the Pirates’ top pitching prospects. With the hitter-friendly environment that is the South Atlantic League, the Pirates’ prospects will be tested.

While most of the more well-known prospects in High-A are pitchers, prospects such as Cheng, Maikol Escotto and Hudson Head are all intriguing names to keep an eye on this year.

Low-A Bradenton

  • Manager: Jonathan Johnston (third season)
  • Prospects of Note: RHP Thomas Harrington, INF Termarr Johnson, OF Shalin Polanco, OF Javier Rivas
  • Storylines: Johnson’s first full season of professional baseball, Development of 2022 draft picks, Under-the-radar Pirates’ prospects

Johnson headlines the Marauders’ roster after the Pirates made him the fourth-overall pick in last year’s draft. He’s joined by some other 2022 draftees including Harrington and infielder Jack Brannigan.

Keep an eye on Rivas as a potential breakout prospect for the Pirates this year as well as the possible emergence from a handful of others.

Full minor league rosters can be found HERE.

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