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Pirates Prospect Watch: Who Else Could Debut This Season?



Pirates Prospects, Mike Burrows

As the Pittsburgh Pirates have crossed the two-thirds mark of the season, the Bucs are officially in the home stretch of 2022. Even in another rebuilding year that will result in no postseason play, the Pirates still will have a few storylines to follow.

One of those storylines is the potential for several more prospects to make their Major League debuts with Pittsburgh by the end of the season. The Pirates have already seen debuts from a number of prospects this season. and there could be more to follow.

Last year, Oneil Cruz and Roansy Contreras made their debuts in Pittsburgh for the Pirates at the very tailend of the season.

While that could be a possible route the Pirates take again this season, there are some prospects who could get an extended look in the final two months of the regular season.

INF/OF Ji-hwan Bae

Quite honestly, it is somewhat surprising that Bae hasn’t received an opportunity with the Bucs so far this year. The 23-year-old has spent the entire year with Triple-A Indianapolis and complied a .297 batting average with an .814 OPS, eight home runs and 21 steals in 83 games.

Bae is currently on the injured list, but if he returns to action soon, look for him to get a chance in Pittsburgh.

RHP Mike Burrows

After breezing through the competition in Double-A, Burrows received a midseason promotion to Indianapolis. While things have not yet gone as smoothly with the Indians, Burrows has still posted a respectable 3.70 FIP in eight games.

Burrows represented the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization in the Futures Game during the All-Star Game festivities in Los Angeles last monthy and pitched a scoreless inning. He could earn a couple starts or get his feet wet out of the bullpen, if the Pirates choose to promote him.

1B Mason Martin

Martin is an interesting case. After starting off the season red-hot, it looked like lefty-swinging Martin would get a shot in the big leagues. However, over several months, he found himself in a prolonged slump.

Recently, however, Martin has broken out of his slump and regained his early-season form. Since July 24, Martin has increased his OPS from .672 to .705. The Pirates have an interesting 40-man roster decision ahead this winter with Martin, and may want to get a look at him against Major League competition.

C/OF Blake Sabol

Of the four names on this list, Sabol is the only one yet to reach Triple-A. Still, it’s not out of the question that the 24-year-old could work his way to Pittsburgh from Double-A Altoona before the end of the season.

Between the need at catcher and his production, Sabol is certainly a candidate to earn a shot at some point. Sabol has 28 extra-base hits and an OPS just shy of .800 with the Curve.

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