MLB Pipeline released their annual Top 100 prospects list and six Pirates prospects made the cut. Nick Gonzales leads the way for the Bucs at No. 20, followed by Henry Davis at No. 24 and Oneil Cruz is pegged No. 26, giving the Pirates three in the top 30. Quinn Priester (54th), Roansy Contreras (71st) and and Liover Peguero (79th) also made the list for Pittsburgh.
In addition to the Top 100, Gonzales is rated as the top second base prospect in all of baseball. Davis is ranked as the fourth-best catching prospect and Cruz is the ninth-best shortstop prospect.
Pipeline is higher on Gonzales than some of the other outlets as evident by ranking him as the Pirates’ top prospect. Gonzales raked in his professional debut, finishing with a 150 wRC+ with High-A Greensboro. Strikeouts remain a concern, he went down on strikes 27.4% of the time last season, but Pipeline believes he can better that mark.
Davis received rave reviews for his plus-power and his plus-plus-arm behind the dish. The Pirates got a taste of Cruz in the big leagues last year at the end of the season, and it’s not totally out of the question that he could start the season in Pittsburgh. Contreras is another one who could start the year with the big league club, though he’s probably headed to Indianapolis to begin the season.
Priester was the Pirates first round selection in 2019 and has an impressive pitch arsenal led by a power fastball and an impressive curveball. Peguero offers potential on both sides of the ball and features above-average speed.
With six prospects in the Top 100, the Pirates are tied with the Mariners and Marlins for the most of any team in the league. The Pirates hold the fourth selection in the 2022 draft, giving them an opportunity to add another high-end prospect to the system.