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Top 10 Pirates Prospects Update: How Are Young Bucs Performing in Early Going?



Paul Skenes, Pittsburgh Pirates

This is one in a weekly update on the top 10 Pittsburgh Pirates prospects.

The minor-league season is in full-swing as Pittsburgh Pirates prospects at the four top levels try and work their way up the system.

Down on the farm, Paul Skenes has generated most of the attention and rightfully so. While Skenes has been off to an excellent start with Triple-A Indianapolis, it’s time to check in on some of the other top prospects.

Here is how the top 10 prospects have fared so far based on MLB Pipeline’s rankings.

1. RHP Paul Skenes (Triple-A Indianapolis)

  • 2024 stats: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 12.2 innings, no runs, five hits, four walks, 27 strikeouts, four appearances/four starts.

Skenes has been every bit as good as advertised. The top pitching prospect in baseball has been striking out batters at a ridiculous rate and has yet to allow a run. It probably won’t be too much longer before we see him in Pittsburgh.

2. INF Termarr Johnson (High-A Greensboro)

  • 2024 stats: .205/.410/.273, 9 for 44, one double, one triple seven RBIs, two steals, 14 games

Johnson got off to a slow start to the season but has heated up of late. The 2022 first-rounder is currently riding a four-game hitting streak and has at least one hit in six of his last seven games.

3. RHP Jared Jones (Pittsburgh Pirates)

  • 2024 stats: 1-2, 3.13 ERA, 23 innings, eight runs, 16 hits, two walks, 32 strikeouts, four appearances/four starts

Jones’ debut season in the big leagues can be classified as a must-watch. His ultra-impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio has been the key for the electric start to his major-league career.

4. LHP Anthony Solometo (Double-A Altoona)

  • 2024 stats: 0-1, 3.86 ERA, seven innings, three runs, seven hits, four walks, three strikeouts, two appearances/two starts

Solometo hasn’t had quite as good of a start to the season as some of the other top pitching prospects in the system, but the upside remains high.

5. RHP Bubba Chandler (Double-A Altoona)

  • 2024 stats: 1-0, 2.92 ERA, 12.1 innings, four runs, 10 hits, six walks, 15 strikeouts, three appearances/three starts

Chandler’s prospect status seems to trending upwards and his start to the season will only do more to continue that trajectory.

6. RHP Thomas Harrington (Double-A Altoona)

  • 2024 stats: Has not pitched 

Harrington was placed on the injured list with a shoulder issue to begin the season but he’s getting closer to returning to action.

7. RHP Braxton Ashcraft (Double-A Altoona)

  • 2024 stats: 0-0, 6.75 ERA, 9.1 innings, seven runs, 13 hits, one walk, seven strikeouts, three appearances/two starts

Ashcraft stumbled out of the gate but turned in a solid performance in his start on Saturday. The right-hander allowed one run on four hits in 4.1 innings pitched.

8. INF Mitch Jebb (High-A Greensboro)

  • 2024 stats: .216/286/.216, 11 for 51, four RBIs, one steal, 12 games

Jebb, last year’s second-round draft pick of the Pirates, is still trying to find his footing in his first look in Greensboro.

9. INF Tsung-Che Cheng (Double-A Altoona)

  • 2024 stats: .200/.378/.286, 7 for 35, one home run, four RBIs, three steals, 10 games

Cheng has been getting on base but hasn’t had a great start to begin his 2024 campaign.

10. INF Jack Brannigan (High-A Greensboro)

  • 2024 stats: .263/.440/.395, 10 for 38, two doubles, one home run, four RBIs, two steals, 11 games

Brannigan has enjoyed a nice start to his season, especially in terms of getting on base. A big reason for his early success is he has cut down on the strikeouts.

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