Pittsburgh Pirates Top Fantasy Baseball Prospects

Pittsburgh Pirates Top Prospects for Fantasy Baseball

A fully revamped farm system, the Pirates have quickly tuned around a ton of young talent. Some prospects have already made a debut like Henry Davis, Endy Rodríguez, Quinn Priester, Liover Peguero, and Nick Gonzales. Headlined by 2023 number 1 overall pick Paul Skenes, the Pirates are looking to get more help quickly in 2024. Pitching potential is there in this system and it comes in many different sizes. Jackson Wolf, Paul Skenes, Hunter Barco and Anthony Solometo could guard 1-5 on the basketball court. Meanwhile, Bubba Chandler, Lonnie White Jr. and Tom Harrington could have suited up on the gridiron. This is one of the more fun farm systems in baseball, so let’s take a look at what they have.

Head over to the Pitcher List dynasty page to check out other top prospect lists that have already been released!


Top Pirates Prospects


The Top Tier


1) Paul Skenes – SP, 21 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (ROK/A/AA): 6.2 IP | 5.40 ERA | 35.7 K% | 7.1 BB%

The most hyped pitching prospect since Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, Skenes is worth the hype. There isn’t much to say about Skenes that most don’t already know. He absolutely dominated LSU to make himself the 1st overall pick in 2023. Immediately the best pitching prospect in baseball, Skenes has electric stuff. Skenes lives at 99-100 MPH with his fastball and blows it by hitters. From the jump, this is enough to draw intrigue from MLB teams as it keeps hitters at a huge disadvantage. Backed up by a great slider, Skenes has plus 1/2 delivery and hasn’t needed much more. He mixes in a changeup that is in the upper 80s/low 90s with good late drop away from left-handed hitters. If Skenes can bring his changeup along closer to the level of his other two pitches, he’ll be at the top of the strikeout leaderboard yearly.

There is so much to like about Skenes, from his stuff, to his command, to his durability. A huge prospect at 6’6, 240, Skenes is a dominating presence on the mound. The Pirates may not want to waste valuable innings on the arm of Skenes and could give him a shot out of spring training. He’ll most likely throw the first month between Double-A and Triple-A but I think we see Skenes by the all-star break at the latest.


2) Termarr Johnson – 2B, 19 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (A/A+): .244 AVG | .422 OBP | .438 SLG | 18 HR | 10 SB | 26.0 K% | 21.9 BB%

Rated by a lot of evaluators as the best high school bat in 2022, Johnson has yet to see that translate to his average. The patience and approach are what give Johnson more of a head start than most high school bats. With a career .413 OBP in his minor league experience, Johnson has displayed a plus approach. The power started to show in 2023 as he hit 18 home runs in 105 games. Strikeouts have been very high for a bat that most evaluators deemed way ahead of schedule and foolishly compared to some of the game’s greats. Personally, I’m a bit lower on Johnson than most evaluators but he can put up an OBP in the high .300s with a homerun total in the upper 20s yearly.

A lot of what scouts like in Johnson has yet to completely come together, but he doesn’t turn 20 until mid-June. Given the youth, Johnson has plenty of time to tweak his approach and maybe get a bit more aggressive at the plate. A sweet swing, Johnson utilizes a large load up and leg kick to drive the ball with power. Johnson has been a bit pull-heavy so far as he totals around a 45% pull rate. The comparisons were extremely unfair to Johnson as he’s a great prospect, but he was hyped similarly to Jasson Domínguez before playing a single professional game. The tools are there for Johnson to continue improving and he should stay as one of the game’s top prospects.


3) Jared Jones – SP, 22 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (AA): 126 IP | 3.85 ERA | 27.6 K% | 9.5 BB%

Jones was taken out of high school by the Pirates with the 2020 2nd-round selection at 44th overall in the shortened MLB draft. Being drafted this high in only a five-round draft shows what they thought of the young right-handed pitcher. Jones had a solid first two professional seasons but really broke out in 2023. He doesn’t move much in his delivery as his first step is mostly just to set up the rest of his movement. After dominating Double-A in 2023, Jones took a slight step back when promoted to Triple-A.

Jones has great stuff, a potential 3-plus pitch mix with an above-average 4th pitch. His upper 90s fastball is his best pitch which he can blow by hitters. Jones has a curveball and slider that you can pick which you prefer, as both flash plus. The slider seems to get hitters more for strikeouts but his curve is a big breaking pitch that adds another look. Command has been the biggest concern for Jones as he’s hovered around a 10% walk rate. Jones has a chance to win a rotation spot out 2024 in spring training but he’ll most likely spend the first month back at Triple-A.


4) Anthony Solometo – SP, 21 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (AA): 110.1 IP | 3.26 ERA | 26.2 K% | 8.6 BB%

Madison Bumgarner comps have been linked to Solometo since the days of the 2021 MLB Draft. His delivery is long and deceptive like the former World Series MVP. Solometo has an almost identical body to Bumgarner as well. Drafted 37th overall out of Bishop Eustace High School in New Jersey, Solometo is one of the many New Jersey high school arms in the recent future. The delivery is enough to throw hitters off, but he adds in 3 pitches that are all above average.

The fastball is going to determine if Solometo is a frontline starter or a No. 2 through 4 starter in the major leagues. Right now, Solometo sits in the low-to-mid 90s but has hit above that on occasion. Solometo throws in a slider and changeup that both flash above average. Solometo throws his slider extremely well against left-handed hitters as it pairs perfectly with his delivery. His changeup grades out as his weakest pitch at the moment but he was able to get strikeouts on that pitch when needed. The Pirates have to be extremely excited with what they have in Solometo as he’s firmly a top 100 prospect.


5) Tom Harrington – SP, 22 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (A/A+): 127.1 IP | 3.53 ERA | 27.8 K% | 7.8 BB%

The 36th overall pick in 2022, Harrington debuted in 2023 and was phenomenal. Harrington spent most of his season at High-A, where he struck out 106 batters in 88.1 innings. A live arm, Harrington uses a lot of his arm in his delivery and less of his body. Arm injuries are potentially more common with this type of delivery but Harrington silenced that in year one with 127.1 innings. His command is another plus aspect of his game as he pounds the zone with his fastball to get ahead of hitters.

Harrington has a four-pitch mix that contains all potentially well-above-average pitches. His best offering is a mid-to-high 80s changeup that has plus drop and disappears from hitters. A true strikeout pitch, the changeup is good enough to compete at any level. Backed up by a low-to-mid 90s fastball, and mid 80s slider, both have a chance to be plus as well. Another athletic Pirates pitching prospect with a quiet delivery, Harrington could rise up into many of the top 100 prospect rankings midway through 2024.


6) Bubba Chandler – SP, 21 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (A+/AA): 111 IP | 4.54 ERA | 26.4 K% | 10.5 BB%

As a two-sport athlete, Chandler was supposed to play QB at Clemson but turned it down and signed with Pittsburgh. Not only was Chandler a two-sport athlete, but he was a two-way baseball prospect. This might be shocking since he was recruited as a QB, but he has a great arm. Now focusing only on pitching, Chandler can hone his above-average stuff to reach mid-rotation potential.

Chandler throws four pitches, a plus fastball with an above-average curveball, slider, and changeup. All four of his pitches have a chance to be plus pitches the more experience he gets on the mound. He has struggled with his command since making his professional debut but he improved drastically in 2023. A smooth and repeatable delivery with not a lot of movement. His fastball looked too advanced for the Low-A level as he often threw it by batters. There’s a lot to like about the potential here and 2024 could be a big breakout for Bubba.


7) Mitch Jebb – SS, 21 YO

2023 Stats (AA/AAA):.297 AVG | .382 OBP | .398 SLG | 1 HR | 11 SB | 7.2 K% | 11.1 BB%

The 42nd overall pick in 2023, Jebb started off hot showcasing his plus hit tool. Jebb can flat-out hit, hitting .356 and .337 in his last two seasons at Michigan State. Jebb has a tremendous feel for the zone and has sported a good walk-to-strikeout rate at every level. With 17 walks to 11 strikeouts in his Low-A debut, Jebb proved the hit tool and approach can carry over to the pros. Given his advanced feel, Jebb could be promoted aggressively to start 2024.

There may not be much future power in the bat for Jebb but he could set the table as a No. 1 or 2 hitter and add around 10 home runs per season. His swing is a bit of a slap swing, which limits the power but brings in great contact ability. He begins his stance with an awkward-looking lean forward and the bat on his shoulder in front of him, but it allows him to make good contact. Jebb can flat out run and has the legs to steal 20-30 bases a year with ease. A solid, middle-of-the-diamond baseball player, Jebb has a lot of talent in his game.


Prospects Dynasty Managers Should Know


8) Hunter Barco – SP, 23 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (ROK/A): 18.1 IP | 3.44 ERA | 35.9 K% | 7.7 BB%

One of my favorite college pitchers in 2022, Barco looked dominant as a lanky lefty from Florida. Similar to A.J. Puk, Barco racked up the strikeouts and was shooting up draft boards before needing Tommy John. The Pirates still selected Barco with the 44th overall pick in 2022 and he saw his first action in 2023 at rookie ball and Low-A. Barco isn’t the typical flame-throwing left-hander as he sits in the low 90s. A plus slider and changeup, with a quick and funky delivery, give him plenty of strikeout potential.


9) Michael Kennedy – SP, 19 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (A): 46.2 IP | 2.12 ERA | 33.0 K% | 13.1 BB%

A younger high school lefty out of the northeast, Kennedy pitched extremely well for his professional debut. With 63 strikeouts in 46.2 innings, Kennedy looked very advanced for his age. One of my favorite deliveries from a young left-handed pitcher, Kennedy hides the ball well but doesn’t add any unnecessary movement. His control was iffy as he walked 25 batters in his 46.2 innings. Kennedy has a solid 3 pitch mix that gives him mid-rotation potential.


10) Jun-Seok Shim – SP, 19 YO

2023 MiLB Stats(ROK): 8 IP | 3.38 ERA | 43.3 K% | 10.0 BB%

Shim was one of the top international signings in 2023 but his much-awaited debut was limited to just eight innings. His fastball is his best and go-to offering but he also throws a big breaking curveball. Eight innings isn’t enough to know truly how his pitches will look but the fastball and curveball look good enough to stick as a starter for the near future. He’ll be just 20 years old for all of the 2024 season, giving him plenty of time to develop.


11) Mike Burrows – SP, 24 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (AAA): 6.2 IP | 2.70 ERA | 12 K% | 8 BB%

Burrows missed almost all of the 2o23 season after needing Tommy John surgery. Prior to needing Tommy John, Burrows was one of the best pitching prospects in the system. The good news about early Tommy John is he should be back shortly into the 2024 season. Burrows has done well against minor-league hitters and has a chance to be promoted to Pittsburgh once healthy. He has three pitches that are above average, giving him a good chance to be a mid-rotation starter.


12) Jackson Wolf – SP, 24 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (AA): 124.1 IP | 4.13 ERA | 26.8 K% | 6.4 BB%

A huge and lanky lefty, Wolf stands 6’7 and has a delivery similar to Chris Sale. Despite being 6’7, Wolf isn’t a flamethrower as he lives around 90 MPH on his fastball. He made his MLB debut for the Padres and pitched well going five innings and only allowing three earned runs. His off-speed pitches are what get him his outs and strikeouts as he has 3 above-average pitches. His slider is probably his best pitch but he shows a good feel for his changeup and curveball as well.


13) Lonnie White Jr. – OF, 21 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (ROK/A): .276 AVG | .406 OBP | .476 SLG | 9 HR | 18 SB | 27.2 K% | 15.6 BB%

One of my favorite draft picks from the 2021 MLB draft, White Jr. has yet to see much action due to injury. Like Bubba Chandler, White Jr. was also recruited to play college football but ended up signing with the Pirates. White Jr. has plus-plus speed and his power has a chance to be plus as well. The tools are there for him to be a 20 home run and 30 steal-a-year player. A fantastic athlete, White Jr. will look to break out in a big way in 2024.


14) Garrett Forrester – OF/1B, 22 YO

2023 Stats (A): .278 AVG | .552 OBP | .278 SLG | 0 HR | 0 SB | 34.5 K% | 24.1 BB%

Drafted 73rd overall in 2023 out of Oregon State, Forrester is known for his bat. With a short and compact stance, Forrester uses his 6’0, 200-pound frame with a quick and strong swing to hit the ball hard. Despite only hitting 10 home runs for Oregon State in 2023, Forrester also maintained a monster .341 average. While his defensive position remains to be seen, Forrester’s bat is going to be what moves him anyway.


15) Zander Mueth – SP, 18 YO

2023 MiLB Stats: N/A

The 67th overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, Mueth has a three-pitch mix that shows above average. A lanky and skinny kid, Mueth sits in the low 90s now with a fastball that has hit the upper 90s. Mueth is a prime candidate for a velocity jump in the next few years given the strength he can add. A good athlete, Mueth has a quick and sometimes out-of-control delivery that leads to spotty command. If the Pirates can work on slowing him down, he has the stuff to be a mid-rotation starter.


The Next Five


Although these prospects do not crack the top 15, dynasty managers should keep their eye on these five players.

Braxton Ashcraft –  24 YO – Only 162 career minor league innings, Ashcraft has back-end starter or long reliever stuff that could debut in 2024.

Shalin Polanco – 19 YO – A top 2021 international signing, Polanco showcases above-average speed with potential above-average power.

Jhonny Severino – 19 YO – Severino has above-average raw power but he’ll need to keep his strikeouts in check to succeed.

Yordany De Los Santos – 18 YO – A top 2022 international signing, De Los Santos shows a patient approach with power to come as he ages.

 Tony Blanco Jr. – 18 YO – A 6’6, 240-pound 18-year-old, the raw power is what makes Blanco Jr. an exciting prospect.

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