Pirates high prospects 2022: Henry Davis, No. 1 choose in 2021 MLB Draft, ranks second on Pittsburgh’s listing

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Main League Baseball’s homeowners might have locked out the gamers, triggering the league’s first work stoppage since 1994-95 and bringing the offseason to a halt, however that does not imply we’re letting it derail our typical offseason plans. Certainly, CBS Sports activities is within the technique of highlighting the highest three prospects for all 30 groups.

That journey finds us at this time specializing in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system. 

Do observe that these lists are fashioned after conversations with scouts, analysts, and participant growth of us from across the league. There may be private bias baked in, as one would count on from subjective workout routines, so some disagreement is to be anticipated.

Cruz’s availability at this level final 12 months was up within the air after he was concerned in a automotive accident that killed three folks. (Cruz’s lawyer and the Pirates pushed again towards studies suggesting alcohol was concerned.) He ended up enjoying in 68 minor-league video games after which, surprisingly, two big-league contests to finish the season regardless of restricted Triple-A publicity. Cruz has one of many oddest profiles within the recreation stemming from the truth that he is a 6-foot-7 shortstop. The Pirates have not hedged their bets towards him sticking there by a lot as cross-training him at different positions. They’re all-in, in different phrases. Cruz has big-time energy and he is a quick runner (at the least in the intervening time), making him a probably dynamic offensive expertise. He additionally minimize into his strikeout price this season, too, which bodes nicely for him given his hit device has been scrutinized prior to now. Cruz ought to get an extended look within the majors this 12 months.

The Pirates approached final summer season’s draft with a “portfolio method” in thoughts. Taking Davis at No. 1 performed into that plan, because it allowed them to save cash on his signing bonus that they later rerouted to different picks. Nonetheless, Davis should not be written off as something lower than a fascinating expertise himself. He made a behavior of hitting the ball arduous whereas seldom putting out at Louisville, a fascinating mixture in any batter, not to mention one with sufficient defensive chops to stay behind the plate. Some scouts have expressed issues about Davis’ swing and if it will trigger his bat to play lighter towards top-end pitching; there’s just one solution to discover out for positive.

3. Nick Gonzales, 2B

The Pirates chosen Gonzales seventh general in 2020 based mostly on his offensive polish. He validated that evaluation in his skilled debut, hitting .302/.385/.565 with 18 residence runs at Excessive-A. Scouts imagine Gonzales will hit for common (although his strikeout price, at 27 p.c, was concerningly excessive) and stroll a wholesome quantity, however they’ve reservations about different elements of his recreation. He is seen as only a second baseman (one thing the Pirates have seemingly conceded on their very own), and so they aren’t satisfied he’ll ascend past “doubles energy,” limiting his offensive ceiling. Gonzales ought to start the season in Double-A with a watch on The Present in 2023.

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