OOTP: A Few Pirates Prospects Are Starting to Reach the Majors in 2022

This year we’re doing a daily simulation of the 2020 season using Out of the Park Baseball.

We are also doing a daily simulation of the 2025 season, separate from the 2020 scenario. To get to the 2025 season for this project, I’ve been simulating all of the seasons leading up to that year, and posting the results on a year-by-year basis.

I finished simulating through the 2022 season yesterday, and have the results below, if you’re interested in seeing a scenario of how the future Pirates might perform, based on the simulations.

I don’t have any control over the sims. I’m just an observer, passing it along for you to observe as well.

I’ll have the 2023 and 2024 seasons posted this week.

Prospect Reports

Here are our top 20 prospects, per the 2020 Prospect Guide. This looks at how they fared in the 2022 simulation.

Mitch Keller: Keller only made eight starts in 2021, due to a ruptured tendon in his finger. He returned in 2022 with a 4.97 ERA in 159/1 innings.

Ke’Bryan Hayes: Hayes won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 2021. He followed that up with a .242/.324/.394 line, seeing a slump with his offense. He was a 5.2 WAR player in his rookie year, and 3.1 this year, largely due to the defense at third.

Oneil Cruz: Cruz had an .862 OPS in Double-A, and a .649 OPS in Triple-A. At this point in the sim he has yet to dominate Double-A, but has done well enough to move up to Triple-A, where he has been at a .660 OPS or lower.

Liover Peguero: He actually made the majors this year at age 21, although the jump seemed too aggressive. Peguero returned to Altoona with a .728 OPS. He jumped straight to the majors, where he had a .594 OPS. He has done well at shortstop, and a left side of Peguero and Hayes looks strong right now.

Cody Bolton: Reached the majors in 2022 as a reliever. Had a 1.90 ERA in 23.2 innings, with a 27:6 K/BB ratio. Made 12 appearances and one start. He started the entire time in Indianapolis, with a 3.54 ERA over 94 innings. I’d expect him to have a shot at the rotation going forward.

Tahnaj Thomas: Moved up to Bradenton and pitched most of the year in the rotation, with a 4.32 ERA in 118.2 innings, and a 126:50 K/BB ratio.

Quinn Priester: Split the season between Bradenton (4.40 ERA in 94 innings, 8.0 K/9, 4.7 BB/9) and Altoona (5.25 ERA in 12 innings, 12:7 K/BB).

Brennan Malone: Split the season as a reliever between Greensboro and Bradenton. Had a 3.49 ERA in 28.1 innings at the higher level, with a 32:12 K/BB.

Ji-Hwan Bae: Had a .592 OPS in Altoona, and a .716 OPS with Bradenton. Struggling to get out of A-ball at age 23.

Braxton Ashcraft: Moved up to Indianapolis, and had a 4.04 ERA in 120.1 IP, all as a starter.

Michael Burrows: Split his time in Bradenton between the rotation and bullpen, with a combined 5.21 ERA. Moved to Altoona for two starts, giving up two runs in 9.1 innings, with seven strikeouts and six walks.

Travis Swaggerty: Spent the entire year in the majors, hitting for a .223/.299/.333 line in 541 plate appearances. Was the primary starting center fielder, but the defense didn’t make up for the lack of offense.

JT Brubaker: Brubaker suffered another injury at the very end of the 2021 season, dealing with a partially torn labrum. He became a minor league free agent and was signed to a minor league deal by the Red Sox. Had a 4.34 ERA in 145 innings for their Triple-A team, which was similar to his 2021 results with the Pirates.

Will Craig: Returned to Indianapolis and had a .741 OPS this time. He’ll be in his age 28 season next year, and has yet to do better than the real-life .761 OPS he put up in 2019 in Triple-A.

Nick Mears: Another year spent as a reliever between Bradenton and Altoona. Had a 1.93 ERA in 28 innings with Altoona, along with a 35:17 K/BB ratio.

Jared Oliva: The Pirates placed Oliva on waivers after the 2021 season and he was claimed by the Nationals. He had a .904 OPS in 222 at-bats with their Triple-A team, making the PCL All-Star Game. He had positive value defense in center field.

Mason Martin: Moved up to Altoona full-time and had a .239/.361/.516 line with 26 homers in 416 plate appearances.

Calvin Mitchell: Had an .855 OPS and 20 homers in 560 plate appearances with Altoona. Slight better season than last year. In real life, I think he would be in Triple-A by now with those back-to-back seasons.

Sammy Siani: Split the season between Greensboro (.741 OPS) and Bradenton (.623 OPS). Very strong defender in center field.

Travis MacGregor: Was in Altoona all year for the third straight year. Had a 4.51 ERA in 113.2 innings, while seeing a drop in his strikeouts and a rise in his walk rate.

Fun Stuff

**The Pirates finished 73-89, third place in the NL Central.

**The Pirates traded Chad Kuhl and Joelvis Del Rosario to Colorado for catcher Dom Nunez, who was their starter most of the year after the trade. Jacob Stallings was placed on waivers the next day, and later claimed by Miami, where he is catching in the majors.

**The first round pick was Florida right-handed pitcher Tyler Nesbitt, who received $4.82 M to sign. He was actually drafted by the Rockies in the 32nd round in 2019.

**The top international signing was a left fielder out of the Netherlands who got $3.4 M.

**Someone asked about Cole Tucker yesterday, so I looked him up. He has spent the last two seasons with the Braves on their MLB roster. He had a .769 OPS and a 3.0 WAR in 2022 over 568 plate appearances. This all happened because he was injured after the 2020 season, became a minor league free agent, and signed with the Braves right before the 2021 season started. Even with the injury, I couldn’t see that happening in real life.

**Feel free to ask about any players you’re interested in, and I’ll try to provide updates in future years.

**I’m planning on having the 2023 results tomorrow, the 2024 results on Thursday, and a 2025 look on Friday. I’m thinking about making that one a live discussion where you can ask about specific players at that point.

**Check back today at 7:40 PM EST for the daily 2020 simulation as the Pirates take on the Cubs.