OOTP: A Look Ahead at How the Pirates Prospects Did in 2024

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. Here are the years we’ve covered so far:

2020

2021

2022

2023

Today we’re recapping the 2024 season. Tomorrow we’ll preview the 2025 season, before starting on that daily simulation. The end goal of all of this is to provide a daily look at what the current prospects in the system might do at a time when we’ve got the Pirates projected for their best chance of winning in real life.

Prospect Reports

Here are our top 20 prospects, per the 2020 Prospect Guide. This looks at how they fared in the 2024 simulation.

Mitch Keller: Keller had a 3.22 ERA in 178.2 innings. He struck out 194 batters in the process, and had a 3.8 WAR, which was the best of his career so far. Keller signed a four-year extension following the 2023 season, putting him under team control through the 2027 season.

Ke’Bryan Hayes: Hayes had a .763 OPS and was worth 3.4 WAR. He was Rookie of the Year in 2021, putting up a 5.2 WAR. In the following years he has been in the 3.5 WAR range, with his offense steadily improving.

Oneil Cruz: After struggling to get out of Double-A, the Pirates placed Cruz on waivers following the 2023 season. He was claimed by the Reds, and moved to Triple-A, where he had a .926 OPS. He made the majors by the end of the year, hitting .324/.351/.647 in 37 plate appearances. PNC Park has been burned to the ground by this point in the simulation.

Liover Peguero: He had a .619 OPS in 500 plate appearances as the starting shortstop. He was worth a 1.0 WAR, primarily due to a +10.5 zone rating. He will be in his age 24 season in 2025.

Cody Bolton: Spent most of the year in Triple-A, with a 5.40 ERA in 133.1 innings as he moved back to being a starter. Pitched 8.2 shutout innings in the majors in relief.

Tahnaj Thomas: Posted a 3.98 ERA in 95 innings with Altoona, along with a 119:55 K/BB ratio.

Quinn Priester: Made a few starts in the majors, but pitched mostly in relief. Had a 5.29 ERA in 66.1 innings. 65:39 K/BB ratio. Made ten starts for Indianapolis, with a 4.25 ERA in that stretch.

Brennan Malone: Reached Double-A by the end of the year, improving his control along the way. He’s now rated a 35 overall, with 55 overall upside as a reliever.

Ji-Hwan Bae: Bae finally saw his offense deliver in 2024, with an .813 OPS in Altoona, before going to Indianapolis. He had an .803 OPS at the higher level in 467 plate appearances, and will be in his age 25-26 season when the 2025 season begins.

Braxton Ashcraft: Ashcraft had 24 starts in Triple-A, with a 4.77 ERA. He pitched six innings in the majors, striking out ten and giving up just one hit. He didn’t do well as a starter in the majors in 2023, and profiles as a back of the rotation guy right now. He might work better as a reliever.

Michael Burrows: Had a 6.52 ERA in 9.2 innings in A-ball. Was released in June 2024 and hasn’t signed elsewhere.

Travis Swaggerty: Missed the second half of 2023 with an injury, but returned for the full 2024 season. Had a .736 OPS and a 2.0 WAR.

JT Brubaker: Spent most of 2024 in Triple-A with the Red Sox, while making a brief appearance in the majors.

Will Craig: The Pirates waived Craig after the 2023 season, and he was claimed off waivers by the Tigers. He was a starter in the majors, with a .265/.341/.498 line and a 2.8 WAR.

Nick Mears: The Pirates lost Mears to waivers after the 2023 season. He bounced around and made the majors with the Astros, with a 4.91 ERA in 7.1 innings.

Jared Oliva: Oliva didn’t return to the majors in 2024, after a .932 OPS in 44 plate appearances in 2023. He had a .748 OPS in Triple-A in the Twins system.

Mason Martin: Moved up to Indianapolis and had a .242/.359/.400 line with 16 homers in 568 plate appearances.

Calvin Mitchell: Went to Triple-A and hit .254/.335/.468 with 17 homers in 474 plate appearances. Made his MLB debut, hitting .265/.375/.471 in 40 plate appearances, with two homers.

Sammy Siani: Started with an .862 OPS in 184 plate appearances with Altoona. Had an .826 OPS in 291 plate appearances in Indianapolis. Moved up to the majors with a .329/.387/.388 line in 93 plate appearances. Grades as a 55 defender in center field, and 45 overall player.

Travis MacGregor: Went to Triple-A with the Red Sox, with a 3.36 ERA in 85.2 innings.

Fun Stuff

**The Pirates finished 79-83, second place in the NL Central.

**I mentioned yesterday that the Pirates had signed Miguel Sano prior to 2023. He hit 45 homers in response. They traded him following the 2023 season, getting Brendan McKay in return to lead their rotation.

**The first baseman who replaced Sano was Brett Baty, who was acquired by the Mets in the Joe Musgrove trade in the 2022 offseason. Baty was the 12th overall pick in 2019. He had a .766 OPS in his rookie season.

**Blake Weiman showed improvements and returned to the closer role. He’s now 55 overall, with 60 upside. He had a 4.33 ERA in 60.1 innings, with a 78:24 K/BB.

**Cristopher Cruz, a right-handed pitcher who was signed last July by the Pirates in real life, spent the 2024 season in the MLB bullpen. Cruz has 50 overall rating and upside right now. He had a 4.54 ERA in 83.1 innings, and a 78:37 K/BB.

**Tomorrow we will preview the 2025 season, and give a further idea of what to expect with that daily simulation. I’m also going to open up the comments in tomorrow’s article for a Q&A about where specific players are in the system at this point.

OOTP

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