RANKINGS
2034 Minor League System Rankings: #2 - Pittsburgh
Cave Dameron's minor league system rankings for 2034 continue with a look at the #2 system: the Pittsburgh Pirates.
by CAVE DAMERON
System Rankings: #24 - #16
System Rankings: #15 - #11
System Rankings: #10 - #6
System Rankings: #5 - Cloud City
System Rankings: #4 - Cleveland
System Rankings: #3 - Brooklyn
System Rankings: #1 - Seattle

The Pirates have what is probably the most interesting farm in baseball. They have not one, but two elite two-way prospects. Danny Gonzalez and Monta Masuda will both be pitching and hitting in the TNBL one day soon. Gonzalez has arguably the highest floor of any prospect in baseball. As a batter, he’ll stick in CF and bat for average and power. As a pitcher, he’s a legitimate ace with four pitches and can touch 97 mph with his fastball. Masuda is a stud closer who can hit 40 HRs. The Pirates system goes deeper than that -- they’ve got six more players who grade out as average or better. If you like the high floor of a two-way player, the Pirates have the game’s two very best.


#2 - Pittsburgh Pirates

13th in OSA’s rankings, 7 OSA Top 100 (#32 CF Gonzalez, #58 3B Muro, #63 P Masuda, #74 1B Munoz, #80 P de la Torre, #88 P Styles ,#90 RF Medina)

CF/SP Danny Gonzalez, 25, #32 OSA, 63 POT, 75 FV - The man of much controversy. Retired once, might do it again with his reportedly low work ethic. If he doesn’t, he’ll be a stud. Plus bat, plus power, above average eye. Won’t strikeout. Adds a ton of value on the bases. Has the range to stick in CF, although the glove and arm aren’t ideal there. Putting up very good numbers, especially considering the long break he took. As a pitcher, he looks like an ace. 3.19 FIP after that long break. Three already above average pitches, with the potential for all three to be plus-plus. Also has a decent fourth pitch. The stamina and velocity are both excellent, the movement and control are there as well. Everything you’d want in an ace. At worst, he’s a #3 or 4 starter. Would be a 65 FV as either a hitter or pitcher, having both bumps him up to 75 FV.

3B Josh Muro, 20, #58 OSA, 59 POT, 45 FV - I just don’t see what OSA sees in him. He has struggled every year in R-ball, including this year as a 20 year old. He has the arm and range to be a very good defensive 3B, and maybe a decent SS. The power and bat project as plus, but the eye will hold him back. He’s got no speed whatsoever, and frequently looks lost on the basepaths. He looks like a future utility man to me.

RP/LF Monta Masuda, 24, #63 OSA, 79 POT, 70 FV - The Pirates really love these two-way players. As a pitcher, he projects as one of the best relievers in the game. He’s already extremely developed, with one plus pitch and one of the best changeups ever seen. The velocity isn’t great, but he absolutely mows guys down with the change. Movement is already good, control is on its way. Dominating AAA this year, albeit in only 16 innings. As a batter, he’s currently demolishing AAA. He’d be on pace for almost 70 HRs if he were playing every day. He has been good basically every year of his career. He doesn’t have the range or arm to play anywhere other than LF, but who cares. This guy’s a stud.

1B Willie Munoz, 21, #74 OSA, 52 POT, 50 FV - Listed as a 1B, although he’s got the tools to play anywhere but SS on the IF. Already extremely developed everywhere with the bat, except for his power, although he’s got a ton of potential there. Will provide a lot of value as a super-utility player one day, if only he starts getting playing time at other positions.

SP Santiago de la Torre, 25, #80 OSA, 51 POT, 55 FV - Four plus pitches already, with the potential for a fifth. The fastball in particular is elite. Velocity is above average. Stamina is great. Movement is already there, and control is above average as well. OSA’s 51 POT seems a bit low. I think he’ll make a #3 starter one day, and his stats in AAA for the past three years seems to back that up.

SP John Styles, 20, #88 OSA, 54 POT, 50 FV - Potential for four plus-plus pitches, with three of them being average or above already. Good velocity, although the stamina is a bit of a concern. If his future is in the bullpen, he’ll make a good reliever. Has the potential to be an ace though if he can keep working on his command. The character problems are a bit of a concern as well. Looks like a #3 starter, although the low stamina might force him into the bullpen.

RF Ricky Medina, 21, #90 OSA, 54 POT, 45 FV - The performances for the past few years don’t inspire confidence. Struggling in S A this year as a 21 year old, and struggled last year across S A and A. The power is almost completely raw at this point, although he’s already hitting for doubles. The contact might be plus at some point, but his eye is bad. Won’t provide value on the bases, and won’t be much better than average in RF.

SP Andy Birkett, 22, NR OSA, 51 POT, 55 FV - Already has four above average pitches, with the potential for all four to be plus. Throws 99 mph with good stamina. Destroying A-ball right now (his FIP is 1.59), although I’d like to see him in AA. The movement is already average, and the control is getting there. Future mid-rotation guy, or a stud closer.

2B Willie Villa, 20, NR OSA, 49 POT, 50 FV - Putting up monster numbers this year in S A at 20 years old. Would like to see him perform in A. He’s right on the 50/55 FV border right now, and a good performance in A would put him into the 55 range. Has the tools defensively to play anywhere but catcher, and in particular should make a very good SS or elite 2B. Adds value on the basepaths as well. The eye is a concern, although the power seems like it’s starting to come along. He’ll be at worst a super-utility player, just needs to start getting playing time at other positions.

RP Ben Murray, 20, NR OSA, 80 POT, 50 FV - Potential for an elite fastball and game-breaking slider, although both are about average right now. Fastball touches 97 with decent movement. Control is pretty developed for his age. Stamina’s good too. Pitching well so far in S A. Looks like a future closer.

SP Eduardo Sosa, 20, NR OSA, 52 POT, 45 FV - At best he only has two above average pitches, although the changeup has the potential to be game changing, and it’s developing well so far. If the changeup and sinker develop like they can, he’ll make for a #2 starter. If not, he’ll still make a good reliever. Good velocity and stamina, movement is already there. Control isn’t great just yet, but it’s coming.

3B Justin Gigon, 20, NR OSA, 45 POT, 45 FV - Defensive stud, could be elite anywhere on the infield. Runs well on the bases. Batting profile isn’t great, but he’ll be good enough to provide some value with his bat. Putting up good numbers so far in R-ball. Would like to see him in S A or higher sometime this year.

SP Antonio de la Fe, 23, NR OSA, 48 POT, 45 FV - Can hit triple digits with the fastball, which is already plus-plus. Has the potential for four more average or better pitches, with two of them being near average already. The stamina is also great for someone hitting 100. Movement and control will never be better than average. Dominating A, although he is 23. Needs to be in AA for the FV to be any higher than 45.