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Bucs enter spring training focusing on youth, new signings

The+Pittsburgh+Pirates+compete+in+the+National+League+of+Major+League+Baseball.+Image+Via+Pinterest
The Pittsburgh Pirates compete in the National League of Major League Baseball. Image Via Pinterest

The Pirates spring training games start on Saturday with the Pirates facing off against the Minnesota Twins. The three big topics for this spring training are the “Young Bucs,” offseason signings, and dealing with injuries.

First, the Young Bucs, or the newer members on the roster, will be strong this year. 

Three young players are looking to have a breakout spring training to make the 40-man roster: the number one overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, Paul Skenes; the MLB Pipeline’s number one prospect for second baseman, Termarr Johnson; and Henry Davis, who was selected first in the 2021 MLB draft and showed promise at the end of last season.

Skenes is coming off a big season at LSU after transferring from Air Force. He had a record of 13-2 with an ERA of 1.69 and 209 strikeouts. Johnson has been in the minors for some years and was drafted straight out of high school. He has a long way to go as he is only in high single-A. If he does well in spring training, it can be a huge boost to help him get to the major leagues.

Davis has been in the majors for most of 2023 and had a mediocre year in right field. Davis’s actual position is catcher, so spring training can help him work his catching abilities, hopefully boosting him over former Chicago White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal, who recently signed with the Pirates.

Speaking of signings, Grandal has been an above-average catcher for most of his career, so he should be a great depth piece at the catching position for the Pirates.

Former Texas Rangers relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman is in the later years of his career, but he still has great velocity, with most pitches being above 100 miles an hour.

The Pirates also got former Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martín Pérez, who is coming off a great year and was an important factor in the Rangers winning the World Series last season.

Pérez is a crucial pick up because of the loss of Johan Oviedo, a starting pitcher, due to a torn UCL. Oviedo was one of the positive spots in the starting rotation last season, so Pérez will be a great addition for the team.

During the off season in a winter league game, Endy Rodríguez, a catcher, also tore his UCL and is out for the season. Rodríguez was one of the Pirates top prospects before last season before getting called up, so losing him for the season is rough because this was supposed to be a big development year for him.

On the positive side, Oneil Cruz will be returning this season. He suffered a fractured fibula just nine games into last season. Cruz is another young player, so this upcoming season will be an important one for him.

This year’s spring training will be an important one for many players trying to prove themselves, but also for those getting back into the swing of things.

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Trevor Brain
Trevor Brain, Staff Writer
Junior Trevor Brain is a first-year Staff Writer. He can be found playing hockey, lacrosse, and golf.
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