New Kids on The Block by J.T.
The Pirates 2022 season record wise is basically playing out like the past several years (31-46), but don’t be so quick to lose interest in this team. The team has recently made a rash of call-ups including the 6’7” Oneil Cruz and the team’s young guys have started to show us a glimpse of the future. Roansy Contreras has shown some dominance on the mound, and Mitch Keller who has had a couple years of struggling is finally showing what we were told he could be. Besides Cruz, Jack Suwinski who Ben Cherington obtained in the Adam Frazier trade leads all major league rookies with 13 homers. Suwinski was also part of an amazing stretch where three Pirates hit 3 homers in a game, only 11 days apart (Suwinski, Bryan Reynolds, Michael Perez). Bligh Madris was called up on June 20th and has hit .308 and also has two three hit games. Madris was not even considered a top 25 Pirates prospect. We were also given a look at Travis Swaggerty, Liover Peguero and Cal Mitchell.
When Ben Cherington took over in November of 2019 he set out to gut and rebuild the Pirate organization. Cherington has made some crude deals including obtaining Tucupita Marcano and Jack Suwinski for Adam Frazier and Hudson Head, Endy Rodriguez, and David Bednar for Joe Musgrove. Cherington has done his job of replenishing the Pirates franchise with bonafide Major League prospects. Cherington in 2021 had one of the best drafts in team history by drafting C-Henry Davis and still being able to bring in P’s Bubba Chandler and Anthony Solometo. A consensus top 1-2 draft in the Majors. Cherington has done his job to bring some hope to the franchise, but will Pirates owner Bob Nutting obtain a veteran arm when it is needed?, sign a player to a long extension when the time arises? I wish I could say the answer would be yes, but I do not feel confident that he will.
If you get a chance, watch and root for this young team. These players are playing the game the right way. I am not saying they aren’t going to have some awful games because they are. But you are going to see something you haven’t seen in a while…..young prospects actually performing. Now if only our owner can perform when the time comes.