With all the rookies in Pittsburgh, other minor-leaguers having good seasons

Look at some of the best 2022 seasons in the Bucs minor-league system
Cody Bolton pitching for Indy
Photo credit Grace Hollars/IndyStar-USA TODAY NETWORK

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Pirates fans have seen a couple of handfuls of rookies this season, most making their MLB debuts. What other players are having big seasons in the minors, but have yet to make it to the majors?

We know about some of the bigger names dealing with injuries this season including first round picks Henry Davis, Nick Gonzalez, Quinn Priester.  Even with those setbacks, there are others making a move in 2022.

AAA

Ji-hwan Bae—INF/OF, 6’1”, 185 pounds, 22 years-old
-free agent from South Korea, not on the 40-man roster
2022 stats--.302, 371 OBP, .848 OPS, 15 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, 15 SB
·     A 2018 signing that had been mostly forgotten about with the additions of infielders Rodolfo Castro, Diego Castillo, Tucupita Marcano, Liover Peguero, Hoy Park, Michael Chavis along with first-round infielder Gonzalez.
·     Bae has done whatever is needed to advance, this season playing five different positions including center and left field, shortstop and the majority of time at second-base.
·     Has added more power to his game over the last two seasons currently two home runs from last year’s career high.
·     Last season hit .281 starting in Bradenton and ending in Altoona with a .360 OBP with 25 extra base hits in 85 games
·     Has been on base in every game but two since April
·     76 career stolen bases and quick to get out of the box from the left side

Cody Bolton—RHP, 6’3”, 230 pounds, 24 years-old
-Pirates 6th round pick out of high school in 2017, not on the 40-man roster
2022 stats--1-1, 2.78 ERA, 15 games, 9 starts, 43.2 IP, 1 HR allowed, 27 BB, 46 K, 4 HBP, 4 WP, 1.28 WHIP
·     Hasn’t pitched in the pros since 2019 when he had a 3.28 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 102 strikeouts in 101.2 innings in 21 starts split between A and AA.
·     Missed 2020 due to COVID and 2021 after knee surgery
·     Struggled at times with his control, 7 walks in the last two games
·     8 scoreless outings in 2022

Mike Burrows—RHP, 6’2”, 195 pounds, 22 years-old
-2018 11th round pick out of high school in Connecticut, not on 40-man roster
2022 stats—4-2, 3.11 ERA, 13 starts, 55 IP, 19 BB, 73 K, 1.11 WHIP, 3 HR allowed
·     In early June in Altoona, Burrows was 1st in the Eastern League in ERA and batting average against and second in WHIP
·     Improved change-up and confidence to use it in all situations
·     Even keeled personality, not bothered by bad outings
·     Coming off strong 2021 with 2.20 ERA in 13 starts at High A with 66 strikeouts in 49 innings with a 0.90 WHIP.

AA
Matt Gorski—OF/1B, right-hand hitter, 6’4”, 198 pounds, 24 years-old
-2nd round pick in 2019 out of the University of Indiana
2022 stats—AA--.283, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 92 AB, 6 2B, 7 SB, .359 OBP, .892 OPS
-High A--.294, 17 HR, 37 RBI, 126 AB, 3 2B, 2 3B, 9 SB, .377 OBP, 1.131 OPS
·     Having a career year with 8 home runs in a week in Greensboro this year
·     Had a three-home run game at High A including a walk-off HR
·     Hit .223 in High A last year with 17 HR in 95 games//by far best numbers of his career this season
·     9 multi-hit games in AA
·     A career OF, primarily CF, has played 11 games at first base this season

Nick Dombkowski—LHP, 6’2”, 195 pounds, 23 years-old
-free agent signee in June 2021 out of the University of Hartford
2022 overall stats--2-0, 2.14 ERA, 33.2 IP, 12 BB, 54 K, 1.04 WHIP, .190 BA against
·     Continues to strike out batters at all levels, 19 in 10 innings at Bradenton, 22 in 15 innings at Greensboro, 13 in 7 innings at Altoona
·     Throws high percentage of strikes, only one of 18 appearances threw more balls than strikes
·     Had committed to play a final season at Texas A&M, five days later the Pirates convinced him to sign a professional contract
·     Started 4 years at Hartford, Conference Rookie and Player of the Year in 2018, final season 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA

High A
Jacob Gonzalez—1B, right-hand hitter, 6’3”, 190 pounds, 23 years-old
-Giants 2nd round pick in 2017, minor-league Rule 5 Draft selection in 2022
2022 stats—High A--.320, .367 OBP, .875 OPS, 7 2B, 5 HR, 19 RBI
-Low A--.393, .477 OBP, 1.128 OPS, 89 AB, 11 2B, 4 HR, 16 RBI
·     Florida State League player of the month for April
·     4 games all season where he hasn’t reached base, played in 75
·     Breakout season after .253 and 8 HR in Giants two Class A teams in 2021
·     Transitioned from 3B/OF to exclusively first-base in 2022
·     Son of 19-year MLB veteran Luis Gonzalez

Cameron Junker—RHP, 6’5”, 220 pounds, 24 years-old
-2019 10th round selection from Notre Dame
2022 stats--3-1, 3.24 ERA, 25 IP, 14 BB, 34 K, 1.24 WHIP
·     8 appearances in June, 3 hits, 1 run, 5 BB, 13 K in 9.1 innings
·     2 runs since May 1 in 15 appearances
·     Struck out the side in two separate outings in 2022
·     Minors career (10-1, 2.79 ERA, 58 app, 12 SV, 87 IP, 7 HR, 46 BB, 133 K, 1.09 WHIP, .166 BA against)
·     Part of combined no-hitter for Bradenton in May, 2021