Predicting Minor League Assignments – OF

AAA: Gorkys Hernandez, Starling Marte, Andrew Lambo, Brandon Boggs

Hernandez and Marte are near locks to start off in AAA. Gorkys Hernandez had a decent season in AAA last year and will probably be given an outside chance to win a bench job but in all likelihood he will end up back in AAA probably splitting time between LF and CF with Marte. Starling Marte is of course one of the best prospects in the system and he is coming off a strong season in AA. The last outfield spot is not a given but my guess is it will go to Lambo. Lambo struggled last year in AAA but after being demoted to AA he finished strong. As for the bench position it will likely go to Boggs, assuming he does not have an opt out clause. Miles Durham is also a candidate and it is possible infielders such as Josh Harrison and Matt Hague could see playing time in the OF.

AA: Quincy Latimore, Robbie Grossman, Brad Chalk, Calvin Anderson

Latimore is an intriguing power prospect but his numbers last season were not enough to warrant moving him up to AAA so he should return to AA. Grossman had a break out season last year and will move up to AA and will likely play CF even though his future is probably a corner spot. The final outfield spot could go to Adalberto Santos but since I am predicting he will begin the season as the starting 2B I see Brad Chalk starting off as the starting RF. The bench OF spot is not clear but I am going to go out on a limb and say this is how the Pirates get Anderson playing time. Calvin Anderson was working out in the OF last spring training so it is not completely crazy. If Santos starts in the OF Chalk will be the reserve OF otherwise it could go to Anthony Norman or even a player like Josh Rodriguez.

A+: Evan Chambers, Mel Rojas Jr, Dan Grovatt, David Rubinstein

Coming off a disappointing season Chambers will likely repeat A+ but this time he will probably play LF. Manning CF will probably be Mel Rojas Jr as he has the most upside of all the OF candidates at this level. Grovatt coming off a strong showing A ball will likely fill the final outfield spot and play RF. This will be a big season for all 3 of them because all of them are decent enough prospects but they need to show improvements this season to be taken a little more seriously. The bench spot once again could go several players but I am guessing it will be Rubinstein repeating the level. Justin Howard, Cole White or Rogelios Noris could also see some time in the OF.

A: Rodarrick Jones, Wes Freeman, Josh Bell, Taylor Lewis

Freeman and Bell are locks for the A level outfield but outside of those two it is tough to predict who will play here. Willy Garcia could be aggressively pushed here but I just do not see it. Carlos Mesa could also play here or be moved up to A+ but again I don’t see it. That leaves Jones and Lewis as the two most likely candidates. Jones appears to have the most upside of the two so it is my guess he will man the last starting spot. The DH spot also is not filled which means the backup could see time there as well.

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