Josh Bell to Make Debut This Weekend

Top Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Josh Bell will be ringing in the weekend with his major-league debut, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.

The Pirates number-three prospect is batting an impressive .324/.407/.535 in 83 games with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians this season. The first baseman has 13 home runs this season, and once the news is official, he will become the ninth rookie to debut for Pittsburgh this year.

The 23-year-old was a second-round pick in 2011, the same year current ace Gerrit Cole and right-hander Tyler Glasnow — the organization’s top prospect, who made his debut Thursday — were selected. At the time Bell was signed, his $5 million bonus was a record for any player drafted outside the first round.

The career .309 hitter was ranked as the 38th-best overall prospect by Baseball America this spring, and could prove to be replacement for an underproductive John Jaso, who has been plagued by ground balls and weak contact since the beginning of June.

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