Pirate prospect to watch in 2018: Montana DuRapau

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

As we continue to take a look at Pirate prospects that fans should be watching in 2018, today we take a look at a right-handed relief pitcher

In the 32nd round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected right-handed pitcher Montana DuRapua. Since being drafted DuRapua has worked his way up the minor leauge ladder for the Bucs.

In 2017, Montana DuRapua reached the Triple-A level for the first time. At Triple-A, he made a strong impression in just 16 2/3 innings pitched. This combined with his work at Double-A in 2016 and 2017 have made him a legit Major League relief pitching prospect.

In the 16 2/3 innings that Montana DaRapua hurled at Triple-A last season he owned a 3.24 ERA and a 3.22 FIP. This came as a result of him allowing seven hits, walking six batters, and striking out 23.

At Double-A last season DaRapua owned a 1.49 ERA and a 2.32 FIP in 36 1/3 innings pitched. He allowed 28 hits, no home runs, and struck out 39 batters in these 36 1/3 innings pitched. He had decent control at Double-A walking just 14 batters for the Curve.

The 25-year-old DaRapua features a fastball that sits in the mid-to-upper 90s. He also features a plus cutter that sits in the high 80s to low 90s. This cutter has helped DaRapua neutralize left-handed hitters throughout his minor league career.

Next: A reunion with Neil Walker?

There is a good chance that Montana DaRapua will make his Major League debut in 2018. If he stats 2018 by pitching the way he did at Double-A and Triple-A in 2017, then this Major League debut could come sooner rather than later.

When it comes to bullpen depth, Montana DaRapua could start the 2018 season toward the top of the Pirates’ pecking order. Assuming both Dovydas Neverauskas and Edgar Santana make the team out of Spring Training, then DaRapua would be a better top depth option than someone like Johnny Barbato or Jack Leathersich.

Montana DaRapua is definitely a Pirate prospect that fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates should be watching in 2018.