Prospect Watch: Dario Agrazal Shines in Season Debut

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

On Friday night, Dario Agrazal flashed why the Pittsburgh Pirates protected him from the Rule 5 Draft this offseason

This past offseason, many people, myself included, were surprised when the Pittsburg Pirates added right-handed pitcher Dario Agrazal to the 40-man roster in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. After all, the almost 24-year-old Agrazal had pitched just 4 innings above the Single-A level prior to 2018.

Why the Pirates protected Agrazal was on full display at People’s Natural Gas Field in Altoona, PA, on Friday night. In the Double-A Altoona Curve’s second game of the season, Agrazal made the start and was electric for the defending Eastern League Champions.

The Curve may have lost to the Akron Rubberducks by a score of 7-6 on Friday night, but Agrazal was not part of the reason why. In fact, he was a major reason why the Curve led from the bottom of the 1st inning until the top of the 9th.

Dario Agrazal pitched 6 shutout innings in his 2018 season debut, he walked a pair, hit a batter, and he struck out 3. In addition to not allowing a run in his 6 innings of work on Friday night, Agrazal also held the Rubberducks hitless. The Curve were only defeated due to a late game bullpen meltdown.

Throughout his minor league career Agrazal has always had strong groundball numbers owning a lifetime 55.0 percent groundball rate. This was on full display on Friday as he was able to generate eight outs via the groundball.

His groundball numbers come as no surprise due to Agrazal feature a power sinker. He also throws a good slider that can develop into a plus pitch.

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Dario Agrazal’s 2018 season could not have gotten off to a better start. If Friday night was any sign of things to come, then the reasoning behind the Pirates’ train of thought when putting him on the 40-man roster will be crystal clear.