Three Breakout Candidates For The Pittsburgh Pirates In 2019
Pitcher J.T. Brubaker
Earlier this offseason J.T. Brubaker was added to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 40-man roster. This was done in order to protect Brubaker from the Rule 5 Draft. Had Brubaker not been protected, there is a good chance another team would have selected him in the Rule 5 Draft.
Last season, Brubaker made 28 starts between the Double-A and Triple-A levels. In 154 innings pitched he owned a 2.81 ERA, 3.38 FIP, a 6.8% walk rate, and a 20.3% strikeout rate across the two minor league levels.
If the Pirates do not add another starting pitcher between now and the start of Spring Training, then when the Pirates report to Bradenton, odds are, Brubaker will have an opportunity to win a spot in the team’s starting rotation. But, most likely, Brubaker will begin the 2019 season at the top of the Indianapolis Indians’ rotation along with Keller.
Barring something unforeseen, Brubaker will make his MLB debut at some point in 2019. He will have an opportunity to help the Pirates both as a reliever and as a starting pitcher this season. If the team needs a starting pitcher due to injury or under-performance prior to the Super 2 date passing, there is a good chance that pitcher would be Brubaker.