Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: JT Brubaker Returns to Action

The Pittsburgh Pirates took another tough loss last night.  However, one positive note was that one of the team’s top pitching prospects return to action.

In the early going, the only real strength of the Pittsburgh Pirates has been their starting pitching.  The team has one of the best starting staffs in baseball.  However, the team has also had their starters in the minor leagues get off to really good starts as well.

One of those starters is JT Brubaker.  Brubaker was the Pittsburgh Pirates sixth round pick back in 2015 out of the University of Akron.  Coming out of Akron, he was noted for his size and low-to-mid 90s fastball.  With that being said, no one would have thought that Brubaker would turn into one of the team’s top pitching prospects. With the development of an impressive slider, he has quickly worked his way up the organization’s depth chart.

Coming into the season, we predicted Brubaker to be the Indianapolis Indians Pitcher of the Year.  He has gotten better at each level and had a really solid Triple-A début last season.  He has picked up right where he left off last year.  Through his first three starts, Brubaker threw 16 innings and has had an earned run average of 1.69.  To go with that impressive ERA, he has struck out 15 hitters while only walking three.

However, after his last start, the big righty left the game early.  He felt discomfort in his throwing arm.  The immediate worry was that the budding prospect was going to have to miss time, if not potentially have an even more serious arm injury.  Obviously, with all the injuries and Tommy-John Surgery’s over the last few years, this fear made sense.

Well, Brubaker ended up being okay and just was pulled as a precaution.  He made his start last night on schedule.   The former Akron Zip threw five complete innings and gave up three runs and had five strikeouts.

JT Brubaker very well could help the Pittsburgh Pirates sooner than later.  A serious arm injury would have hurt the team’s depth but he seems to be good to go.  He now has an ERA of 2.57 through his first four starts.