Pittsburgh Pirates Top 30 Prospects 2019 Season Rewind: Santiago Florez


It’s time to crack the Pittsburgh Pirates top 20 prospects as we continue to rewind the team’s top 30 prospects 2019 season

In July of 2016 the Pittsburgh Pirates handed out a $150,000 signing bonus to a 16-year-old pitcher from Columbia. That pitcher was Santiago Florez.

Now at 19-years-old, Florez stands at 6-foot-5 and checks in at 222 pounds. He also has the ability to add good weight to his frame. By doing this, he may be able to add more velocity to his fastball.

Florez possesses a fastball, curveball, change up combination. His fastball is a power fastball sitting in the high 90s. His curveball is also a power pitch, but his change up remains very much so a work in progress. While there is still work to be done with his control, it has steadily improved each year of his professional career.

Pitching in the Dominican Summer League, Florez had a 15.5% walk rate in 2017. This dropped to 12.1% in 2018 and then down to 11.6% this past season. Florez’s improved walk rate in 2017 and 2018 came with an improvement in competition as he moved up to the Gulf Coast League Pirates.

This past season Florez made 10 starts for the GCL Pirates. Across these 10 starts Florez logged 41 2/3 innings. He owned a 3.46 ERA, 5.10 FIP, allowed four home runs, and had a 19.9% strikeout rate to go with his walk rate.

In addition to Florez’s walk rate being a career low, his strikeout rate was a career high. Florez’s 1.34 WHIP was a new career low, as was his 8 wild pitches.

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The next step for Florez will be to reach short-season Low-A West Virginia in 2020. He will also look to continue to improve his control, as well as working on the development of his change up. 2020 will be a big season in the long term development of Florez.