Pittsburgh Pirates: Projecting a Potential 2023 Starting Rotation

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Pittsburgh Pirates
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Tahnaj Thomas

2023 Opening Day Age: 24

The Pittsburgh Pirates have another top 100 pitching prospect according to FanGraphs. That prospect is Tahnaj Thomas. The Pirates had acquired Thomas alongside Erik Gonzalez in the 2018-2019 off season.

Thomas was great at Rookie Ball last season. Through 48.1 innings of work, Thomas had a 3.17 ERA, 3.67 FIP and 3.47 xFIP. The 21 year old has some really impressive strikeout numbers with a 29.5% strikeout rate and 11.00 K/9.

Thomas has a big fastball. He usually sits in the high-90s, but can crack back and get it into the triple digits. What’s even more impressive is that he can put an above average spin rate on it at 2300 RPM. But even though he can throw so hard, his control didn’t suffer. He allowed walks at a strong 7% and 2.61 BB/9 clip. To go with that he had a solid 0.93 HR/9 and 40.5% ground ball rate.

Along with his blazing fastball, Thomas throws a curveball that has a future of 60, which makes it one of the best curveballs in the Pirates’ farm system. His change up currently only has a 50 future grade, but it rounds out a solid three pitch mix. While two well above average pitches and a third average pitch makes for a solid combination Thomas still has time to develop a fourth pitch like a slider.