Pittsburgh Pirates: Examining Potential 2023 Bullpen Arms

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 08: Nick Mears #70 of the Pittsburgh Pirates makes his major league debut in the sixth inning during the game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on August 8, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 08: Nick Mears #70 of the Pittsburgh Pirates makes his major league debut in the sixth inning during the game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on August 8, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 29: Blake Weiman #82 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch during the spring training game against the Minnesota Twins at Century Link Sports Complex on February 29, 2020 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Blake Weiman

2023 Opening Day Age: 27

Blake Weiman is one of the Pirates’ minor league lefty relief pitchers, and he’s so far put up some pretty solid numbers throughout the minors. Weiman was really, really impressive in 2018. In 67 innings across three different levels of ball, Weiman had a 2.42 ERA, 2.41 FIP and 1.00 WHIP. What was even more impressive is the fact he struck out 29.1% of the batters he faced, and walked just 3.4%. He also allowed five home runs.

Weiman did get off to a great start to 2019. Through his first 19.1 innings at Double-A, Weiman allowed just 4 earned runs on 11 hits and one home run, while striking out 24 of the 73 batters he faced. He also issued just four walks. Though he did struggle a bit when he was moved to Triple-A, Weiman only pitched 11.2 innings, and he did spend time on the injured list in the second half of July, and over a month in September.

Weiman has an overall average fastball with a 50 grade, and a slider with a 55 current and future grade. However what makes Weiman standout is his control. Weiman has a career minor league walk percentage of just 3.97%, and 1.4 BB/9. Considering he usually doesn’t allow that many home runs, and racks up a ton of strikeouts, if he can continue to keep doing that, Weiman could be a really underrated left handed relief pitcher.

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