Pittsburgh Pirates Minors Spotlight: Pitcher Yerry De Los Santos

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 23: A general view of the field during the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on August 23, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 23: A general view of the field during the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on August 23, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /
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Right-handed reliever Yerry De Los Santos is one of the most intriguing relief pitching prospects that the Pittsburgh Pirates have in their farm system.

Often time relief pitcher prospects get overlooked. This is especially true for reliever prospects that are not viewed as potential future closers. While many fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates know all about relief prospects Blake Cederlind and Nick Mears, Yerry De Los Santos remains an often times overlooked relief prospect in the Pirate farm system.

FanGraphs ranks De Los Santos as the 30th best prospect that the Pittsburgh Pirates have. However, one of the players ahead of De Los Santos is Nick Burdi who recently signed a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres. So, essentially, this puts De Los Santos 29th in the system.

De Los Santos ranks behind only Cederlind and Mears among reliever prospects in the Pirate farm system. He is a name that fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates should know more about, and one they may see be a key cog of the Pirate bullpen in the future.

With Low-A Greensboro in 2019 De Los Santos logged 50 innings in 37 games pitched. He recorded 13 saves for the Grasshoppers, while posting a 1.44 ERA and a 2.37 FIP. He allowed just three home runs (0.54 HR/9), he walked 6.3% of batters faced and struck out 38.0%.

Across three levels in 2018 De Los Santos pitched 18.1 innings in 12 games. In these 18.1 innings of work he posted a 2.45 ERA, 2.38 FIP, walked 10.5% of batters, struck out 31.6%, and did not allow a home run.

As you can see from his strong walk rate at Low-A control is a plus for De Los Santos. His best pitch his his fastball, which FanGraphs gives a future value (FV) of 55. He also throws a good slider which is given a FV of 50 by FanGraphs.

De Los Santos was eligible for the Rule 5 Draft earlier this month. While it was somewhat surprising the Pirates did not protect him, it was also a bit of a surprise no team took a chance on De Los Santos. Odds are, due to having never pitched above the Low-A level teams likely were not willing to have to keep De Los Santos on their active roster for the entire 2021 season.

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The 23-year-old De Los Santos could begin the 2021 season at the High-A or Double-A level. If he does begin at High-A, the Pittsburgh Pirates will undoubtedly want him to be at Double-A by the end of the season. Regardless, he is a name that Pirate fans should become familair with in the coming years.

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