After the canceled 2020 minor league season, pitcher Santiago Florez will be looking to climb Pittsburgh Pirates prospect rankings in 2021
The canceled 2020 minor league season hurt plenty of prospects across baseball. With the Pittsburgh Pirates, one of these prospects was pitcher Santiago Florez. His lack of abiltiy to pitch in 2020 may have kept Florez from climbing prospect rankings.
FanGraphs ranks Florez as the 20th best prospect that the Pittsburgh Pirates have. Florez, who will turn 21 in May, has worked exclusively as a starting pithcer during his time in the minors, and could be an under the radar prospect piece for the Pirates moving forward.
During the 2019 season Florez pitched for the Bristol Pirates. In 10 starts, Florez logged 41.2 innings. Florez posted a 3.46 ERA and a 5.10 FIP in those 41.2 innings pitched with the Bristol Pirates.
At Bristol, Florez walked 11.6% of batters faced and struck out 19.9%. He also did an excellent job limiting the long ball, allowing just four home runs which came out to a home rune rate of 0.86 HR/9.
Limiting the home run ball is something that Florez has always done well. With the GCL Pirates in 2018 Florez did not allow a home run in 43.1 innings pitched across 10 starts. In 53.1 innings pitched across 14 starts in the Dominican Summer League, Florez allowed just two home runs.
Florez throws a fastball, curveball and a change up. FanGraphs gives both his fastball and curveball and future vale of 50, while his change up FV is given a grade of 40. FanGraphs also gives his control a FV of 30, and his overall FV od 40+.
The 6-foot-5 Florez can routinely sit in the mid-90s on his fastball. His curveball has an above average spin rate, which is something that Pirate pitching coach Oscar Marin and his pitching philosophy will love.
What is most important for Florez moving forward is just flat out pitching more. With this, he can refine his stuff and continue to improve his pitch, some of which are already well above league average pitches.
This season, Florez will likely get his first taste of Single-A ball. While it may be just the Low-A level, Florez is set up for a chance to make a big jump this season. He will be a Pirate prospect that fans should be keepign an eye on during the 2021 season.