Pittsburgh Pirates: Potential Top 100 Prospects By End Of 2021

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Miguel Yajure #89 of the New York Yankees in action against the Miami Marlins at Yankee Stadium on September 26, 2020 in New York City. The Yankees defeated the Marlins 11-4. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Miguel Yajure #89 of the New York Yankees in action against the Miami Marlins at Yankee Stadium on September 26, 2020 in New York City. The Yankees defeated the Marlins 11-4. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Pitcher Tahnaj Thomas

Tahnaj Thomas is a very talented right-hander. Acquired in a trade that was overlooked at the time from the Cleveland Indians, Thomas heavily struggled with his control with the Indians as he walked 16.5% of the batters he faced while having a 5.26 ERA through his first 58 professional innings in the bigs.

After the trade to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Thomas had a breakout season with the team’s Rookie-Ball affiliate. While he only threw 48.1 innings, the flamethrower put up a 3.17 ERA, 3.67 FIP and 1.11 WHIP. Thomas put up a strong 29.5% strikeout rate and 0.93 HR.9. However, he, impressively, cut his walk rate down by over half as it dropped to just 7.0%.

Thomas has a big fastball, one that can reach up into the triple digits. FanGraphs sees it as a 70-grade pitch. He has two breaking balls, a slider and curveball to go with his four seamer. His curve could be another plus pitch with a 60-grade and his slider is seen as another potential plus pitch. He also has a change-up, however that seems to be a work in progress.

Thomas’ 2021 season will be his age-22 season. He could end the year at Double-A if he continues to pitch the way he did in 2019. MLB Pipeline isn’t very high on Thomas as he only ranks as their 18th best prospect, but FanGraphs is very high on him ranking him in the top 100.

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