Pittsburgh Pirates: Parker Brahms Off to a Strong Start


The Pittsburgh Pirates have really focused on adding pitching to their farm system. This was made clear during the 2020 Draft.

During the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft, Ben Cherington and the Pittsburgh Pirates operated in a very straightforward way.  The team went with the best bat available with their first pick, then followed that up by drafting five straight pitchers. After the 2020 Draft concluded, the team was able to sign two undrafted free agents.  One was catcher Joe Jimenez while the other was right-handed pitcher Parker Brahms.

Obviously, with the team only focusing on two undrafted free agents, they must have liked what they saw in both.  This is especially true for Parker Brahms.  During the Draft, the Bucs made it very clear that they were looking for pitchers with specific traits, power fastball, high spin rates, and strikeout stuff.

Brahm definitely fits this mold, but if he had all the traits you could want in a pitching prospect then why did he go undrafted? Well, for starters Brahms was coming from a smaller school, Sacramento State University.  Obviously, with the pandemic, teams did not have many scouting opportunities leading up to the Draft.  This left players from smaller schools in a tough spot.

Coming out of Sacramento State, Brahms was listed at 6’3” and 210 pounds.  Clearly, he fits that prototypical build that teams look for.  He had a really nice sophomore season, posting a 2.41 ERA and striking out 29 percent of that batters he faced.  During his 2019 campaign, he struggled some in certain appearances and saw his ERA go north of 4.00.  He bounced back with an impressive 2020, in just four games of action he posted a 1.14 ERA with a 33 percent strikeout rate.

In 2021, Brahms is already showing why the Pittsburgh Pirates wanted to sign him.  He is off to a really strong start to his Minor League career with Low-A Bradenton. So far the right-hander has thrown 10.2 innings, in five relief appearances.  Across those innings, he has only given up one earned run, setting his ERA at an impressive 0.87 to start his career. He also is continuing to show that strikeout stuff, he has sat down 15 hitters on the year.

Next. Other Young Arms Performing Well. dark

As of now, it looks like they are developing Brahms as a multi-inning role pitcher.  While he was a starter in college, Brahms lack of a quality third pitch will likely keep him set to shorter stints.  The righty has a fastball that sits in the low 90s and a plus-breaking pitch.  Time will tell if the Pittsburgh Pirates think Brahms should get a look as a starter.  Either way, be sure to keep an eye on him as he continues his development.