Pittsburgh Pirates: Projecting Starting Rotation at the End of 2022

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Pittsburgh Pirates
May 14, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Miguel Yajure (89) delivers a pitch against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Miguel Yajure

Miguel Yajure was another player that showed up on our top 5 pitching prospects. He came in at #4. Yajure also came over to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the prospect package for Taillon. Like Contreras, he hasn’t pitched all that much this year because of an injury, though he’s recently returned to action.

Yajure steadily rose through the Yankees’ farm system. In 2019, he tossed 138.2 innings between High-A and Double-A. He pitched to the tune of a 2.14 ERA, 2.51 FIP and 1.07 WHIP. Yajure gave up just 5 home runs. His 23.9% strikeout rate was solid, but his 5.4% walk rate was even better.

Yajure has pitched well in his brief time in the major leagues. In the last game he pitched with the Pirates, he tossed 5, 1 hit innings with 4 strikeouts against a hot San Francisco Giants lineup. He only needed 50 pitches to get through these 5 innings.

Yajure has a four pitch mix including a fastball, cutter, curveball, and change-up. He’s not a particularly hard thrower. His four seam fastball only averages out around 90-92 MPH and tops out at 94. But he has plus spin with about 2450 RPM. FanGraphs projects it as a 55-grade weapon. His cutter is his best weapon. This pitch is graded out as a 60-future and 55-current by FanGraphs. His change-up is another pitch that projects as at least a 55-grade offering. His curveball may be his worst offering, but even the, it’s considered average with a 50-future grade.

The right-hander has high-end command. He’s able to hit his spots extremely well. FanGraphs projects his command as a 60-grade. Given a strong four pitch mix, outstanding command, and the ability to get swings and misses at an even average rate could make him a higher-end starter.