Pittsburgh Pirates: Top 3 Unranked Prospects

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Pittsburgh Pirates
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 20: A New Era pillbox Pittsburgh Pirates baseball hat is seen in the dugout during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park on July 20, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Right-handed pitcher Adrian Florencio

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Adrian Florencio in the 2018-2019 offseason. Florencio’s first season in 2019 wasn’t great. He had a 4.75 ERA, 5.93 FIP, and 1.58 WHIP in 47.1 innings of work. Despite his bumps in his first taste of professional action, this past year has been quite good.

Florencio has a 2.53 ERA, 3.24 FIP, and 1.07 WHIP through 89 innings. The right-hander has struck out over 30% of batters faced this year (30.9%) while having a solid 7.8% walk rate. Home runs haven’t been an issue for him either. His 0.51 HR/9 rate second best mark among Pittsburgh Pirates minor league pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched.

He isn’t getting a ton of ground balls, but his 39.2% ground ball rate could be worse. 32.5% of his fly balls are infield flies. Line drives have been his biggest issue. He needs to lower his 24.5% rate. That’s much higher than you’d like to see from a pitcher, but his batted ball rates are the only poor part of his season so far.

He 22-year-old isn’t ranked by either FanGraphs’ list (which has an impressive 63 players on) nor is he on MLB Pipeline’s top 30 list. Florencio works in the 93-95 MPH range with his fastball while also throwing in a slider and curveball. He gets a lot of swings and misses, evident by his high strikeout rate.

Florencio is a big guy. He stands at 6’6, 205 pounds. He might not have the highest ceiling in the Pirates’ farm system, but he has a lot going for him. Could end up as a quality major league arm. A possible move to the bullpen could see him gain a few MPH of velocity as well.