Pittsburgh Pirates: Examining Potential Swingman Pitching Prospects

Apr 28, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington observes batting practice from the dugout before the game against the Kansas City Royals at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 28, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington observes batting practice from the dugout before the game against the Kansas City Royals at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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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) /

Eddy Yean

Eddy Yean was considered the headliner coming back to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Josh Bell trade. The right-hander was teammates with the aforementioned Nick Garcia for the 2021 season. Yean’s bottom-line numbers don’t tell the full story as he still showed a fair bit of promise despite poor results.

In 66.2 innings, Yean touted a 5.27 ERA and FIP, and 1.43 WHIP. He still posted a decent 23.3% strikeout rate and 1.08 HR/9 but surrendered walks at a horrible 13.2% rate. Sure, Yean’s bottom line wasn’t all that great, but there’s a lot to suggest that he could improve.

One big reason is that his ERA was a bit misleading. Between two games, one on May 5th and another on August 13th, Yean gave up a combined 10 earned runs between 1 total inning. Outside of those two outings, he has a 3.97 ERA. Still not fantastic, but a 1.30 run drop and over a quarter of the total earned runs he gave up nonetheless.

He also had a strong 52.6% ground ball rate. Yean saw a slight uptick in velocity this year. Before coming to the Pirates, he worked around 90-95 MPH but was sitting closer to the 94-97 MPH range. He even topped out at 99 MPH.

If Yean can reach his potential, he’s much more than a swingman. But he did appear in 22 games and only started 8 with Bradenton. His fastball, slider, and change-up all project to be above average. He also has projected-50 grade command. If Yean can even come close to his ceiling, he could be one of the Pittsburgh Pirates highest ceiling prospects. He’s the most talented arm we’ve taken a look at today. Yean is the only one who has at least three offerings that project to be above average as well as the hardest throwing arm among DeVito, Garcia, and Roberts.

Pirates Still Looking for SP Help. dark. Next

Yean is still very young. The right-hander won’t turn 21 until June 25th of next season, which is nearly halfway through the season. Arguably, he should pitch a little bit more at Low-A Bradenton. But if he pitches well to open the season at Bradenton, he is likely one of the first players to be promoted to High-A Greensboro.

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