Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects Who Could Join FanGraph Rankings

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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Adrian Florencio

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Adrian Florencio during the February 2019 international signing deadline. Florencio didn’t get off to a great start to his pro career back in ‘19. He only pitched 47.1 innings at rookie-ball but posted a poor 4.75 ERA, 5.93 FIP, and 1.58 WHIP. He had a walk rate above 10%, a strikeout rate below 20%, and only an HR/9 of 1.33.

However, 2021 would be a different story for the right-hander. Florencio pitched to the tune of a 2.46 ERA, 3.25 FIP, and 1.05 WHIP in 95 innings with the Bradenton Marauders. Florencio struck out just under 30% of all batters faced. He had a 29.8% strikeout rate but also paired this with a solid 7.6% walk rate. Home runs were pretty much a non-issue for Florencio. He had an HR/9 of just 0.47

Now there were a few minor concerns about Florencio’s campaign. For one, he had an opponent 25.8% line drive rate and 39.7% ground ball rate. In terms of batted ball rates, there was nothing he did overly well, nor was there anything he excelled at. Still, it’s only a minor knock on an overall good season.

Florencio has a big, 6’6″, 202-pound frame, but isn’t the hardest thrower. He only averages out in the 92-95 MPH range with his four-seamer. His primary secondary pitch is a slider with nice movement. Florencio also will throw a change-up, but his fastball/slider is his bread and butter.

Next year will be the big right-hander’s age-23 season. He could arguably skip High-A Greensboro and jump directly into action at Double-A. The Pittsburgh Pirates did a similar thing with Roansy Contreras last season, putting him at Double-A and skipping High-A ball. 23-years-old is more than old enough to justify him starting at Altoona.

Florencio’s big breakout season at Bradenton won him the Pitcher of the Year honors in his league. He wasn’t the only Marauder to win a player of the year honor as backstop Endy Rodriguez took home MVP. Florencio also won the Pirates’ top minor league pitcher of the year award. While he might not be as highly touted as Quinn Priester or Roansy Contreras, Florencio is a potential starting rotation arm in the very near future.

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