Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Examining Newcomers to FanGraphs List

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
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Pittsburgh Pirates
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LHP Trey McGough

Trey McGough was a late-round pick in the 2019 draft. The Pittsburgh Pirates used their 24th round selection on the left-hander who is a native of Johnstown, PA. McGough pitched out of the bullpen in 2019, however, 19 of his 24 total appearances in 2021 came as a starter. McGough is making his FanGraphs debut at no. 59.

Overall, McGough was an innings machine, logging 113 total IP. That inning total was in the top 50 of all minor league pitchers. However, they were 113 quality innings as he had a 3.19 ERA, 3.57 FIP, and 1.12 WHIP. While McGough only had a 19.7% strikeout rate, he located his pitches well with a 5.5% walk rate and 0.64 HR/9. The right-hander’s 46.8%  ground ball rate helped him limit the home run. His walk rate was the lowest among any Pirate minor league starter who made ten starts.

McGough is a guy who needs to rely on command to get outs. His four-seamer only comes in around 92-94 MPH. He also uses a slider, curveball, and changeup. FanGraphs only projects his curve as a below-average offering, with three of his four pitches ranging from the 50-55 projected range.

Like Omar Cruz, McGough is likely slated for a 6th starter/swingman role. It’s an overlooked but vital role as it provides depth and pitching utility for any team. If McGough can be something similar to what Vin Mazzaro or Jeanmar Gomez was to the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates, he’d be more than worth the 24th round selection.