Pittsburgh Pirates: A Look at the Best Draft Prospect Tools

Alabama starting pitcher Connor Prielipp delivers the ball to the plate as the Crimson Tide opened the season against McNeese Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Sewell-Thomas Stadium. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]Alabama Vs Mcneese
Alabama starting pitcher Connor Prielipp delivers the ball to the plate as the Crimson Tide opened the season against McNeese Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Sewell-Thomas Stadium. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]Alabama Vs Mcneese /
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Best Curveball – Peyton Pallette

Peyton Palette is in a similar situation to Prielipp. Once considered one of this year’s draft’s best pitchers, Pallette will likely fall down the draft because of Tommy John surgery. However, he might fall into the early 2nd round.

Pallette’s elite curveball is his best offering. The righty puts a ton of spin on his curve that sits in the upper-70’s and low-80’s. According to FanGraphs, it sat around 3000 RPM. It’s similar to New York Mets’ right-hander Seth Lugo’s curve, which is considered one of the best breaking balls in the league. FanGraphs and MLB Pipeline love the offering as it grades out as a 70 on the former’s rankings and a 65 on the latter’s.

Pallette throws a mid-90’s fastball that has touched 99 MPH before to go with his curve. He’ll also toss a change-up, and while it’s not on the level of his curveball or fastball, he has a feel for it as he can put some sink on the offering.

Palette has gotten his fair share of strikeouts through college. He has a 25.9% strikeout rate and a solid 8.5% walk rate. However, his biggest strength has been preventing home runs. He’s only given up three long balls in 61 innings of work, coming to a 0.44 HR/9 rate.

Pallette might end up in the second round to the Pirates. He ranks as FanGraphs’ 37th best prospect and 31st on MLB Pipeline. We’ve previously seen injured prospects go early into the second round, like Jaden Hill last season.

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