Pittsburgh Pirates: Intriguing Non-Roster Invitees to Watch

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 22: Ji-hwan Bae #72 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the exhibition game against the Cleveland Indians at PNC Park on July 22, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 22: Ji-hwan Bae #72 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the exhibition game against the Cleveland Indians at PNC Park on July 22, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
DENVER, COLORADO – JULY 11: Quinn Priester #40 of the National League team throws against the American League team during the All-Star Futures Game at Coors Field on July 11, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Pitchers to watch

The non-roster invitee pitcher that the Pittsburgh Pirates and their fans will be most intrigued by is 2019 first-round pick Quinn Priester. Coming off a strong 2021 season and ready to make the jump to Double-A, Priester is the potential future ace of the Pirates.

Priester should make at least one or two Grapefruit League starts for the Pirates before heading to minor league camp. These could be two of the most intriguing games of the Grapefruit League season for the Pirates.

Reliever Yerry De Los Santos will also be a name to watch in spring. Like Mitchell, he was left unprotected from the Rule 5 Draft and could have been selected had the draft not been cancelled. Now that De Los Santos will remain with the organization he could potentially be part of the Opening Day bullpen, even if he is not he should make his MLB debut this season.

Sticking with relievers prospect Kyle Nicolas is another intriguing arm to watch. Acquired in the Jacob Stallings trade the right-handed Nicolas has the potential to be an elite reliever in the majors. Watching his electric arm in Grapefruit League play should be fun.

Right-handed pitching prospects Carmen Mlodzinski and Mike Burrows will also be intriguing arms to watch. Burrows continues to climb prospect boards, thanks in large part to his pitches have elite spin rates. If Burrows develops a quality third pitch he’ll be a very good MLB starting pitcher. Worst case scenario he’ll be a hell of a reliever.

dark. Next. Interesting Case of Alessandro Ercolani

Mlodzinski climbed as high as Indianapolis last season. While he will likely start the season back down at Double-A Altoona, Mlodzinski could be at Indianapolis knocking on the door of the majors by the end of the season.

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