Pittsburgh Pirates: Potential Lefty to Watch in the Second Round

Florida State pitcher Parker Messick (15) warms up pitching. The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Samford Bulldogs 7-0 on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022.Fsu Baseball Edits002
Florida State pitcher Parker Messick (15) warms up pitching. The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Samford Bulldogs 7-0 on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022.Fsu Baseball Edits002 /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates will have an early round selection this year, and this left-hander could be avaiable during the second round.

Last year, the Pittsburgh Pirates used their second-round selection on left-hander Anthony Solometo. The Pittsburgh Pirates could use their second-round pick on another left-handed starting pitching prospect during this upcoming draft, but one in college. That’s Florida State southpaw Parker Messick.

Messick has an attitude that matches his talent. So far this year, the southpaw has a 2.84 ERA through 38 innings this season. Messick is a strikeout machine with a 43.6% strikeout rate, but he also brings good command. He’s walked just 7.4% of batters faced so far. Messick’s only struggles this year have been home runs, as he’s surrendered six long balls. Granted, this is after having a 0.60 HR/9 in 2021.

The young southpaw only averages out in the low-90s but adds deception because of his arm slot. But he can reel back and hit the mid-90s when he needs to. He throws two breaking balls; a slider and a curveball. Between the two, his slider is his better offering. His curveball can be a bit soft, but it’s still a reliable pitch. His second-best offering in his arsenal is his changeup. He gets many swings and misses and soft groundouts on his changeup. Though with plus command, all of his offerings are average or better.

You can’t talk about Messick without talking about the big personality and emotion he shows on the mound. He oozes confidence on the mound and has some great reactions to big strikeouts.

Messick is in his age-21 campaign. By the time the off-season starts, he’ll be 22-years-old. Given his talent and ability, he’d likely be a quick riser and might even be in the upper levels of the minor leagues (Double-A/Triple-A) by the time summer 2023 rolls around. Messick is considered a “low-variance” prospect by FanGraphs. Essentially, he’s a high-floor/low-ceiling prospect. But anybody will take a deceptive left-hander with above-average command and four average or better offerings. He has the ability to be a high-end #3/low-end #2 starter.

The Pirates could also use another left-hander in the system, especially a skillful one that is close to MLB-ready. The closest MLB-ready lefties currently in the system are Trey McGough and Omar Cruz. Although they could be useful pitchers, they’re not exactly the most polished arms. Solomon has ace potential but is still years away from the majors.

Next. 5 Forgotten/Underrate Prospects to Watch This Season. dark

Messick is considered a top 50 draft prospect in this year’s draft. MLB Pipeline ranks him at no. 48 while FanGraphs pins him at no. 43. The stuff that Messick brings to the table already makes him an interesting prospect to watch. But the energy and attitude he brings to the mound make him both interesting and entertaining.

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