Pittsburgh Pirates right-handed pitching prospect Miguel Yajure displayed greatly improved velocity in his first game of 2022.
One of the many pitching prospects the Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired during this rebuild is Miguel Yajure. The right-handed pitcher was sent from the New York Yankees to the Pirates as one of the four prospects they received for Jameson Taillon. At the time of the trade, Yajure was considered the highest-ranking prospect.
Yajure only tossed 15 innings with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, surrendering 14 earned runs. Although the youngster did post solid numbers at Triple-A Indianapolis, Yajure suffered some injuries throughout the year that held him back from reaching his full potential. By the end of the year, he was only hitting the upper-80s and low-90s with his four-seam fastball and sinker.
His sinker was the fastest between the two pitches, averaging out at 91 MPH. The diminished fastball velocity was one of the main reasons Yajure struggled in his brief look in the majors in 2021. However, things are looking promising for him after his 2022 debut.
Yajure’s four-seamer averaged out at 93.7 MPH. The lowest speed he hit was 92 MPH, while the fastest pitch he threw was 94.8 MPH. That’s roughly the range FanGraphs lists him at, placing his fastball in the 91-95 MPH range.
His changeup was nearly averaging out at 90 MPH and maxing out at 90.6 MPH. All told, he threw 12 four-seam fastballs, nine change-ups, seven curveballs, and six sliders. All had an uptick in velocity of at least 2 MPH, with the greatest being his slider gaining 3.4 MPH.
Overall, Yajure earned the win after pitching two innings with just a single walk and strikeout. Although his command wasn’t the sharpest, he only pitched 2 innings in spring training. Command is considered the best part of Yajure’s game, and he’ll likely dial it in as he warms up for this season.
Currently, Yajure is in the bullpen, but he’ll likely make the move to the starting rotation after getting settled in for the season. If he can show he can sit around 92-94 when he does make his transition to the rotation, he’ll likely lock down a long-term role. That kind of velocity will play up with his kind of command.