Pittsburgh Pirates: Cody Bolton Putting Together Strong Bounce Back Season
Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect Cody Bolton had a lot of questions to answer this year, and so far he’s done well after missing two season.
Arguably the most significant question mark in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system going into the 2022 campaign was right-hander Cody Bolton. Bolton had essentially missed the last two seasons because of the canceled 2020 COVID season and then in 2021 because of a meniscus tear in May that kept him out the entire season.
Missing two seasons will always raise question marks, especially when one was missed because of a significant injury. However, the 23-year-old right-hander is having a solid bounce-back campaign so far. Based on how he’s pitched so far, he may end up in the majors sooner rather than later.
Bolton has split his season in the bullpen and rotation so far, having five starts and four bullpen appearances. In total, he has 24.1 innings and has pitched to the tune of a 3.33 ERA, 2.69 FIP, and 1.32 WHIP. He’s yet to allow a home run this year because he’s gotten ground balls at a healthy rate of 46%.
Bolton is striking out batters at a rate he hasn’t seen since the first half of 2019. After his last start, he raised his K% to 31.4%. The only downside is that he has walked batters at a 12.7 rate. There is also some room for improvement for Bolton. Batters have a .345 batting average on balls in play against the righty. If he were to get that closer to .300, then he’d likely make some noticeable improvements to his numbers.
Bolton’s fastball was back in the 94-95 MPH range in his last start. Overall, his velocity hasn’t taken a major dip, if any decrease from before his injury. At 23-years-old and putting up solid numbers with Indy, we may see him make his debut within the next month. The Pittsburgh Pirates do need more pitching help in the majors, and Bolton could be a guy on the cusp of making his debut.