One of the best pitching prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system is now just one step away from reaching the major league level
Few pitching prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system have a higher ceiling than Mike Burrows. The spin rate master has steadily climbed through the system after being drafted out of high school in 2018. Now, Burrows is one step away from the majors.
After starting for the Altoona Curve on Tuesday, Burrows was informed that he is being promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Altoona Curve starter Mike Burrows has been promoted to the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians and will debut for them on Sunday, per Curve manager Kieran Mattison. Burrows is the Pittsburgh Pirates’ #11 organizational prospect.
— Adam Babetski (@AdamBabetski) June 15, 2022
This promotion is certainly one that Burrows has earned. He pitched 52 innings in 12 starts at the Double-A level this season, posting a 2.94 ERA and a 2.76 FIP. He walked 8.9% of batters faced, struck out a healthy 32.4% and allowed home runs at a rate of just 0.52 HR/9. Burrows also pitched well in the Arizona Fall League this past offseason posting a 3.52 ERA, walking 5 batters and striking out 16 in 15.1 innings pitched.
The biggest concern with Burrows as a prospect has always been a lack of a third pitch. Burrows has always possessed a fastball with huge spin rate numbers and a plus curveball that, according to FanGraphs, is a 70-grade pitch.
However, that lack of a third pitch always led to some debate about if the future for Burrows would be as a starting pitcher or potentially as a dominant reliever. To Mike’s credit he worked his tail off to develop a changeup. Not only has that happened, his changeup has also developed into a plus pitch.
Not only is it now crystal clear that the future for Burrows with the Pittsburgh Pirates is as a starting pitcher, he also appears to be on his way to becoming a consensus top 100 prospect in baseball.
Sooner rather than later Burrows will join Roansy Contreras to give the Pirate starting rotation what could be one of the best one-two punches in the National League Central, potentially even the entire National League. With Burrows already to Triple-A and it only being mid-June, it’s not out of the realm of possibility we see the 22-year-old reach the majors late this season.