Pittsburgh Pirates: Top Pitching Prospects Turn in Strong Starts


Two of the Pittsburgh Pirates best pitching prospects were in action on Saturday and each of them turned in a strong start

While Saturday afternoon saw the Pittsburgh Pirates get walked off by the Tampa Bay Rays for a second consecutive day, there were still some positives to come out of the day for the organization. This positive news came from two of their top pitching prospects turning in strong starts.

These strong starts came form Mike Burrows at Triple-A and Quinn Priester at Double-A. The way Burrows has pitched all season and Priester has pitched since returning from the injured list should give fans hope. By this time next summer, the Pittsburgh Pirates could have a very solid rotation consisting of Roansy Contreras, JT Brubaker, Burrows, and Priester.

Burrows was making his second start since being promoted to Triple-A. The 22-year-old righty allowed a run on 5 hits, no walks and 4 strikeouts in 4.1 innings pitched. The lone run he allowed was a solo home run and he threw 46 of 73 pitches (63%) for strikes.

On the season Burrows has now made 14 starts combined between Double-A and Triple-A, pitching 59.1 innings. He owns a 3.03 ERA and 2.75 FIP in these starts, to go with a strong 7.8% walk rate and a very healthy 31.7% strikeout rate. Burrows has limited opposing batters to a .212 batting average and has allowed just 4 home runs (0.61 HR/9).

As for Priester, he pitched 4 innings for the Curve allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Priester threw 43 of 68 pitches (63%) for strikes.

Obviously, you would like to see both pitchers go deeper into their outings. That said, Priester is just returning from the injured list and Burrows remains young for already being at the Triple-A level. After the last two seasons being so abnormal, as well as both pitchers dealing with some injuries during that stretch, the organization is going to be somewhat conservative with their workload this season.

What’s most important is they are both showing feel for their pitches, confidence on the mound, and are generating swing-and-miss stuff. As long as that continues things will be turn out great for Burrows, Priester and the Pirates.

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Unfortunately, both outings came in losing efforts for their teams. Both the Indians and Curve were defeated 6-5 on Saturday after neither bullpen was able to hold the lead they were given. That must be going around in the Pirate organization right now.