Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Hunter Barco Selected at No. 44


With the 44th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates selected University of Florida left-handed pitcher Hunter Barco

Sunday night was a productive one for the Pittsburgh Pirates. With the no. 4 overall pick in the draft the Pirates selected infielder Termarr Johnson, who was arguably the best pure hitter in the draft. With the no. 36 overall pick the Pirates then drafted college pitcher Thomas Harrington.

The Pittsburgh Pirates also chose at no. 44 overall on Sunday night. With the 44th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft the Pirates selected left-handed pitcher Hunter Barco. Barco was drafted out of the University of Florida.

This past season Barco posted a 2.50 ERA in 50.1 innings pitched. Barco’s 50.1 innings pitched came in nine starts, he walked 11 batters, struck out a nice 69 batters, allowed six home runs and posted a 0.89 WHIP.

The concern with Barco is that his final college season was cut short. In early May Barco underwent Tommy John surgery, which ended his Gator career prematurely. That said, in today’s baseball where most pitchers under go Tommy John surgery at some point at least Barco has already gotten it out of the way. Due to this surgery, Barco likely will not be able to make his professional debut until next summer some time.

Barco throws a mid-90s fastball that has good swing-and-miss potential. His slider needs some work but is a pitch that has plus potential. Barco also mixes in a curveball and a changeup, the latter of which is already a strong pitch.

The biggest question with Barco will be his health. How he responds to and bounces back from Tommy John surgery will tell the story of his professional career. Hopefully, Barco will be able to bounce back from the surgery.

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Moving forward the Pittsburgh Pirates may want to adjust Barco’s delivery. It’s not unreasonable to think that his delivery played a role in him needing Tommy John surgery. Hopefully, moving forward, the Pirates will do what it takes to keep Barco healthy.