Determining if These Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects Are Starters or Relievers

BRADENTON, FLORIDA - MARCH 16: Kyle Nicolas #95 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a picture during the 2022 Photo Day at LECOM Park on March 16, 2022 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
BRADENTON, FLORIDA - MARCH 16: Kyle Nicolas #95 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a picture during the 2022 Photo Day at LECOM Park on March 16, 2022 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Aug 11, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington (left) talks with manager Derek Shelton (right) during batting practice before the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Pirates have a decent amount of young pitching talent in the system, but what role will these three arms undertake in the future?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have a ton of pitching prospects in their system. You have the big names like Quinn Priester, Jared Jones, and Mike Burrows, and the recent draft picks like Thomas Harrington, Hunter Barco, Michael Kennedy, Anthony Solometo, and Bubba Chandler. You also have guys flying under the radar like Po-Yu Chen, and Owen Kellington, along with guys at the rookie-ball level like Hung Leng Chang, Joaquin Tejada, and Carlos Jimenez.

There are plenty of more noteworthy pitching prospects in the Pirates’ system, and there’s a good chance the Bucs will find a handful of quality arms among that group alone. But not every pitcher will be a starter. Some will move to the bullpen, others will get traded, and some may start out as starting pitchers but move into a relief role.

The Pirates have three young arms I want to look at today who teeter on the edge of being a starting pitcher or a relief pitcher in the long run. All three have pitched in the upper minor leagues, including one who has major league time already put in. However, while they lack the current attributes to be a starter, it’s not out of the question they could eventually develop into that.

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