Starting pitcher Mike Burrows
Entering the season right-handed pitcher Mike Burrows was on the cusp of becoming a big time prospect. He already two plus pitches with some of the best spin rate of any pitcher in minor league baseball, however, he was in need of a third pitch.
Well, Burrows has developed said third pitch this season. Not only has he developed that third pitch, but his changeup has become a quality pitch for him. This has helped Burrows reach the Triple-A level and be on the doorstep of the major leagues.
Between Double-A and Triple-A, Burrows has posted a 3.46 ERA and FIP this season. Burrows has pitched 93.2 innings across the two levels, dropping his walk rate to 7.8% while posting a very healthy 28.8% strikeout rate.
Burrows should be viewed as a pitcher that is a long-term building block of the Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation. While he likely will not have a permanent rotation spot until early next summer due to the service time manipulation that the Pirates will undoubtedly do with Burrows, he should still get an opportunity to pitch in the majors this month.
Last September, the Pirates rewarded Roansy Contreras for a strong minor league season by giving him a MLB start in the final series of the season. The team should do the same with Burrows, and maybe even look to give him two MLB starts down the stretch.