An overlooked left-handed pitching prospect off to a strong start
Left-handed pitcher Omar Cruz is often times overlooked in the Pirate farm system. Pittsburgh acquired the now 23-year-old Cruz from the San Diego Padres in the Joe Musgrove trade, and he spent the 2022 regular season with the Double-A Altoona Curve.
With the Curve, Cruz pitched 62.2 innings in 23 outings. Five of these 23 outings came as a starter while the other 18 came out of Altoona’s bullpen. After posting a 5.03 ERA and a 4.90 FIP with the Curve, Cruz has posted a strong 1.59 ERA to go with five strikeouts and just two hits allowed through his first 5.2 AFL innings pitched.
Righties Tahnaj Thomas and Colin Selby have also been pitching out of the Surprise bullpen. Thomas took it on the chin in his last outing, and has now allowed 7 earned runs on five hits, three walks, and three strikeouts through his first 3.2 innings pitched. As for Selby, through his first 4 innings pitched he’s allowed 2 earned runs on six hits, two walks and five strikeouts.
The biggest name pitching prospect the Pittsburgh Pirates have in the Arizona Fall League is 2019 first-round pick Quinn Priester. Through his first three starts in the AFL, Priester owns a 5.54 ERA in 13 innings pitched. He’s allowed nine hits, two home runs, walked five batters, and struck out 12.