Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Prospects Who Could Start in the Majors
The Pittsburgh Pirates could break Spring Training camp with these three prospects as members of the Opening Day roster.
With a team like the Pittsburgh Pirates, you rarely get to see the best prospects the system offers, at least in the first days of the season. Because of how service time works, you typically see the best major league-ready prospects after the first half a month or so of the season. But prospects will still need to break camp with the team.
The Pirates have a handful of young players who could be given a chance to start the year as part of their Opening Day roster. While you might not see Endy Rodriguez on the Opening Day roster, you should still look forward to these prospects.
One of the prospects the Pirates protected from the Rule 5 draft was right-hander Colin Selby. While Selby might initially seem like an odd choice to prevent from getting picked in the Rule 5 draft, the right-handed relief prospect would undoubtedly have gotten picked. He has some nasty stuff and could slot in as a set-up man at the start of the 2023 campaign.
Selby mostly pitched at Double-A Altoona, where he tossed 32.2 innings. Selby had a quality 2.20 ERA, 2.59 FIP, and 1.26 WHIP in that stretch. Selby may have had a mediocre 10.1% walk rate, but he struck out nearly 30% of the batters he faced at a 29.7% rate and allowed just a single home run. Selby induced ground balls at a 53.1% rate with a sub-30% flyball rate, so it was no shocker he was so good at preventing home runs.
Selby throws in the upper-90s and throws a wicked slider. He typically sits in the 96-98 MPH range but has hit triple digits before. His slider is an upper-80s gyro breaker and throws a low-80s curveball. Selby displayed his slider at the Arizona Fall League, where he was a dominant right-hander for Surprise Saguaros.
With 2023 being Selby’s age-25 camping and the Pirates adding him to the 40-man roster, there’s a fair chance Selby starts the year out in the Pirate bullpen. The Pirates need bullpen reinforcements badly, and Selby is very talented. He deserves an extended look in the big leagues after his strong 2022 campaign.