Following a strong minor league season and Arizona Fall League performance, relief pitching prospect Colin Selby could be in line for a breakout campaign with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2023
There are abound about the Pittsburgh Pirates and their bullpen for the 2023 season. Outside of David Bednar, the bullpen is essentially nothing but question marks. This should create plenty of opportunity for young bullpen arms.
One of the young arms who may be in the best spot to capitalize in 2023 is Colin Selby. Selby has long flown under the radar in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system. However, he is now in line to breakout in 2023.
Pitching for Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, Selby put together a strong 2022 minor league season. It was one that largely flew under the radar and went unnoticed for many Pirate fans, but the Pirate brass certainly took notice.
Between the two levels Selby pitched 35.2 innings, posting a 2.27 ERA and a 2.92 FIP. He walked 9.4% of batters faced, had a healthy 28.9% strikeout rate, and allowed just two home runs (0.50 HR/9). These results came despite Selby missing the final week of May, as well as the entire month of June due to injury.
Selby followed his strong minor league performance with a good season in the Arizona Fall League. Selby posted a 2.00 ERA while allowing eight hits, no home runs, walking four, and striking out nine in 9.0 innings pitched for the Surprise Saguaros.
The righty throws a four-seamed fastball that has become a power pitch. It can sit in the high-90s while getting good movement. Selby also throws a slider that projects a plus pitch out of the bullpen.
Entering the offseason the Pirates were facing a decision with Selby. If the 25-year-old was not added to their 40-man roster then he would be exposed in the Rule 5 Draft. The Pirates decided to add Selby to their 40-man roster to protect him form the draft.
Adding Selby was a smart move for the Pirates to make. No position is drafted at a higher rate in the Rule 5 Draft than relievers. After the season he posted, combined with his AFL results, good control, and plus stuff, odds are Selby would have been selected by a team in the Rule 5 Draft.
It is far from a given that Selby will start the 2023 season in the Pirate bullpen, but it certainly seems possible. Regardless of when he joins the Pittsburgh Pirates active roster he could be in line for a breakout campaign in 2023.