Pittsburgh Pirates 2023 Minor League Players of the Year: Double-A Altoona

Who were the best pitcher and hitter for Double-A Altoona in 2023?
Sep 8, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; A detailed view of a Pittsburgh Pirates hat and glove before a
Sep 8, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; A detailed view of a Pittsburgh Pirates hat and glove before a / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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Best pitcher - Sean Sullivan

Now, this does come with some context. Braxton Ashcraft pitched to a 1.35 ERA with the Curve, but only pitched 20 innings at the Double-A level. Bubba Chandler was dominant in his one start with Altoona, and Paul Skenes certainly flashed some dynamic things as well.

That said, we're going to give the nod to someone who spent more than just a few weeks or a few starts with Altoona. The nod for Altoona's best pitcher in 2023 goes to right-handed starting pitcher Sean Sullivan.

Sullivan, who just turned 23 earlier this week, had a breakout season with the Curve. In his first taste of Double-A action, Sullivan posted a 3.88 ERA, 4.16 FIP, 8.0% walk rate, and a 20.4% strikeout rate. He also had a strong home run rate of 1.03 HR/9.

Despite spending some time on the minor league injured list, Sullivan pitched 113.2 innings in 24 appearances, 21 of which were starts. This gave Sullivan a new career high in appearances, starts, and innings pitched.

Looking ahead to 2024, Sullivan will probably start the season back at Altoona. He could join the lines of Skenes, Chandler, Ashcraft, and Anthony Solometo to create one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball. If Sullivan pitches well again in 2024, he could put himself in a position to make his MLB debut at some point next season.