The Pittsburgh Pirates need to stock up the upper-levels of their minor league system in pitching. This college pitcher could help out their lack of depth.
The upper levels of the Pittsburgh Pirates system do not have a lot of pitching talent, unlike the lower levels. Also, with the Pirates likely taking Dylan Crews number one overall in this year’s draft, they’ll be shelling out a lot of money, potentially breaking the all-time draft signing bonus record, to land the uber-hyped prospect. We’ve previously discussed potential under-slot pitchers here before, like Brandon Sproat or Quinn Mathews, but a third one to keep an eye on is Andrew Lindsey, a hard-throwing pitcher for the University of Tennessee.
Lindsey put together a phenomenal 2023 season, pitching to a 2.40 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 3.76 K:BB ratio through 63.2 innings. Lindsey posted overall solid peripherals. He clocked in with an 0.85 HR/9 rate and 24.4% strikeout rate. His best stat was his walk rate, which sat at just 6.5%. Lindsey pitched in a swing-man reliever/starter role. Of his 19 total appearances, seven were starts.
The right-hander has some decent velocity, working around 93-95 MPH but topping out at 98. It also has carry up in the zone. His slider even can reach into the 90-MPH range, mostly sitting in the mid-80s with tight movement. He’ll also toss a curveball and a changeup. His curveball is the lesser of his two breaking balls, and while he hasn’t thrown his changeup much, it has shown the potential to be a solid offering as well.
Lindsey is definitely a player the Pirates could move up their system with some authority. He’s already 23 years old. At one point, Lindsey gave up on baseball completely. However, Lindsey returned to college ball after coaching a youth team in 2022. He previously pitched for Walter State Community College, as well as UNC Charlotte.
Even though Lindsey is pretty old for a top draft prospect, you have to commend his ability. He went from a community college, one season with UNC Charlotte, gave up on the sport, pitched 10.2 innings in the Appalachian League (a summer collegiate league), then mowing down SEC batters, which is universally seen as the most competitive college division, at least for baseball. Lindsey worked his way into the rotation in mid-April and was still an effective pitcher.
Lindsey projects as a reliever at the next level, but there’s no doubt that he’d be given the chance to start before being moved to the bullpen. You typically don’t see fifth-year seniors at the higher ends of draft rankings. But Lindsey fits the bill for two of the Pirates’ needs: a potential under-slot draft pick and a pitcher who can get to the upper levels of the minor leagues in a relatively short amount of time.