Pittsburgh Pirates: Injured Prospects Who Can Still Make an Impact in the Future

While these prospects are hurt now, they could still make an impact in the near future

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages
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Mike Burrows

Losing Mike Burrows at the start of the 2023 season was a major blow for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Burrows entered the year as one of the Pirates’ top pitching prospects who had made significant gains over the course of the 2022 season. Had it not been for Tommy John surgery, he probably would have made his debut already. But now, Pirates fans and Burrows will have to wait until sometime in 2024 for that.

Burrows pitched to a 4.01 ERA, but a strong 3.29 FIP and 1.21 WHIP in 2022. He carried a strong 28.2% strikeout rate along with a 7.9% walk rate. Burrows has always been great at limiting home runs, and 2022 was no different. The right-hander had a quality 0.76 HR/9 rate. These numbers are a tad inflated though. In his last start of the year, Burrows allowed six earned runs in just 0.2 innings. If this one start doesn’t happen, his ERA goes from 4.01 to 3.46.

The former 11th-round pick has a great fastball and curveball. His fastball sits in the 93-96 MPH range with elite spin, consistently hitting 2500+ RPM. His curveball is one of the best in the Pirate system, as it hits 3000+ RPM. There was no question Burrows had a strong two-pitch selection, but the development of his change-up would always be the sticking point. To his credit, he significantly improved his third pitch and even made it a plus offering. He even started to work on a slider, though his season was cut so short he never got a chance to use it.

Burrows only pitched 6.2 innings before eventually having to undergo surgery in mid-April. Losing him for the 2023 season, and a good portion of 2024 was a large blow, but Burrows will eventually make it back into action. At this point next year, he could be finishing up his rehab with a good chance of making his debut in August.