The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a deal with a pitcher who was just in their farm system. Let's take a look at the former second-round selection.
Travis MacGregor is a right-handed pitcher who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. our of high school. He passed on the opportunity to attend Clemson and opted to start pro ball. Born on November 20, 1997, in Tarpon Springs, Florida, MacGregor was selected by the Pirates in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Since then, he has worked his way up through the Pirates' minor league system and is considered to be one of the organization's top pitching prospects.
MacGregor made his professional debut in 2016, pitching for the Gulf Coast League Pirates. In his rookie season, he appeared in 10 games, starting six of them, and posted a 2-2 record with a 4.82 ERA. He struck out 29 batters in 28 innings pitched, showcasing his ability to miss bats.
Over the next few seasons, MacGregor continued to develop and refine his pitching repertoire. His fastball typically sits in the low-to-mid 90s, and he also has a slider and a changeup in his arsenal. He has shown the ability to command his pitches effectively and keep hitters off-balance.
Unfortunately, injuries slowed MacGregor's development and his potential to be a starter. In 2018, he was limited to just five starts due to a shoulder injury. Then, in 2019, he was sidelined for the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
This past offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates had to release a group of minor league players to make roster space for other signees. This is pretty typical to see an Organization do during the early stretches of the offseason. Well, according to John Dreker of Pirates Prospects, the Bucs are bringing the former second-round pick back on a minor league deal:
Last year MacGregor made the transition from starter to full-time reliever. He only made 3 starts while appearing in another 35 in relief. He pitched between Double-A and Triple-A. He found some success at Double-A once he moved to the bullpen role. His ERA through 3 starts with the Curve was over 10, while it was under 2 as a reliever. This earned him a promotion to Triple-A where he was not able to carry over the success. In 23 relief appearances, his ERA was over 7.