In the wake of recent challenges, the Pittsburgh Pirates are finding hope on the horizon. Pitching prospects, including Thomas Harrington, Hunter Barco, and Po-Yu Chen, are expected to be big parts of the Organization going forward. All three had minor league action in 2023, with Harrington and Chen spending significant time at High-A. Barco, who was recovering from his 2022 Spring Tommy John surgery was kept in the lower levels for the year in very limited action. He pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates Florida Complex League team as well as Low-A Bradenton.
All three were highly touted when first joining the Organization. Chen was a big-time International signing back in 2020, receiving a seven-figure bonus. Both Harrington and Barco were selected inside the top 50 of the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft. Harrington went at #36 overall and Barco was selected with the 44th overall pick in 2022.
The three arms mentioned all should be a part of the Pittsburgh Pirates future. Harrington is closest to making an impact in the Majors at this point. While he and Chen were at High-A and should both be at Double-A in 2024, Harrington is much more advanced at this point in their careers. Barco will likely start at High-A. So with that being said, all three of these players also need to perform in 2024 and solidify themselves as prospects who could make a difference for the Big League team eventually.