2022 competitive balance pick Thomas Harrington will be looking for his first look at the pro level this year. What does he bring to the organization?
The Pittsburgh Pirates went with a very pitcher-heavy draft in 2022. Of their 21 total picks, 15 were pitches (16 if you want to count Jack Brannigan as a pitcher). The first pitcher of the 15/16 they selected was Thomas Harrington. The right-hander was the team’s competitive balance pick, going 36th overall. But what does Harrington bring to the organization, and what could his future potentially hold?
Harrington wrapped up a strong second season at Campbell University last year. Across 92.2 innings, the right-hander had a 2.53 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP (0.94). Harrington struck out 30% of the batters he faced. He carried a 6.17 K:BB ratio, but that was far from his strong suit. He also only dished out a free pass to 4.9% of opponents while allowing a single home run for a 0.09 HR/9 rate.
Harrington doesn’t have elite velocity, averaging out around 93-94 MPH. But he throws the pitch with some run and carry, according to MLB Pipeline. He also throws two breaking balls. The first is his slider. A mid-80s breaking pitch, it’s a second above-average offering Harrington can rely on. His second breaking pitch is a curveball. This pitch sits in the upper-70s and is clearly a fourth offering.
Although he has three pitches with average or better potential, his best pitch is his tumbling changeup. It also sits in the mid-80s and is his best offspeed offering. Both his fastball and changeup get their fair share of swings and misses. His mix between a good fastball and great changeup has helped him elicit great results.
Harrington was ranked as the 45th overall prospect in the draft by MLB Pipeline. He was also considered a high-floor/low-ceiling type arm. There’s also some projectability. He is 6’2”, 185 pounds, and with that frame, he could add a little more muscle. If he adds some muscle, he could see a slight uptick in velocity. His fastball can range from 91-94 and top out at 96 MPH. Maybe he could sit more around 92-95 MPH with a little more strength.
If Thomas reaches his ceiling, he could be a high-end no. 3 starter but also have a low-end no. 2 starter outlook. He has a wide arsenal of pitches and locates them well. Sure, he isn’t a hard thrower, which limits his ceiling, but his physical projectability does help his future. Harrington will get a full-season look next season. He’ll only be in his age-21 season and won’t turn 22 until July 12th.