Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects 2023 Recap: Eddy Yean Continues to Make Josh Bell Trade a Disaster

Feb 28, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; A detail view of Pittsburgh Pirates baseball hat, sunglasses and glove
Feb 28, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; A detail view of Pittsburgh Pirates baseball hat, sunglasses and glove / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Eddy Yean's struggles at the High-A level continues to make the Josh Bell trade one of Ben Cherington's worst as general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates

On Christmas Eve 2020, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded slugging first baseman/designated hitter Josh Bell to the Washington Nationals. In return, the Pirates received pitchers Wil Crowe and Eddy Yean. Of these two pitchers, Yean was viewed as the big prize.

At the time of the trade Yean was viewed as one of the best pitching prospects in the National farm system. Yean was expected to rise to similar status in the Pirate farm system. Unfortunately, Yean has struggled mightily since joining the Pirate organization.

Since joining the Pirate organization Yean has failed to pitch above the High-A level. He pitched at Low-A in 2021, then he went on to spend both the 2022 and 2023 seasons pitching for High-A Greensboro.

Repeating a season at the High-A level, Yean posted a 5.01 ERA and a 3.93 FIP last season. These results came in 50.1 innings pitched across 40 appearances. Yean allowed just 2 home runs (0.36 HR/9), but had a 10.2% walk rate to go with just a 19.5% strikeout rate while opposing batters hit .282 against him.

This marked a second consecutive poor season for Yean at High-A. With Greensboro in 2022 Yean posted a 6.75 ERA and a 4.84 FIP in 53.1 innings pitched in 42 appearances. He allowed 6 home runs (1.01 HR/9), walked 11.5% of opposing batters, struck out 23.8% of opponents, and opponents hit .286 against him.

Looking ahead to 2024, it is a make or break season for Yean. If he can not start to pitch better, odds are he will be released by the Pirates. At this point, it is hard to envision Yean ever having a future as a pitcher at the Double-A level, let alone in the majors.

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