Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects 2023 Recap: Nick Dombkowski Reaches Triple-A For the First Time

Jul 25, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; A Pittsburgh Pirates hat and glove sit in the dugout
Jul 25, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; A Pittsburgh Pirates hat and glove sit in the dugout / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Soft tossing left-handed Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitching prospect Nick Dombkowski lacks the typical stuff to be a successful pitcher, but had good results at Double-A this past season

Following the 2021 MLB Draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed left-handed pitcher Nick Dombkowski as a non-drafted free agent. Dombkowski was signed out of the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Dombkowski would quickly begin his professional career, pitching 18.2 innings in 11 relief appearances with Low-A Bradenton late in the 2021 season. Dombkowski went on to pitch at Low-A once again in 2022, as well as pitching at High-A and Double-A.

The lefty started the 2023 season back with the Double-A Altoona Curve. Dombkowski pitched 85.0 innings with the Curve in 33 appearances, posting a 3.71 ERA and a 4.89 FIP. Dombkowski walked just 7.3% of batters faced, but struggled to miss bats with just a 16.3% strikeout rate.

Following her performance with the Curve, Domkowski earned a late season cup of coffee with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. In his lone outing at the Triple-A level Dombkowski allowed 6 runs on 10 hits, no walks, and 3 strikeouts in 3 innings pitched.

A major issue with Dombkowski, and the big reason why he struggles to generate swing-and-miss, is his lack of plus stuff. Dombkowski's fastball sits in the upper-80s and lacks movement, that is typically a recipe for disaster for any pitcher. He also throws a changeup, and has started to work in a slider.

Dombkowski will turn 26 in August. If he can pitch well for Triple-A Indy this season, then it's possible he could find himself earning an opportunity out of the Pirate bullpen. The biggest issue that could always continue to hold Dombkowski back, though, is his poor stuff.

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