After struggling for much of the 2023 season, a big season is ahead for Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect Bubba Chandler in 2024
Few pitchers in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system have the upside and ceiling of Bubba Chandler. A top 100 prospect by multiple outlets, the stuff and ability is there for Chandler. Now, he needs to start to put things together more consistently.
Chandler was one of the multiple over-slot selections by Ben Cherington and the Pirates in the 2021 MLB Draft. After spurning his commitment to play both football and baseball at Clemson to sign with the Pirates, the righty immediately became one of the organization's most talented pitching prospects.
Overall, the 2023 season was a poor one for Chandler. He pitched 111.0 innings in 25 minor league starts, posting a 4.54 ERA and a 4.78 FIP. He walked 10.5% of opposing batters, but did strike batters out at a 26.4% clip, allowed 15 home runs (1.22 HR/9) and 109 hits while opposing batters hit .267 agaisnt him.
Chandler, however, did finish the season on a strong note.
In 8 starts from July 18th to September 2nd, Chandler posted a 1.85 ERA, 4.28 FIP, 7.9% walk rate, and a 26.1% strikeout rate while limiting opponents to a .173 batting average in 43.2 innings pitched. This strong stretch earned Chandler a promotion from High-A Greensboro to Double-A Altoona for his final start of the season.
Chandler pitched 5 scoreless innings in his lone start with the Curve. The only base runner he allowed came via single and he struck out 8 batters. This start came a few days before Chandler turned 21, making him one of the younger pitchers to make a start in the Eastern League last season.