Following a strong first professional season in 2023, Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect Thomas Harrington could take another step in 2024
When people think of the Pittsburgh Pirates 2022 draft class the first player that comes to mind, and rightfully so, is Termarr Johnson. After all, Johnson is arguably the best second base prospect in all of baseball.
Johnson is not the only potential future MLB impact player selected in the 2022 draft by the Pirates, however. With the 36th overall pick in 2022, the Pirates selected right-handed pitcher Thomas Harrington. Selected out of Campbell University, Harrington is quickly becoming one of the best pitching prospects in the Pirate farm system.
Harrington has a four-pitch mix. MLB Pipeline rates his changeup as a 60 grade pitch, his fastball and slider are 55 grade pitches, and his cruveball checks in as a 50 grade pitch. Having four pitches that are all developing into above-average pitches gives Harrington a very high floor as a prospect.
The righty may never develop into an ace or top of the rotation arm, but with his makeup he should be a safe bet to develop into a solid middle of the rotation arm with the potential to be even more than that. This makes Harrington a very intriguing pitching prospect to watch in 2024.
Adding to the intrigue around Harrington in 2024 is that he could climb through the Pirate farm system quickly. After beginning the 2023 season with Low-A Bradenton, Harrington spent the majority of his season at High-A. 18 of his 26 starts came with the High-A Greensboro Grasshoppers.
Looking ahead to 2024, even if Harrington starts the season back with Greensboro, it could be very similar to last season. After a handful or so of strong starts he could find himself earning a promotion to Double-A Altoona.
Harrington will turn 23 in July. A 23-year-old starting pitcher with the makeup of Harrington who is pitching well in the minors, could get to the majors in a hurry. If he pitches will in the minor leagues this season, Harrington making his MLB debut is not out of the realm of possibility.
In his 26 starts between Bradenton and Greensboro last season, Harrington posted a 3.53 ERA and a 4.00 FIP in 127.1 innings pitched. He allowed 14 home runs (0.99 HR/9), walked 7.8% of batters faced, and had a strong 27.8% strikeout rate.
If Harrington is able to pitch this well again in 2024, then he should, at the least, make his Double-A debut. Harrington is certainly a starting pitching prospect that Pirate fans should be keeping an eye on this season.