Every baseball season fans look forward to prospects making their MLB debuts. Which Pirate prospect could be first to make their MLB debut this season?
With the start of the 2023 MLB season just two days away fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates can begin to wonder which prospect will make their debut first this season. This is which Pirate prospect who has never played in the majors will see MLB action first in 2023?
There is a real possibility that the first Pirate prospect to make their MLB debut this season is right-handed reliever Colin Selby. This past offseason Selby was added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. This came following a strong 2022 season that saw his stuff take a big step forward.
Selby has both a fastball and a slider that can be plus pitches in the majors. His curveball has the potential to be a very strong pitch as well. In addition to his strong minor league season, he also pitched well in the Arizona Fall League in 2022. Teams need bullpen help with regularity throughout a baseball season, which could lead to Selby being promoted from Triple-A to make his MLB debut at some point in the first month or two of the season.
Endy Rodriguez could also be the first Pirate prospect to make their MLB debut in 2023. Rodriguez is one of the top catching prospects in baseball and there is a strong argument to be made that he should have made the team's Opening Day roster.
If something happens to either catcher on the team's roster, Rodriguez will be in position to be promoted to the majors. Working greatly in Rodriguez's favor is that he will be the only other catcher already on the 40-man roster, eliminating the need to make a 40-man roster move to make room for a catcher.
A third name to watch will be starting pitcher Mike Burrows. Like Selby and Rodriguez, Burrows will make his MLB debut at some point this season. With JT Brubaker set to start the season on the injured list, this puts Burrows as the next man up for the starting rotation.
If another starting pitcher were to get injured before Brubaker returns it could open the door for Burrows. The righty is the only healthy starting pitcher currently on the 40-man roster who will not start the season in Pittsburgh. This could make Burrows the first man up if there is an injury to a Pirate starting pitcher.