2021 draft class prospects are going to be a trend you’re going to see here today. The first is Bubba Chandler. The Pirates selected Chandler in the third round, but he was considered one of the best prospects in the draft. Many had him going in the first half of the 2021 draft but fell because of a commitment to Clemson to play football.
Chandler worked to a 2.61 ERA, 3.85 FIP, and 1.23 WHIP in his first extended look against professional batters. He dominated opponents, holding them to a .161 average, 0.65 HR/9, and 34.7% strikeout rate. While he limited total hits and home runs, he dished out walks at a high rate, 16.2% to be exact. However, there’s a decent chance he could improve his command, given he has the athleticism of a shortstop on the mound. Remember, even though Chandler is focusing on just pitching, he was drafted as an RHP/SS.
At just 20 years old, Chandler is already hitting the mid-90s. He also showed off a sweeping slider and an above-average curveball. His change-up has also displayed average potential, giving him a solid variety of pitches he can use. Command will be the sticking point for Chandler, but as stated earlier, he certainly has the physical makeup to improve.
Chandler getting a full season to show off his stuff could slingshot him up prospect boards more than any prospect right now in the Pirates’ system. You’re still talking about a pitcher who was considered a first-round talent, only falling to the third round because of signability. This is Chandler’s time to shine, and it’s not out of the question he starts getting top-100 prospect love if he performs well.