Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitching prospect John O'Reilly discusses his success at Triple-A this season and more
After finishing his collegiate career at Rutgers University, right-handed pitcher John O'Reilly joined the Pittsburgh Pirates organization as a non-drafted free agent. Since signing with the Pirates, O'Reilly has largely flown under the radar.
O'Reilly now finds himself in the midst of his best season since 2019. In 40 appearances with Triple-A Indianapolis this season O'Reilly owns a 3.78 ERA, 18.6% strikeout rate, 9.5% walk rate, and a 0.94 HR/9 in 47.2 innings pitched.
These results do not tell the entire story for O'Reilly.
Since June 1st, he has pitched as well as any reliever in the Pirate farm system. O'Reilly owns a 1.41 ERA, 18.2% strikeout rate, 10.2% walk rate, and a 0.56 HR/9 in 32 innings pitched. So, what has worked for O'Reilly during this stretch? He recently sat down with us to answer that question and more.
Since June 1st you have pitched as well as any receiver in the Pirate farm system. What has been working for you? Have you made any changes/adjustments that have had an impact?
I haven’t really made any drastic changes. I think I just started to believe in myself again and attack with my best stuff. It’s been a solid 3 months now and I just want to try and keep putting up 0s. I’ve thrown in just about every situation a reliever can throw in, and I hope to keep building on the success I’ve had.
This is your second full season at Triple-A. What do you believe you have learned from having faced hitters of this caliber, especially those with MLB experience?
I got promoted to Indy about halfway through the 2021 season and have had a lot of experience here. I think it’s a really important level to learn how to navigate lineups and pitch in different situations. These lineups are really talented and I love getting the opportunity to go up against guys with MLB experience as often as possible.
Other than the obvious of reaching Pittsburgh, do you have any remaining goals for this season?
I really try and take things day by day, and focus on the present as often as I can. I’ve wanted to be a major league pitcher since I was a little kid and I never lose sight of that goal. I hope I can continue to pitch well and put myself in a position to help win games in Pittsburgh.
What does your offseason routine typically look like?
I live in New Jersey, where I was born and raised, and try and spend as much time with my family and friends as I can. My off season training is pretty intense as I try and prepare myself as best as I can for the upcoming year.
You are in your sixth season in the Pirate organization, what has been your favorite part of being a Pirate?
As a non-drafted free agent, I’ve always had a lot of loyalty and gratitude toward the Pirates organization. They gave me an opportunity to chase my dream and I will always be thankful for that. Some of the relationships I’ve made with my teammates will last a lifetime and that’s what’s important to me. I just hope that my favorite memory as a pirate is yet to happen and I put myself in a position to make a difference in Pittsburgh.
O'Reilly will be a pitcher for Pirate fans to continue to watch throughout the rest of the minor league season. At this point he is on the doorstep of the majors and pitching well in the process. It would not be a surprise to see O'Reilly pitch his way to the majors at some point this September or in 2024.