Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Noteable, Successful Softy Tossing Pitchers

Pitch velocity is going up in the baseball world, but these Pirates prospects still throw 90 and under.

U-32 senior Owen Kellington fires a pitch vs. Lamoille in East Montpelier on Tuesday, May 18,
U-32 senior Owen Kellington fires a pitch vs. Lamoille in East Montpelier on Tuesday, May 18, / SARAH MILLIGAN/for the FREE PRESS via
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Lefty Nick Dombkowski

Undrafted free agents are always low-risk gambles, but Nick Dombkowski has so far looked like a good gamble. In his second season as a pro ball player, Dombkowski has a 3.23 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP this year at Altoona, working as a swingman. He has started six of his 30 games but has 75.1 innings pitched. Dombkowski hasn’t been able to carry over his big K% from last year, currently sitting at 16.8%. He also has a mediocre 1.43 HR/9 rate. However, his walk rate is just 6.8%, and opponents are hitting a meager .227/.281/.395 against him this season. That’s about what Willy Adames is slashing for the Brewers this season, and he has a wRC+ of just 85.

Domkowski is the hardest thrower here, though that doesn’t mean he’s a hard-throwing pitcher. He is only able to top out at 92 MPH. Though he’s typically sitting 88-91 MPH. Like a lot of soft-tossing lefties, he has a plus change-up and above-average command. His third pitch is a slider, another pitch that projects as above average. Dombkowski might find a role as a solid #6 type starter for the Pirates, sort of like Jeanmar Gomez.

Seeing 100 MPH on the radar gun is always fun, though some guys don’t even have to hit 90 to be effective regularly. Hopefully, some of the guys we talked about today can become something for the Pirates. Wolf has a very good chance of making his Pirates debut this year. Kellington is only 20, so he’s still a few years away. Given his age, he might be throwing harder in a year or two. Dombkowski might not have an exciting profile, though he could still carve out a role in the future.

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