Bradenton - RHP Ryan Harbin
Bradenton has a handful of pitching prospects who you could file as a sleeper prospect. However, the most talented among the Low-A relievers and the one with the best chance of making a significant impact in the Major Leagues in the near future is Ryan Harbin. A former 17th-round pick in 2019, Harbin is still only 21 years old. This year, he’s tossed 26 innings, allowing just three earned runs, which is good for an ERA of just 1.04. He also holds an strong 3.04 FIP and 1.08 WHIP.
On top of that, he has elite peripherals. Harbin has struck out 33.6% of his opponents while working a manageable 10.3% walk rate. However, his ability to limit the long ball is his biggest strength, and he is one of the best home run limiters in the system. Harbin has allowed just a single home run all year, but what’s even more impressive is his ability to keep the ball on the ground. We call Quinn Priester a ground ball machine, and he typically has a ground ball rate around 50-60%, but Harbin clocks in with a ground ball rate at 70.7%.
Harbin’s primary pitcher is a sinker that he throws in the mid-upper-90s. He consistently sits around 95-96 MPH with the pitch. He throws both a cutter and a slider. Although Harbin’s sinker only sits with around 2000-2200 RPM, his slider and cutter approach 3000 RPM. His cutter/slider averaged out at 2847 RPM in his most recent outing and topped out at 2989.
The Pirates could move him through the system with more authority because Harbin is a relief pitcher. The right-hander could potentially be the organization's next top relief prospect. There’s a good chance that Harbin will make his debut late into 2024. He’ll likely at least make it to one of the upper levels of the minor leagues next season, if not start the year at Altoona or Indy.