Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Three Relievers to Keep Monitoring
By Noah Wright
We'll discuss two left-handed relief pitchers today, and one of them is Julian Bosnic. Bosnic was an interesting pitcher going into the draft. The University of South Carolina lefty was ranked as one of MLB Pipeline's top 200 prospects in the 2021 draft. But injury concerns led to him falling to the 16th round, where he was drafted by the San Francisco Giants. The two sides couldn't come to an agreement, and Bosnic headed back to the draft the next season.
This time around, Bosnic was selected in the 14th round. The last time the left-hander pitched, he pitched 50.2 innings in 2021 with a 2.84 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 3.12 K:BB ratio. Bosnic both struck out batters at a high rate and kept the ball in the park. He only allowed two home runs for a 0.36 HR/9 while striking out 37.9% of the opponents he faced. The one area in which Bosnic struggled was walks allowed, where he had a 12.1% walk rate.
Bosnic has reeled off six-and-a-third scoreless innings for Bradenton. He's yet to allow a home run and has struck out 13 batters. Although there was some question as to whether Bosnic would be a reliever or starter at the professional level, it looks as if the Pirates are letting him settle into the bullpen in a high-leverage role. Two of his four appearances have resulted in a save. Though walks have still plagued him as he's issued six walks.
There's certainly a lot of talent in Bosnic. His four-seam fastball carries through the zone, and he throws a well-above-average curveball. He's also worked with a sinkerball this year, which sits with a similar low-90s velocity to his four-seamer. Bosnic's fourth offering occasionally throws a changeup but has a high-effort delivery. Plus he's not an extremely athletic pitcher, which is where the command issues come into play.
Either way, there's a lot to like about Bosnic. Hopefully, he develops into a future high-leverage left-handed reliever for the Pirates. He's already 23, so the Pirates will likely move him through the system with a little more aggression. You may see him in the big leagues later next season if he continues to perform well and improve his command.