Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Three Underrated Pitchers to Watch in 2024

These Pirates pitching prospects should stand out more than they do in their pitching-rich farm system.

Sep 29, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Kyle Nicolas (62)
Sep 29, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Kyle Nicolas (62) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Carlos Jimenez

Carlos Jimenez is ranked as the Pirates’ 15th best prospect by FanGraphs, but based on the Pirates prospects most fans talk about, you probably didn’t know that. Jimenez is a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher. While he’s still a raw talent, the potential is there, and his ceiling is pretty high for a pitcher.

Jimenez missed most of the 2023 season but returned late into the campaign with a few positives and a few negatives. We’ll first start with the good. In 13 innings, he allowed zero home runs, just three earned runs, and struck out 21. Now, here’s the not-so-good news: Jimenez also walked 15 and had a .227 batting average on balls in play. Now, do take into account this is a microscopic sample size. BAbip, in this case, isn’t going to tell you the full story, neither is ERA.

The thing you should be focusing on in Jimenez’s return is how his stuff looked. Jimenez’s fastball looked great, sitting at 94.7 MPH with around 2400 RPM. His curveball sat at 80.8 MPH with around 2800 RPM. Then there was his changeup, an upper-80s offering with around 1900 RPM. Of the three offerings he throws regularly, his changeup is the best offering, a pitch that already looks like a plus pitch. His fastball and curveball both have above-average potential, given their high spin, and for his fastball, above-average velocity.

A healthy season from Jimenez could really help his prospect stock in 2024. He will only be 21 and will likely start the season at Bradenton. But if Jimenez can show some improved command, he could start to climb up prospect boards. He’s definitely one of the more forgotten names on FanGraphs’ top Pittsburgh Pirates prospect list.

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