Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Two Pitchers Who Could Join Top 100 Lists in 2024

The Pittsburgh Pirates have two pitching prospects who should be on top 100 lists as we head into 2024.

North Oconee  s Bubba Chandler (16) throws a pitch during game one of a GHSA AAAA semifinal between
North Oconee s Bubba Chandler (16) throws a pitch during game one of a GHSA AAAA semifinal between / Joshua L. Jones via Imagn Content
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Thomas Harrington

Thomas Harrington was the team's first-round competitive balance pick in 2022. The Campbell University right-hander didn't debut until 2023, but once he reached the minor leagues, he didn't look back. Harrington had a quality rookie campaign and has established himself as one of the Pirates' best pitching prospects.

Through 127.1 innings, Harrington pitched to a 3.53 ERA, 4.00 FIP, and 1.24 WHIP. He had both a great 27.8% strikeout rate and a 7.8% walk rate, and his 3.56 K:BB ratio was the 41st highest among all minor league pitchers, with 100+ innings pitched last year. His 0.99 HR/9 rate was the worst number among his peripherals.

Harrington typically sits in the low 90s with his sinker and fastball. But because of the way he spins the ball, these pitches play above his velocity. The sinker has good movement, and the fastball rides through the zone. His curveball is a good pitch that comes in the low-80s with over 2500 RPM. Then there's his change-up, a low-spin pitch that has fall-off-the-table action.

There's one pitch that really stands out here, and that's his slider, which is more of a sweeper. According to Alex Strumpf of DK Sports, Harrington nearly doubled his slider's horizontal break, going from around 8.5 inches to 16.5 inches. If you want an idea of what 16.5 inches of horizontal break on a sweeper looks like, go watch Seth Lugo, Adam Ottavino, or Clay Holmes throw their sweepers.

Harrington now has two offerings that project as plus pitches: his slider and change-up. On top of that, his fastball plays beyond its velocity, and his curveball is another decent pitch. I think many projected Harrington as a high-floor/low-ceiling type pitcher, but after seeing what he was able to improve upon last season, is it unreasonable to say that he's definitely developed beyond that? I'd argue that's a fair and reasonable analysis.

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