Pittsburgh Pirates prospects who could get promoted to A-Ball at the end of the month

The Pirates have a handful of top prospects at the Flordia Complex League who could soon get promoted to A-Ball.
On deck, (FCL) Pirates' outfielder Solomon Maguire. The Florida Complex League (FCL) Orioles played their first night game against the (FCL) Pirates at Sarasota's Ed Smith Stadium on Friday, July 15, 2022. Admission is free and you can bring your own food. For more up-coming games, check out the schedules of the Florida Complex League visit, mlb.com/orioles/spring-training/minor-leagues.

Sar Fcl Baseball 18
On deck, (FCL) Pirates' outfielder Solomon Maguire. The Florida Complex League (FCL) Orioles played their first night game against the (FCL) Pirates at Sarasota's Ed Smith Stadium on Friday, July 15, 2022. Admission is free and you can bring your own food. For more up-coming games, check out the schedules of the Florida Complex League visit, mlb.com/orioles/spring-training/minor-leagues. Sar Fcl Baseball 18 / THOMAS BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE / USA TODAY
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David Matoma

I'll take any excuse I can get to talk about David Matoma. To me, he's one of the most unique but also one of the most enticing prospects in the Pirates' system. I can't wait to watch him get tested at Bradenton. On top of that, I'm also excited to finally get some Statcast data on what could be the hardest throwing prospect in the Pirates' minor leagues.

Matoma has pitched 18.1 innings as a reliever at the FCL, working to an 0.98 ERA, 3.06 FIP, and 1.09 WHIP. Matoma has only allowed one homer while walking 9.1% of opponents, but his best accomplishment thus far has been his 31.2% strikeout rate. Batters not only strike out against him quite frequently, but they've only managed a .186 batting average against Matoma.

The Ugandan right-hander can dial it up to 100 MPH and typically sits in the upper-90s. So far into his young pro career, Matoma has been used almost solely as a reliever. His bread and butter are his fastball and above-average slider, though he'll occasionally throw in a changeup and gyro curve. His command is at a fringe-average level, according to Baseball America, which is good enough when you throw upper-90s and top 100. At just 18, there's plenty of time for him to sharpen up his location to an average or better level.

Even if Matoma never improves his changeup or curveball to a reliable level, he has the potential to be a shutdown future reliever. Throwing 100 MPH with a good slider and okay command will go a long way. I, for one, can't wait to see when he throws his first 100 MPH Statcast-tracked fastball.