Number 8 - Starting Pitcher Thomas Harrington
Thomas Harrington was drafted as the Pirates’ first round competitive balance pick in 2022. The right-hander posted strong numbers during his last year at Campbell University. So far his first professional season has gone fairly well, and he is becoming one of the Pirates’ best pitching prospects.
Harrington has pitched to a 3.73 ERA, 4.16 FIP, and 1.26 WHIP through 113.2 innings for the Low-A Bradenton Marauders and High-A Greensboro Grasshoppers. The right-hander has a healthy 27.5% strikeout rate, along with a 7.2% walk rate. His 1.11 HR/9 is a tad high, though that’s mostly because he is playing in a home run friendly Greensboro. While his numbers have gotten worse since getting to High-A, some bad luck has played its hand in his struggles.
Opponents have managed a .349 batting average on balls in play against him, a significant uptick from .298 at Bradenton. His BAbip at Low-A is much more sustainable compared to what he’s done at High-A. His HR/9 has also shot up, but again, some of that can be attributed to Greensboro being home run friendly. On the plus side, both his strikeout rate and walk rate have improved at High-A.
Harrington is not a power pitcher, only sitting 91-95 MPH. However, he locates his four-seamer well and it has some carry to it. His best pitch is his changeup, with what MLB Pipeline describes as “tumbling” action. Harrington’s slider is his best breaking offering, though his curveball adds yet another average offering to his arsenal. While he might not have any overpowering stuff, he has outstanding mechanics and athleticism, which has helped him develop his command to a plus level.
Harrington turned 22 on July 12th, so he’s still a fairly young arm. Given some of his numbers at Greensboro, he should debut next season at Altoona. That could very well put him on a trajectory to make his debut in the second half of 2024, that is if he continues to pitch well and stays healthy.