Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Under-the-Radar Breakout Candidates

Pittsburgh Pirates v Milwaukee Brewers
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Starting pitcher Mike Burrows

When people think of the top pitching prospects in the Pirate farm system 2019 first-round pick Quinn Priester is likely the first name to come to mind. Luis Ortiz, who flashed some very good things in the majors last September, and the fast rising Bubba Chandler likely do as well.

One starting pitching prospect who is often times overlooked is righty Mike Burrows. This should not be the case, however. Burrows has some of the best spin rates in the Pirate farm system and three plus pitches. Burrows is also in position to crack the team's starting rotation this season and be one of the team's biggest breakout stars.

Burrows made 24 appearances last season, 22 of them being starts, between Double-A and Triple-A last season. In 94.1 innings pitched, Burrows posted a 4.01 ERA and a 3.29 FIP across the two levels. He walked 7.9% of batters faced, struck out a healthy 28.2%, limited opposing batters to a .231 batting average, and allowed just eight home runs (0.76 HR/9).

Burrows will start the season back at Triple-A Indianapolis. If Burrows pitches well for the Indians he could find himself in the Pirate starting rotation by early or mid-June. It would not be a surprise to see Burrows lock down a long-term spot in the Pirate starting rotation by the end of the season.