Pittsburgh Pirates: Two Players Who Need to Improve in 2023

Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Yankees
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Starting pitcher Roansy Contreras

Roansy Contreras was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates as the center piece of the Jameson Taillon trade following the 2020 season. It did not take Contreras long to shoot up prospect boards on his way to becoming a top 100 prospect in baseball.

The 23-year-old Contreras possesses all the tools needed to be a top of the rotation starting pitcher in the majors. While is changeup remains a work in progress, he throws a power fastball that is a plus pitch and both his slider and curveball can be elite pitches.

Contreras made his MLB debut with a start at the end of the 2021 season, but got his first extended MLB action as a 22-year-old last season. He posted a 3.79 ERA, 4.38 FIP, 9.6% walk rate, and a 21.1% strikeout rate in 95.0 innings pitched.

In some starts Contreras looked like an ace, in others he struggled. That is exactly what you would expect from a young starting pitcher, especially one who was pitching in the majors at just age 22. Now, the Pirates need him to take a step forward.

Contreras taking another step forward toward being a top of the rotation starting pitcher would be a big boost for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2023 and beyond. Not only would it help the Pirates win more games this season but it would also give them the ace that they can build their starting rotation around for the next 5+ years.