3 out of options pitchers to watch during Spring Training

The Pirates should monitor these three pitchers are out of options with their current teams and could hit waivers at th end of Spring Training.

Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins - Game Three
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins - Game Three / Bob Levey/GettyImages
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Luis Patino

Luis Patino was also a former high-end prospect who was involved in a very high-profile trade. He was the headliner in the deal that sent Blake Snell to the San Diego Padres. At the time, Patino was considered a consensus top 30 prospect in baseball, with some prospect aggregates even ranking him as high as a top 15 prospect. But Patino has yet to establish himself as a big leaguer with either the Padres, Rays, or White Sox, whom he pitched for at the tail end of last season.

Patino has pitched 136.1 innings in the bigs across four seasons with a 5.02 ERA, 5.30 FIP, and 1.50 WHIP. He has some unimpressive peripherals, including a 20.2% strikeout rate, 11.4% walk rate, and 1.58 HR/9. The only silver linings I can take from his Major League numbers are that he is average to slightly above average at limiting quality contact with a 7.9% barrel rate, but he also had an 89 MPH exit velocity and 37.5% hard-hit rate.

So what positives would there be to claiming Patino, other than taking a shot at a former top prospect? Patino’s stuff was still decent, as his sinker averaged out around 93-95 MPH with about average movement. His slider still had 6.7 inches of horizontal break, which is above average. His four-seamer also still has some riding life with only 13 inches of drop.

While it would be obviously unrealistic to hold Patino to the standard he was once held to, he’s still fairly young. This will only be his age-24 campaign. Plus, he’s not far removed from being considered one of the best prospects in baseball. I would not be opposed to the Pirates claiming him if he is let go at the end of Spring and is Put in a low-leverage role to see what he has.

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