Two Pirates pitching prospects who could exceed expectations

These two Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospects could exceed expecations given how well the Bucs have done with developing soft-tossing lefties in their recent history.
Florida pitcher Hunter Barco (12) makes a pitch against Mississippi State during the SEC Tournament
Florida pitcher Hunter Barco (12) makes a pitch against Mississippi State during the SEC Tournament / Gary Cosby Jr. via Imagn Content
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As site expert Ethan Fisher recently pointed out, Pittsburgh Pirates’ general manager Ben Cherington has a ‘type’ of pitcher he likes. That type is soft-tossing veteran left-handers. Dating back to his first off-season as general manager, Cherington has signed or traded for Derek Holland, Tyler Anderson, Jose Quintana, Rich Hill, Marco Gonzales, and Martin Perez. For the most part, the Pirates have gotten a lot of value out of these players, with each one having some solid seasons for the Bucs.

Each of these lefties were coming off mediocre seasons prior to arriving in Pittsburgh. But the Pirates turned each into a league-average arm or better. Another thing they all had in common was they were all over 30, with Anderson being the youngest at 31 and Hill being the oldest at 43.

However, one thing that should intrigue Pirates fans is how the development of similar pitching prospects will go. The Pirates have a few soft-tossing left-handers in their farm system that are going to be Major League ready in the coming years, and once they reach the Majors, I’d opine that they could exceed expectations given how well the Pirates have done with older left-handers, rather than young arms with upside.