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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Prospect Highlights: A GCL Pitcher Showing Improvements After a Solid Rookie Season

Today, we have multiple videos of GCL starting pitcher Dario Agrazal Jr, covering his last two starts. His last start actually didn’t go so well right before the rains came and caused the game to be suspended(the stats aren’t actually official yet since it will be completed August 8th). He threw four innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk, with three strikeouts and a 4/3 GO/AO ratio. Agrazal was facing the Yankees1 in that start and they are the best team in the league, so that does help his case a little. Prior to that outing, he was doing a great job of keeping earned runs off the board, giving up four in his last four outings combined.

Agrazal is an interesting player to watch, but there wasn’t much made about his signing two years ago. It was so quiet in fact, that we announced it here more than a few months after it happened and no one else picked up on it prior to that. It probably should have got some notice though, because he is the son of Dario Agrazal, who was a great Panamanian pitcher for years and a highly respected coach in the country. He obviously taught his son well, because there is a lot to like about the younger Agrazal.

While in the DSL last year, Agrazal was in the starting rotation all year and did so without picking up a loss. The scouting reports on him said that he did a great job of pitching to contact and he pounded the inside corner of the strike zone, keeping the ball down. Now in the States this season, the 19-year-old, 6’3″ righty, has a 1.30 GO/AO ratio, improving on the 0.97 mark he put up last year. He’s also improved his control and strikeout rate. He had a 17/32 BB/SO ratio last year in 60 innings, compared to three walks in 26.2 innings this season, while picking up 18 strikeouts.

Here is a video of Agrazal in the bullpen warming up for the game. The first thing you’ll notice is how clean and easy his motion is, which is something you’ll pick up when you have a dad that was a great pitcher and even better coach. That delivery is easily repeatable, which gives him excellent control and makes his 91 MPH fastball deceptively fast. It also leads you to believe that if he needed to reach back for a little extra, he would have no problem increasing that velocity.

Here he is warming up between innings. If you want to watch this video a second time, you can see first round draft pick Cole Tucker take some grounders in the background.

This is a great video of Agrazal facing a lefty and picking up a strikeout. You get a nice view of the break on the last two pitches that both result in swing and misses.

Here are a couple quick videos of Agrazal facing right-handed batters, just for an opposite view.

Video #2 vs a righty. All videos here are courtesy of the GCL Pirates fan page.

 

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Lee Young

John…where near Pgh do you live?

Lee Young

sounds good….pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching, and even MORE pitching.

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