Pirates Option Nick Kingham and Elias Diaz to Indianapolis

The Pittsburgh Pirates have optioned Nick Kingham and Elias Diaz to Indianapolis. The moves are kind of expected, since today is a pretty important deadline for players with zero MLB service time. Neither Kingham nor Diaz have any MLB service time, which means if they remain in camp past this date, and they get injured, they would have to start the season on the MLB disabled list, which would start their service clocks.

Kingham could make the team at some point this season, and should be the top depth option when he is ready this summer. Diaz could also make the team later this year, after he gets some more time against upper level pitching. Kingham projects to have the upside of a middle of the rotation starter who can throw 200 innings a year, while Diaz has the upside to be the Pirates’ starting catcher in the not too distant future.

The Pirates now have 47 active players in camp.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Kingham seems to have the velocity, control and arsenal to be a quality starter. I am not sure why his strikeout rate has been so low though. He will need to start generating more strikeouts soon.

He has good velocity. He throws on a downward plane and generates ground balls. He has two solid off-speed pitches. And he limits walks. If his K rate goes up, he could be much more than a “depth option” (whatever that means).


A little more seasoning and these guys will be salty pirates ready for the show!


I have been wowed by Dias in camp, he has effective AB’s an extremely high percentage of the time, and he has produced the results to make himself understand that he is on the right track.


I have, too, but with Tony Sanchez doing what he did in camp, there’s a decent chance Diaz gets a whole season in AAA (which might not be a terrible thing, really). If Sanchez is for real this year, we’ll have a really nice two starting catcher situation this year and next (which will keep both catchers fresh all season), and/or depth to trade from at a very difficult position to fill, which could bring back enormous value.

Lee Foo Young

“Kingham….should be the top depth option when he is ready this summer.”

If Richard pitches well, I would expect him to be our Top Depth Option, since he has Major League experience.


First depth option, or Top depth option?

I’d agree with you on the former, but hopefully not the latter.


What is a “depth option”?

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