P2Daily: Pair Of Intriguing Arms Trying To Right Ship In Greensboro

Making the jump from Single-A to High-A can be a tricky one. Not only do you face far more advanced players, but in the Pirates system, you get the added challenge that is First National Bank Field.

Some pitchers put up great numbers while with Bradenton, only to get eaten up by the home confines in Greensboro. Two names that come to mind immediately on the current Grasshopper roster is Santiago Florez and Adrian Florencio.

Things haven’t gone right for Florez since making the move up to Greensboro, and you can’t even point to the usual home/away splits. It’s been the opposite for Florencio, who was the Pirates Minor League Pitcher of The Year in 2021 after striking out 117 in 95 innings with the Marauders. He owns a 6.41 ERA at home, and a much worse 10.93 on the road. If there is one encouraging thing for the righty, is that he striking out hitters at a good rate, with 41 in 33 2/3 innings this season.

Florez began the year with Bradenton in 2021, and put up video game numbers with the Marauders. In 52 2/3 innings, he struck out 71 batters and posted a 1.37 ERA.

It was a different story after getting promoted to Greensboro, with a 7.53 ERA at High-A and striking out less than a batter an inning.

A bad April got him off to a bad start, but Florez, who owns a mid-to-upper 90s fastball with a good breaking pitch, is starting to find success coming out of the bullpen.

The splits don’t lie on it.

As a starter this year, Florez has allowed 14 earned runs in 11 innings pitched. Coming out of the bullpen, he’s allowed just six in 14 2/3 innings and his walk rate is slightly down as well.

He pitched two clean innings on Tuesday, walking one and allowing a hit while striking out a pair. Florencio picked up his eighth loss of the season after allowing three runs in three innings. He allowed two home runs on the night.

It’s easy to forget that Florez is still just 22-years-old (and he’s already had his birthday this year), so there was still plenty of time for him to figure it out. It was always assumed he’d be a reliever long-term, so it’s encouraging to see him perform well in the role.

While it’s been quite the crash landing for Florencio after a year ago, there’s still four months left in the season to work things out.

In the upper levels we are starting to see why the ‘you can never have enough pitching’ saying is so overused. Injuries are piling up, and the Pirates may need to start reaching deep to fill out innings.

That’s not saying that either of these two are targets, they won’t be this year, but if the Pirates are eventually going to start competing it’s going to help to have some players like Florez and Florencio to click to add that much needed depth going forward.

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TNBucs

In terms of our need for pitching, we need to get a little lucky and find a guy like Skubal. What a great piece of scouting that was to get him in the 9th round.

His success has me more interested in following guys like Meis (10th round) and Sullivan (8th round) from last year’s draft. Obviously long shots, but to quote Angels in the Outfield, “it could happen”.

tedwins

If they knew how great, scouting, Skubal was how come they didnt take him in the 3rd round, i havent looked it up but were picks in rd 4,5,6,7,8 all better than him. Im just saying, its a crapshoot, nobody has figured it out, imho…

TNBucs

Of course it’s a crapshoot–I noted the luck component. But there are also calculations as to how long you can wait to draft a player. Maybe it was all luck or maybe they knew they were the only ones following him (one reason I’m attributing it to scouting is that he came from an off-the-radar college) and they could take a chance of waiting until the 9th round.

tedwins

I know mate, and sorry, i sometimes get a little push backy on posters stating how great every other team is on such, realize thats not u🙏

TNBucs

I think we had a really good draft last year 🙂

AdministrativeSky236

Even if Im not banking on either of these two guys, hoping for the best and they can figure it out to contribute in the future

tedwins

Exactly👍👍

JimEastTennessee

yep

redwards60

Just two of many Pirates pitching prospects who have been major disappointments this yeae… along with Thomas, Jones, Mlodowski, etc. For these two, I think the obvious question is…are they really prospects?

SBRO

Man, pitching is hard. Check the Top 100 prospects list any year going back at least 5 years and see where those dudes are now. Many wash out. A bunch who never made a list are finding success. The community was ready to write off McKenzie Gore and suddenly he’s good. Every struggling guy could be one new pitch, one adjustment away from success.

Most won’t, of course. But don’t give up on them.

NMR

Some sniping of FanGraphs lately for tagging so many scouting reports with “reliever risk” but man, it sure as hell seems like that’s a lot more realistic than grading every club with numerous big league starters up and down their systems.

That ain’t how baseball works!

tedwins

Its a an article about two high level A guys figuring it out, deep breath mate

tedwins

I’m still not worried about Florencio, cool name🤣, great size, and my irrational hope that he is just STILL dealing with the big jump in better quality league… I’m not worried as i dont think he is disappointing, to me he is a ‘hope’ guy, not expected🤷‍♂️

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