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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Pirates Select Hunter Barco with the 44th Overall Pick

With the 44th overall pick in the 2022 MLB draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected left-handed pitcher Hunter Barco from the University of Florida. He had Tommy John surgery recently and won’t return until next year.

Barco was highly rated coming out of high school. This year MLB Pipeline ranked him 75th and Baseball America had him 69th, though no doubt that recent Tommy John surgery affected his rankings. BA has him with a 60 grade for control, 55 grades for his changeup and slider and 50 grades for his fastball. Those are the same grades they had for Thomas Harrington for those pitches/control, who the Pirates selected 36th overall. Unlikely Harrington, the southpaw Barco doesn’t have a fourth pitch.

He throws his fastball in the 90-92 MPH range, getting up to 95 MPH at times, and he commands the ball well. BA notes that his slider is difficult for right and left-handed hitters due to the angle he throws and the sweeping motion. His changeup is mid-80s. BA calls him a likely back of the rotation starter, as long as his recovery goes well. Pipeline gives him the ceiling of a 3/4 starter, noting that his funky delivery (see video below) makes it hard for him to command his pitches at times because it’s not an easily repeatable delivery.

Barco had a nice freshman season during the shortened 2020 season, posting a 1.40 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 19.1 innings. His sophomore year saw a bit of a slump, as he posted a 4.01 ERA in 83 innings, with a .239 BAA and a 94:26 SO/BB ratio. This year he had 2.50 ERA, 69 strikeouts and .187 BAA in 50.1 innings before getting hurt. We aren’t going to see him pitch until about the middle of next year. Barco is 6’4″, 210 pounds and he turns 22 in the middle of December.

Here’s video of a strong performance from earlier this year.

Here’s the player page for Barco

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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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A lefty with 1st round talent and likelihood of remaining a SP. I’d call this a winning pick!


Like the picks so far. A little underwhelmed by Herrington but hope they are saving $$$s there as well as with Barco. Wouldn’t mind dipping further into LHP market and hopefully save some more with Dombrowski or Savino with next pick. Not sure how much they would need to save to move back up and try to and get Tristan Smith out of Clemson commitment.


From the chat at Fangraphs:

hmm11:25pirates took barco with prielipp available. you have the latter two ticks higher. is barco within the margin of error of prielipp, or is that a miss on their part?

Eric A Longenhagen11:25Nah, I think Barco has a better shot to start

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Well then. I like the sounds of that.

All in all, I’m happy with the draft so far just cause they went upside and took Termarr


Another pitcher who throws strikes and knows how to pitch. Maybe this really is the new market efficiency.

Also guessing that Temarr is full slot and these two college pitchers were under slot. Porter, Ferris and Prieolopp are clearly over slot. Porter probably wanting top ten $$ and may just go to college.

Disappointing that Cubs got Ferris but they saved a bundle with their first round reach.(That was borderline Daniel Moskos stuff.)

Wilbur Miller

I’m just trying to imagine what “borderline Daniel Moskos” might be.


Seems like he had all of the hype coming out of HS and had a little bit of a down year, they must be banking on being able to find that success again


I’m guessing we didn’t save any money off the first pick?

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I did watch his game this year when he made LSU look foolish, and they have a pretty stout offensive lineup. So, there’s intrigue as a big school lefty.


Read a profile on him saying he may of been the first pitcher picked if not for the TJS.


he must be cheaper than prielipp because it doesn’t make sense to draft barco over him


This is the only thing that makes sense to me


Meh, we could have done better.


Not if they don’t have the money to do so,if they didn’t save anything from the first pick they are tight


Sounds OK, hope they save some money on this pick.


sounds like if healthy he would have gone higher.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I feel like that’s the story of the 2022 arms in this draft. Soooo many guys got hurt


Lesko would have been a top 3 pick if he were healthy. I think it’s safe to say Barco would have been first round if he were healthy.

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