Pirates Sign Right-Handed Pitcher Ryan Velazquez as NDFA

According to the Williamsport Crosscutters Twitter, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 23-year-old right-handed pitcher Ryan Velazquez as a non-drafted free agent.

After the Pirates took 16 pitchers in the 20 round of the 2022 draft, they went after more pitching. Velazquez was born in Puerto Rico and attended Alabama State for the 2020-21 seasons and Washington this season. He also played for Williamsport in the MLB Draft League last year and the Morgantown Black Bears in the same league this year, two former affiliates of the Pirates in the old New York-Penn League.   Velazquez had a solid 2021 season, posting a 2.52 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 25 innings, though that came with 17 walks. He then walked 18 batters in 19.2 innings with Williamsport. This past season he had a 4.39 ERA in 41 innings with Washington. While his strikeout rate dropped by a lot (39 strikeouts), he walked 16 batters, showing a nice improvement in control. In Morgantown, he had a 2.70 ERA in ten innings, with 18 strikeouts and five walks.

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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Wilbur Miller

This guy looks pretty interchangeable with half their draft picks. Which is interesting because last year’s NDFA, Dombkowski, is doing better than nearly all their college pitcher draftees. Maybe they could find MiL pitching depth by signing NDFAs and use the draft to try to find prospects.


ho hum….hard to believe this even warranted an article…but, its the Pirates


another pitcher!! very exciting

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Angels 2021 draft 2.0


Almost but the Halos went 100 percent pitching.


This draft will give my wallet a break come December when Bowman Draft comes out. Only really need to worry about chasing TJ now.

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