Pirates Prospects Daily: Pitching Prospects In Major League Camp

After looking yesterday at the hitting prospects that will be in Pittsburgh Pirates major league camp this year, here’s a look at the pitchers.

Mike Burrows

He might have the highest upside of any of the pitching prospects in the upper levels right now, but I really want to see a full season from him more than anything else. He really came along with his changeup last year, pushing him into being a legit starting pitcher prospect.

Yerry De Los Santos/Colin Holderman

Depending how you are filling out your bullpen going into camp, these two are either not in the current picture, or fighting it out for potentially the final spot.

Holderman might have been a little better last year, but YDLS could have more upside. They both have options, so both could be eased back in the Triple-A bullpen.

Jose Hernandez

As the Rule 5 pick, you’d hope to see him as much as you can safely put him out there. He has a fastball that can hit triple digits, and while the slider gets some chases, it doesn’t have the best form. Being a lefty, can he make it on just one pitch like that?

Luis Ortiz

How long can Ortiz get away with just two plus pitches? He’s one of the biggest risers in all of minor league baseball last year, so let’s see if he can climb any higher with more emphasis on the changeup.

Colin Selby

Selby might have the best slider in the system. He put up the numbers last year — both base and analytically — to back his climb. The bullpen is deeper, but he has some of the best stuff among all the options. 

Cody Bolton

Bolton made his return to the mound in 2022 and pitched well all things considered (also dealing with COVID). He was eased back into things last season, so 2023 is the year to try to stretch him out as a starter to see if that works.

Jared Jones

Jones could have one of those outings that are both eye dropping and hard to watch at the same time. He has an electric fastball, but also struggled with command. I don’t have a doubt he can come into a Spring Training game and blow a few people away, but also how does the secondary stuff and control look?

Carmen Mlodzinski/Kyle Nicolas

I group these together because they are in ways some of the biggest wildcards in the upper levels this season. They could shorten Nicolas up right now and he’d probably be a very good reliever. Mlodzinski could be a strong swingman in the mold of Wil Crowe.

Not sure the Pirates are ready to give up on them as starters though, or give up their depth in the rotation either. 

Quinn Priester

He’s probably the safest prospect in the system when it comes to knowing he’s going to be a major league starter, which is nice considering he was their first round pick in 2019. Just where he falls is the question. Putting more emphasis on the sinker could help, as well as maybe keeping him as close to Mitch Keller as possible.

Highlight of the Day

From earlier this week: Po-Yu Chen Has Some of the Best Spin in the Pirates System

Pirates Prospects Daily

By Tim Williams

**The Pirates signed two players to minor league deals ahead of Spring Training: LHP Caleb Smith and RHP Jake Stevenson.

**Wilbur Miller looked at the recent history of the Pirates drafting catching prospects.

**John Dreker reports that the Pirates hired veteran pitcher Alessandro Maestri as one of their DSL pitching coaches.

**FanGraphs revealed their updated top Pirates prospects list.

**The World Baseball Classic rosters are announced.

**Missed yesterday? Anthony looked at the hitters in big league camp this year.

Song of the Day

Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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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Any chance the Pirates begin the season with 6 starters where the 6th starter can also be used in long relief? I think we have done that in the past.


I’m sayin’!

The time for a 6-man rotation has come.


Even if we have a 5 man rotation, the chances are pretty good that one of our 5 starters will need to be taken out by the 3rd or 4th inning. Wouldn’t you prefer to see another starter come in as opposed to 6 different relievers? To me, 5 starters is not enough to have on a roster and 8 relievers is too many.


With Jones, if he is eye dropping then it would be hard to watch.

I just hope that some of these guys step up and that this year pitchers and hitters both will be held accountable. I’m sick of keeping guys around who aren’t playing major league quality ball.


Anyone notice by end of year that Roansy was nearly as much of a two-pitch guy as Luis?


Actually Luis used a 2 and 4 seamer, slide piece and threw like 6 change ups. Luis change is not bad, he just can’t control it or is afraid to throw it for a strike.


Looking at baseball savant, no 2 seamer is listed….I watch videos showing that he did….there is a Chanel named Dawg&Hen in YouTube where they show every pitch with the stats to go with it and they tag him throwing a 2 seamer as well…..


I saw Prince in concert, Milan 1987, I was stationed down in Sicily, anyway best concert I ever attended and I’ve seen a few!


Cool story! I saw Prince in 1988 in DC, probably the same sets! My cousin from Pitts. was on trumpet……stage name Atlanta Bliss!! Memories man……..


Sign of the times tour! Atlanta Bliss is your cuz, cool!


yer shittin me


19 year old Marine station in Sigonella Sicily and big Prince fan, took a military chopper to Naples (rough fly) and a train to Milan! Good times!


That’s insane!!


1 – Keller
2 – Contreras
3 – Hill
4 – Brubaker
5 – Velasquez

Oviedo to AAA, gets first dibs at call-up/injury replacement til June when Ortiz, Priester, Burrows start to come up.

BP is trickier, could play the option game and send YDLS/Holderman down to start the year, but I’d go with:

Bednar, Underwood, Crowe, Holderman, Hernandez, Garcia, De Los Santos, De Jong


If I was to bet I would go with those players, if I had my choice, Oviedo would be the 5th starter, Velazquez replaces DeJong as the swing man, Ramirez replaces DLS! Short leash on Underwood and Crowe.


I prefer Oviedo too but I’m guessing they promised VV first crack at the rotation.


The most important thing about our young pitching this year is that by the end of the year we still have six years of control. Reynolds situation should drive this home. If Reynolds wasn’t super 2 he’d be extended by now.


I doubt that. He’d still be wanting $20M per which the Pirates clearly don’t want to pay.


If he wasn’t Super two he’d have got league min last year. He’d have 5/10/15 coming to him …and no leverage. He’d take 5/60 w some options.


Which we shouldn’t pay for the whole contract but maybe should for the free agent years, and frankly, almost did offer that for the free agent years. Reynolds request isn’t how the world works for arb players.

He is signed for two seasons at $6.75 million then not signed for one more arb year. Aaron judge got $22 million last year. Soto $23 this year. I think $15 million for that season would be generous. $12 is more likely but I’ll give it to him.

That would make those three years $28.5 million. Add 3 free agent years at $20 million each and that’s $88.5 million. That’s close to what I believe the pirates offered and even if they were slightly below that he would have said no, so it is moot.

He clearly thinks he should get $20 mill for each of 6-8 seasons as if arbitration didn’t exist. Well it does. No player gets to control these seasons and the best don’t get $20 million often and he isn’t the best.

I’m tired of the sympathetic press acting like Reynolds contract suggestion of $120-$150 million is reasonable. $120 over 8 years maybe. $140 over 9 maybe. $160 over ten maybe.

It’s ridiculous. Maybe if he was actually a CF.


He gets 4 arbitration years not 3 years. So
2022 – 6.75
2023 – 6.75
2024 – approx 14-18
2025 – approx 22-25

Without super 2 he gets three years at 5/10/15 starting in 2023


Agree with your arguments but I think it’s $6.75 for ’23 plus 2 years of Arb. That’d bring his 3 years of control to about ~$35 million. I’d like to see (and think it’s fair for both sides) 5/$80 plus a mutual option for $20 to bring it to 6/$100.




Start with the Rotation – mine would be Hill, Keller, Brubaker, Contreras, and Oviedo. When we signed VV did we promise he would be a SP? That would have an impact on Johan Oviedo. If so, VV starts and Oviedo starts at AAA where the Rotation would be Oviedo, Burrows, Priester, Bolton, and Ortiz. Not much of a dropoff from MLB to AAA!

In the BP you have Rule 5 Hernandez, Bednar, Underwood, Stephenson, YDLS, Crowe, Holderman, Ramirez. Considerations – YDLS, Ramirez, and Holderman have Options remaining. De Jong?


I’m expecting Pirates to break camp using a 6-man rotation, or at the least piggybacking VV and Oviedo. There will be lots of movement from Indy to Pittsburgh in the bullpen. Lots of very comparable arms for middle relief.


Having a good AAA staff is a real plus. Someone will get hurt.


I think DeJong is a lock, so either YDLS, Holderman or Ramirez are AAA bound.


DeJong was an extremely lucky pitcher last year, he’s still the journeyman he has been. I will be floored if he comes close to last years number


He’s about as vanilla as they come, only problem is that was better than most last year on a relative basis. Let’s hope that the BP depth will raise the bar this year, and a couple guys step up and establish themselves as legitimate relievers.


Ramirez might be the obvious choice, but since he is rule 5 I thought that meant he had to begin in the majors.


He has to be offered back to the club he was drafted from. And I thought the only Rule V guy we got was Hernandez? I don’t remember us drafting two?


My bad. Thanks.


How about Yarlin Garcia in the BP?

Wilbur Miller

I’m very skeptical about this guy. His success is entirely the product of extremely low BABIPs. I suppose he could be a rare P who can sustain that. If banning shifts has the impact some folks think it will, though, it could hurt him a lot.
The R5 guy seems much more interesting.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wilbur Miller

Fair enough, but he Garcia’s had a low BABIP his whole career. He seems to have modest ability to strike batters out and good ability to throw strikes. In good years he gives up HR at low rates; in bad years he gives up HR at high rates. SF may have concluded that he was done, but that doesn’t seem to show up in velocity. Maybe the high FB and HR/FB rates are signals.IDK.

Wilbur Miller

Or maybe his terrible last 4 months of 2022 was a signal.


My bad on Garcia. The Pirates need to find a LHRP and Garcia needs to get the opportunity. We have to wait to see how a few guys come back from injury and if they are ready, we may have to play the Options route.

Wilbur Miller

Oh, they definitely need to sift through what they’ve got on hand, including Garcia. As long as they’re willing to cut bait on guys who aren’t performing. “Churn” is seldom the wrong mode for bullpens.

The intriguing lefty for me is Perdomo. Also Samaniego and Dombkowski from among the prospects.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wilbur Miller

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