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Pirates All 40: Can Colin Selby Continue His Rise?



Pittsburgh Pirates, Osvaldo Bido

This is one in a series of stories looking at the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 40-man roster members.

Before he made the Arizona Fall League roster during the 2022 off-season, virtually no one was talking about Colin Selby. If you look at Selby’s career numbers, you may wonder why he slipped through the cracks in terms of solid prospects.

At 25 years old, Selby was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2018 MLB draft 16th round out of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia.  Selby signed a $125,000 bonus on June 13th.

Instantly, Selby was thrust into the Appalachian League and pitched for the Bristol Pirates in 11 games (all started). Selby posted a 4.15 ERA  and allowed opponents to hit a .240 average. Surprisingly, Selby, as a righty, held left-handed hitters to a .573 OPS and a .182 average.

Fast forward to 2019, and Selby was promoted to Low-A Greensboro, where he surprisingly did much better in a hitter-friendly ballpark.

Selby posted a 2.97 ERA with 86 strikeouts, 27 walks, and eight home runs given up in 17 starts or 88 innings pitched. During his ’19 campaign, Selby held opponents to a .215/.280/.333 slash line with an OPS of .613.

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Thanks to the pandemic in 2020, older players like Selby would be hindered.

With the minor league shift, Greensboro became the Pirates High-A club, so Selby technically got a promotion despite staying on the same team in 2021.

It’s in the ’21 season when Selby was transitioned into a bullpen role, and you could tell that it was going to take some getting used to.

During the ’21 season, Selby posted an 8.53 ERA during the first couple of months. July-Sept, Selby had a much better go of things and eventually got his ERA down to 4.37 as the season ended.

Selby held opposing batters to an extremely low batting average during that three-month span. In July, Selby posted a .050, Aug .230, and Sept .150.

In his 59.2 innings pitched, or 31 appearances, Selby held opponents to a .183/.319/.310 slash line with an OPS of .629.

The former 16th-round pick would head into Double-A to begin the 2022 season.

Yet again, Selby would be used as a reliever through the first two months; Selby was lights out. Selby appeared in seven games in April and held opponents to a .115/.273/.192 slash line and had an ERA of 1.08.

In May, Selby appeared in five games, posted a 1.50 ERA, and held opponents to a .182/.250/.182 slash line. Unfortunately, Selby was shut down mid-way through May and missed all of June with an undisclosed injury.

When Selby returned, he was solid other than a few rough outings. The Virginia native was solid enough to earn a call up to Triple-A, where he pitched in three games before heading to the Arizona Fall League to make up for the missed time.

Selby performed rather well in the Arizona Fall League and posted a 2.00 ERA in nine appearances with nine strikeouts and four walks.

If Selby can stay healthy and perform the way he has been performing over his minor league career, the Pirates would be hard-pressed not to give the 25-year-old a look in the majors.

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