The Pirates have finally decided to bring a number of prospects up to their big league club, creating a buzz that has fans excited. The Pirates already selected the contract of right-handed reliever Yerry De Los Santos, and it has been reported that Roansy Contreras will start Tuesday’s game for the Pirates and outfielder Cal Mitchell will also be joining the team.
Of the three, Contreras is the only one who has had big league experience already. The 22-year-old tossed three scoreless innings in his Major League debut last season, and pitched three games out of the bullpen for the Bucs this season, posting a 3.52 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 7.2 innings.
This time through, things might be different for Contreras, who could finally be up for good. Depending on how he performs, it’s possible that Contreras could become a mainstay in the Pirates rotation for the rest of this season and beyond. It’s impossible to predict how he will pitch, but he’s arguably Pittsburgh’s top pitching prospect for a reason.
Contreras is just one callup that should bring excitement to fans as both De Los Santos and Mitchell have performed well this season and come with upside. The 24-year-old De Los Santos posted a 1.72 ERA with three saves and 20 strikeouts in 12 games with Indianapolis. For his career, he has a 2.67 ERA in just over 175 minor league innings.
The Pirates selected Mitchell in the second round of the 2017 MLB draft. He has really taken a step forward this season, slashing .307/.362/.500 with nine doubles, five homers, 26 RBIs and six steals in 34 games. He’s also only striking out 14.5% of his plate appearances.
While all three players offer intrigue and excitement, it doesn’t appear it’s going to stop there. It seems that the Pirates are finally taking a step into the future with these promotions and if that is the case, there are a number of other prospects who are on the cusp of joining their teammates in Pittsburgh.
After slow starts to their seasons, Oneil Cruz and Travis Swaggerty are both starting to heat up at the plate. Cruz got a taste of big league action at the end of last year and was impressive in three games. Swaggerty, a former first round pick, has battled injuries but seems to be getting healthier and stronger as the season goes on.
Mason Martin has put his power on display all season, and the Pirates have a hole at first base with Yoshi Tsutsugo’s struggles to begin the year. On the pitching side, Cody Bolton is finally healthy and is inching closer to reaching the big leagues.
After the Pirates have struggled much of the last three or four seasons now, after watching stopgap players try and bridge the gap to the future, it seems that bridge may finally be wrapping up and the Bucs are ready to give their young guys a shot.