One of the weakest areas of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league system was the quality of left-handed pitching prospects. Hopefully, that is changing.
The Pittsburgh Pirates do not have a lot of upside in the left-handed pitching department. However, what the team has now in terms of left-handed pitching prospects compared to previously is a big improvement. Especially considering at one point just a few years ago the Pittsburgh Pirates did not have a single left-handed pitcher on their top prospect lists.
This started under former General Manager Neal Huntington. Huntington seemed to avoid taking left-handed pitchers in the Amateur Draft, especially early in the drafts. One would have to go back to 2012 when he selected prep lefty Blake Taylor in the second round, the highest pick he ever spent on a lefty pitcher.
This was a pretty common theme for Huntington. During his final three years as GM, he only selected 3 left-handed pitchers with picks inside the Top 10 rounds. The two selected were Blake Weiman (2017, 8th Round) and Zach Spears (2018, 8th Round). Neither Weiman nor Spears is with the Pittsburgh Pirates Organization.
So when Ben Cherington took over it was easy to see why he wanted to add left-handed pitching. Since he has taken over he has acquired a few notable lefty pitching prospects. Let’s take a look at who are the top left-handed pitching prospects for the Pittsburgh Pirates: