This is the first in a series of features that looks at every member of the Pittsburgh Pirates 40-man roster leading up to Opening Day. Check back each day as Pirates Breakdown looks at a new player every day.
Up first is a bit of a surprise member of the 40-man in Dario Agrazal.
Agrazal was added to the 40-man roster in November to prevent him from being selected in the Rule 5 Draft.
While a bit of a surprise to some, Agrazal has some talent and could be on the radar in the next couple of seasons.
What should we expect though from Agrazal in 2018?
The Bucs signed Agrazal as an international free agent out of Panama prior to the 2013 season.
His fastball sits in the low 90’s but has also incorporated a slider and sinker since turning pro.
Injuries have played a role in the progression of Agrazal as he only made one start after his promotion to Altoona with a pectoral strain and sat out the rest of the season.
Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington told MLB.com’s Adam Berry in November:
“He was on track to be a no-doubt protect guy until he got injured,” Huntington said. “He came back in the instructional league and showed us that he was back. He gave us confidence that if we didn’t protect him, we would lose him, and if we did protect him, he would be able to take the next steps in his career.”
The 22-year old Agrazal posted a 2.99 ERA and a 65/12 K/BB ration in 84.1 innings split between High A and Double-A last season.
He hasn’t shown much strike out potential with a 5.6 K/9 in his pro career.
But he does throw strikes, walking just 1.3 BB/9 and has shown the ability to keep the ball in the ballpark and keep it on the ground.
To be more specific, Agrazal walked only 12 batters in 84.1 innings last season.
That performance earned him some notoriety as a 2017 Florida State League All-Star.
Agrazal won’t be on anyone’s radar in the near future in terms of cracking the MLB roster.
But with a sub 3.00 ERA last season, he should get a full season under his belt in Double-A.
Another good season there and we could start talking about a jump to the big leagues around 2020.