The biggest impression I got from spending five days at Pirate City was the remarkable number of pitchers the farm system has who are throwing in the mid-90s or better. I don’t know how many, if any, of these guys are going to turn into anything; nearly all of them have various issues, generally either command/control or secondary stuff, or both. Some are obviously good prospects, like Braeden Ogle (pictured), who was throwing 94-96, and Taylor Hearn, who was sitting around 96-97, which he seemingly reaches with little effort. (Both, however, struggled with the strike zone on the day I saw them.) Others are closer to lottery tickets, like recent free agent signee Holden Helmink, and 2015 Dominican signee Joel Cesar Toribio, both of whom were sitting around 95.
Maybe the biggest eye-opener was Tommy John survivor Angel Sanchez, who was throwing 96-97 with a low-90s cutter. That’s harder than he threw prior to the surgery. He’s been doing it consistently in camp, although only in one- or two-inning stints so far. Of course, that’s enough for him to be a potential bullpen option.