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Pittsburgh Pirates: Down on the Farm, Spotlight-Travis MacGregor

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Pirates pitching prospect Travis MacGregor looks to rebound from Tommy John surgery and take a major step forward this season.

Travis MacGregor, the second round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2016 is looking forward to getting back to work in 2020. MacGregor, the Pirates number 16 ranked prospect, had Tommy John surgery in September of 2018 and missed all of the 2019 season.

The 6’3 and 180 pound righty, out of Tarpon Springs, Florida, comes into the 2020 season with a great deal of buzz surrounding him. After a dismal performance in 2017 that saw MacGregor finish with an earned run average north of 8.00, the righty took a major step forward with West Virginia in 2018.

Prior to being shut down, MacGregor started 15 games, pitching 63 23 innings, with an earned run average of 3.25. In addition, he struck out 74 batters while limiting opposing batters to 21 walks and 58 hits in 2018. However, after damaging his UCL, he was shut down in August of 2018 with forearm soreness and had surgery in September.

MacGregor, the 68th overall selection in 2016, possesses good raw stuff. He has a fastball that currently sits at 94-95 miles per hour and maxes out around 97. In addition his fastball has good arm side movement to it, allowing him to use it as an out-pitch.

The youngster not only has a very good fastball, MacGregor has a curveball and changeup that both are also above average. However, the 22-year-old needs to work on throwing it with greater consistency to have improved results. MacGregor projects as a prospect who has a ceiling of a mid-rotation starter.

Prior to Tommy John surgery, MacGregor was expected to start 2019 in High-A Bradenton. However, it is now likely that he begins 2020 in Greensboro to work on mechanics and to get re-acclimated with baseball activities after a year layoff. However, if things go as expected, the righty will likely be promoted fairly early in the season. His current estimated arrival time in the majors is late 2022.

Given his make-up and raw abilities, MacGregor will be a prospect to keep an eye on this upcoming minor league season. If he can comeback without any setbacks, his progression could be amongst the biggest of all Pirates prospects.