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Double-A Pitching Prospects Turning Heads

Injuries have been plentiful this season in the major leagues and as a result, we will continue to see pitchers in Double and Triple-A get the call to replace these injured pitchers. In recent seasons we have seen MLB teams pull pitchers straight from Double-A to the Majors so we will dive into five pitching prospects who are currently at Double-A to watch right now. Let’s dive in!

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Double-A Pitching Prospects To Watch

Carson Palmquist, LHP COL

(9 GS, 45.2 IP, 66 K, 13.01 K/9, 2.76 ERA)

Drafted in the third round of the 2022 MLB Draft out of the University of Miami, Carson Palmquist has really taken a major step forward in 2024. The 6’3” left-hander has a funky delivery that has allowed the fastball to play up regardless of lower velocities. Movement with the slider and change-up outside the zone has racked up the strikeout this season in Double-A Hartford. Across nine starts with the Yard Goats Palmquist has struck out 66 batters over 45.2 innings, good for a 13.01 K/9 with a .212 average against, and is sporting a 2.76 ERA.

The walks have crept back up on Palmquist now up to a 4.14 BB/9. For dynasty managers, this is a solid back-of-the-rotation type of arm as I would expect the strikeout rate to dip a bit once he gets his call to the Major Leagues. Overall Palmquist has done a solid job keeping the ball on the ground and in the ballpark if this continues he will be a welcome sight for the Rockies sooner rather than later.

Yilber Diaz, RHP ARI

(9 GS, 47.1 IP, 70 K, 13.31 K/9, 3.23 ERA)

Quickly rising up my prospect rankings is Diamondbacks right-hander Yilber Diaz. The 23-year-old Diaz has been fantastic this season helping in large part to his three-plus offerings in a fastball, slider, and curveball. Across nine starts this season Diaz has struck out 70 batters over 47.1 innings pitched, good for a 13.31 K/9 with a .193 average against, and is currently sporting a 3.23 ERA. In the past, walks have been an issue for Diaz but in his season he has taken a large step forward walking 3.61 BB/9 which is down from 5.40 BB/9 in 2023 at Double-A.

Dynasty managers take note of Yilber Diaz as the stuff looks fantastic and the results in the Texas League are fantastic. Diaz leads the league in strikeouts by a wide margin and should be a prime candidate to head to Triple-A Reno in short order. Currently, Yilber Diaz is rostered in 8% of Fantrax leagues.

Jairo Iriarte, RHP CHW

(9 GP, 8 GS, 48.2 IP, 61 K, 11.28 K/9, 2.77 ERA)

One of the key pieces back in the Dylan Cease trade was Jairo Iriarte from the San Diego Padres. Now in the White Sox organization, the 6’2” right-hander has been electric carving up the Southern League. Currently second in strikeouts, Iriarte has dominated opposing batters with a 97 mph fastball, 82 mph slider, and a 92 mph change-up with a solid fade. In nine appearances (eight starts) Iriarte has 61 strikeouts over 48.2 innings pitched, good for an 11.28 K/9 with a .193 average against and a solid 2.77 ERA. Walks continue to be an issue for Iriarte as they are currently 4.44 BB/9.

This profile has the front of the rotation upside if Iriarte can cut the walks down further. For dynasty managers, this is a prospect that is widely rostered in dynasty formats and is currently a top 10 pitcher pitching prospect for me long term. With these results, a promotion to Triple-A Charlotte will not be long.

Ky Bush, LHP CHW

(8 GS, 45.2 IP, 50 K, 9.85 K/9, 1.97 ERA) 

Along with teammate Jairo Iriarte, Ky Bush has been dominating the Southern League in Double-A. Drafted in the second round of the 2021 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Angels out of St. Mary’s College the 6’6” lefty has been hit or miss since his debut. With a 94 mph four-seam fastball, 82 mph sweeping slider, 84 mph change-up with solid fade, and a 76 mph curveball Bush has kept opposing batters at bay. In eight starts with the Birmingham Barons Bush has 50 strikeouts over 45.2 innings pitched, good for a 9.85 K/9 with a .200 average against and a solid 1.97 ERA. The walks are down this season from a 4.75 in 2023 at Birmingham to a 3.74 BB/9.

Bush does a solid job of keeping the ball on the ground and giving his defenders a chance to make a play. For dynasty managers Bush is a solid back-of-the-rotation type of arm who could be a solid depth arm in deeper dynasty formats. With this success paired with nine starts in Birmingham after the trade, a bump to Triple-A Charlotte should be coming soon.

Trace Bright, RHP BAL

(9 GS, 40.2 IP, 47 K, 10.40 K/9, 3.10 ERA) 

For the second season in a row, Trace Bright is making waves as he ascends the Orioles organizational ladder. Drafted in the fifth round of the 2022 MLB Draft out of Auburn Bright stands 6’4” throwing from the right side. With a solid four-pitch mix in a 93 mph four-seam fastball with carry up in the zone, the curveball drops in at 76 mph with solid depth and plays well off the fastball thanks to tunneling. The change-up is solid at 88 mph but the slider sits at 86 mph with gyro motion so it can give batters fits. In nine starts with Bowie Bright has struck out 47 batters over 40.2 innings pitched, good for a 10.40 K/9 with a .273 average against, and currently is sporting a 3.10 ERA.

The walks are down this season from 4.24 BB/9 in Double-A Bowie in 2023 to 3.98 BB/9. Since being drafted the Orioles have done a great job getting the most out of Bright’s pitches and the results on the field continue to get better. For dynasty managers, Bright profiles as SP 4 or SP 5 in deep 30-team formats.

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