By Jason Shetler
Two months ago, I did a post about Austin Coley and how he could be the Pirates next impact pitching prospect in the system. Another pitcher who could follow suit is Coley’s West Virginia Power teammate Stephen Tarpley.
Tarpley was a third round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in the 2013 MLB Draft. The 22-year-old southpaw was traded to the Pirates last offseason along with pitcher Steven Brault for Travis Snider. Prior to the trade, Tarpley was rated the Orioles 14th best prospect according to MLB.com. He dealt with an arm issue before the year, and made his season debut in late May. Despite the missed time, Tarpley has put up impressive numbers for the Power, posting a 2.32 ERA along with a 1.17 WHIP and K/9 of 8.8 in 14 starts. His control has been excellent with a 2.1 BB/9 while he’s allowed just one home run to this point. Tarpley is already the Pirates best left-handed pitching prospect, and if can put up those numbers consistently moving forward, there’s very little doubt that he’ll be the Pirates top pitching prospect before he reaches the big leagues.