Daily Prospect Profile: Phillip Irwin

In 2009, the University of Mississippi had a rotation that was led by future 1st round draft pick, and top prospect, Drew Pomeranz.  Pomeranz would go on to be drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the first round of the 2010 draft, and was recently ranked as the 14th best prospect in the game by Baseball America.  The second and third best starters in the 2009 Mississippi rotation were Nathan Baker and Phillip Irwin.  Baker was selected by the Pirates in the 5th round that year, and Irwin was taken in the 21st round.

Irwin was easily the third best of the group in 2009.  The right hander threw 87-88 MPH, and didn’t really have standout stuff.  He had success in State College in 2009, with a 2.12 ERA in 29.2 innings, along with a 9.7 K/9 and a 1.8 BB/9 ratio.  In 2010 he moved up to West Virginia, where he continued his success, with a 3.35 ERA in 113 innings, along with an 8.8 K/9 and a 1.6 BB/9.

Irwin made a big change while with West Virginia, taking his fastball from the upper 80s, to the 92-93 MPH range.  That might have led to his success this year in high-A, where he had a 2.03 ERA in 53.1 innings, along with a 40:12 K/BB ratio.  Irwin was moved up to the AA level, where he has a 3.45 ERA in 28.2 innings an a 21:3 K/BB ratio after last night’s start.

The performance at the AA level is the most important for Irwin.  He came from the college ranks, and is currently 24 years old.  He should be at the AA level at this point, set to make the jump to AAA next year.  His stuff still isn’t overwhelming, although he pounds the strike zone, and does manage a lot of strikeouts with his mix of pitches.  He almost profiles as a Jeff Karstens type pitcher, in that he doesn’t have the best stuff, but he still manages to put up strong results.  If he can continue his success in the upper levels, he might have a shot at being a back of the rotation starter in the majors one day.

Share This Article

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Reverse Trade Values: Aramis Ramirez, Mark Reynolds

Next Story »

Cubs Are The Perfect Match For Pirates

Latest Analysis

  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Jose Tabata Changed His Swing After Talking With Marlon Byrd

    18 hours ago

    Yesterday, Jose Tabata put one on the roof of the batting cages over the left-field fence at Pirate City. Today, he added two more. By that pattern, ...

    Read More
  • Antonio Bastardo

    How Ray Searage is Trying to Fix Antonio Bastardo’s Control Issues

    21 hours ago

    Tony Watson has established himself as one of the best left-handed relievers in the game. Out of 142 qualified relievers last year, he ranked 21st in WAR, ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Q&A: Will PNC Park Burn Down When Neil Walker Eventually Leaves?

    23 hours ago

    Last week we started a Q&A article that will run every Friday. Right after the first article went up, we got a lot more questions. Normally I’ll ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow

    The Change That Will Help Tyler Glasnow Reach His Upside

    2 days ago

    The 2011 draft made headlines for the Pittsburgh Pirates for two main reasons. They selected Gerrit Cole first overall, and gave him a record-setting bonus of $8 ...

    Read More
  • Jameson Taillon

    The Next Steps in Jameson Taillon’s Tommy John Rehab Process

    3 days ago

    Jameson Taillon threw a bullpen session yesterday, which I outlined in the daily recap. Taillon is still in “rehab mode” as Clint Hurdle put it, which means ...

    Read More
  • Sean Rodriguez

    The Keys to Sean Rodriguez Being a Productive Hitter

    4 days ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates added Sean Rodriguez at a high cost this off-season. They traded promising pitching prospect Buddy Borden to the Rays, getting Rodriguez in return after ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More

    Advertisement