INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – For right handed pitcher John O’Reilly, the 2022 season was a bit of a roller coaster ride.
Overall, O’Reilly posted an ERA just south of six, and allowed 70 hits and 61.2 innings of relief.
However, the 26-year-old O’Reilly hit his groove in August. In eight appearances, spanning 13.2 innings, O’Reilly allowed just seven hits and one run. With this, he was named Indianapolis player of the month.
“It was really cool [to be August player of the month],” O’Reilly said at the time. “It’s been an up-and-down year for me, like a lot of guys here. Having a really good month where I could just do my thing and have a lot of success was fun.”
As for the success, O’Reilly started hitting his groove later in the season. He’s not a high strike out pitcher by any means, but he struck out seven batters in each of the last three months of the year, that was attributed to 21 of his 29 punch outs for the entire year.
“I think I was able to get ahead more often,” O’Reilly said. “When I got ahead in the count, I just attacked guys. I think once I was able to find my confidence and establish my fastball and I was able to excel.”
In the first two months of the season, O’Reilly only saw 10 games of action. From June through September, he appeared in no fewer than seven games in a month. Even with the workload, O’Reilly was still feeling strong toward the wrap of the campaign.
While most of his success was due to work on the mound, O’Reilly also featured a noticeable mustache this season. While he admits it was to lighten the mood, he also was not willing to mess with a good streak.
“I brought it early in the season, and I liked it because I think it kept me loose,” O’Reilly said. “It kept some of the guys around me loose. [When I shaved it midway through the season] I felt like it was kind of time to lock in. Once I started having success with it again, I just kept it all year.”
THIS WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS
Ryan has been following Indianapolis baseball for most of his life, and the Pirates since they became the affiliate in 2005. He began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2013, in a stint that ran through 2016 (with no service time manipulation played in). Ryan rejoined the team in 2022, covering Indianapolis once again. He has covered the Pirates in four different big league stadiums. Ryan was also fortunate enough to cover the 2015 Futures Game in Cincinnati.