Pirates Prospects Daily: Late Draft Pushes Thomas Harrington’s Debut Into 2023

The Pittsburgh Pirates went very pitcher heavy in the 2022 draft, despite their first pick being Termarr Johnson. Of the 19 players they signed, 15 were pitchers (16 if you count two-way player Jack Brannigan).

With the draft now in July, there have been more hitters than pitchers making their professional debut after signing. Not wanting to risk the young arms they just invested in, we don’t see many pitchers get ramped back up until the following season.

One arm out of that draft class who will draw a lot of attention is Thomas Harrington, the team’s second pick and 36th overall out of Campbell.

The righty went from being a walk-on to the highest drafted pitcher in the school’s history. He showed signs of his potential almost immediately, pitching five innings of one-run baseball, while striking out six in his college debut against Liberty.

A draft eligible sophomore, Harrington flew up the draft charts, mainly due to the potential to have four at least average pitches, with many praising his changeup as his best pitch. 

Despite Campbell having another first round pick on the team in Zach Neto, there wasn’t much video available for Harrington, so whenever he takes the mound this upcoming year will be the first we will get a really good look at him.

Being a highly drafted college pitcher, there’s a good chance that the Pirates send him straight to High-A to play for the Grasshoppers.

Being a draft eligible sophomore, he also comes with one year less experience than most college picks, and with Greensboro’s rotation already expected to be on the crowded side, starting in Bradenton may be the best way to start his career.

Harrington has the kind of repertoire that can really allow him to blow through the lower levels, especially due to the changeup. We saw the success some of the Bradenton pitchers had last year with the pitch, and Harrington is another that could benefit from his offspeed.

Either way, the Pirates hope that the 36th overall pick ends up becoming another rotation option in the wave of prospects that are currently in the lower levels. It’s a wave that is quickly filling up with options, especially when it comes to the rotation.

Highlight of the Day

Pirates Prospects Daily

By Tim Williams

**Our latest Roundtable looks at where the Pirates need to add to their pitching staff, following all of the additions we’ve seen in the last week.

**MLB Pipeline released their first mock draft for 2023, with the Pirates projected to take LSU outfielder Dylan Crews.

**Josh Palacios, taken in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft, had a big day on Wednesday. Yohan Ramirez mowed down two of his teammates. John Dreker has that and more in the latest Pirates winter league updates.

**Missed yesterday? Anthony looked at the 2022 season from right-handed pitcher Valentin Linarez, and how it has a familiar feel to what we saw from Luis Ortiz, prior to last season.

Song of the Day

Pirates Prospects Weekly

The Pirates have added Vince Velasquez to their starting group, and Jarlin Garcia and others to their bullpen. This week, our Roundtable looked at what else the Pirates need for their pitching staff.

Pirates Roundtable: Where Do the Pirates Need to Add to Their Pitching Staff?

Jeff Reed will have the latest Pirates discussion on Friday at noon.

Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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This guys name makes me think he was a member of Henry VIII’s court. Like Emerson Hancock was John’s younger brother who also signed the Declaration.


Hey Dreker, remember writing this?

Mola is the only player in the top 50 connected to the Pirates, so they will have plenty to spend besides him (likely over/near $5M besides him). However, 49 of the top 50 players are already connected to teams. The only one who isn’t is pitcher Jun-Seok Shim from Korea, who is ranked tenth on the list. The Pirates have had a strong presence in Asia recently with Po-Yu Chen receiving over $1M, along with Tsung-Che Cheng looking like a steal at $380,000 and Hung-Leng Chang signing this year for $500,000. I don’t know if that gives them any edge, but it does make him intriguing.”

Well well well…

Screenshot 2022-12-16 143235.jpg

Good find NMR!


Pipeline has them connected to one of their guys in the mid 20s as well, but I am all for building a pipeline to the bucs from their recent success in Asia


I need more on Harrington’s background. A walk on that goes high in the draft leaves a lot of questions for me. Did he play organized ball any where and if so how did he do? I am very curious about this players ability. Hard to believe that he could not get a partial scholarship at a college. Questions about his past accomplishments need to be uncovered. Anyone have anything?


It was the COVID year and he came from a small HS. Unusual times

Lots of players go from little interest to the big time – Nick G is an example


Great job keeping the daily topics fresh. It’s a long winter for Pirate writers.


My favorite Coldplay song is ‘Clocks’.

Tim Williams

I love that one. I’m spinning their Live From Buenos Aires album today.


Harrington did not start pitching full time until his Junior year in HS. His Senior year was lost to the pandemic, so he decided to walk on at Campbell University which is just a little South of Raliegh. With only one year of HS experience he earned a starting pitcher role as a Freshman, went 6-3, 3.45 ERA, 75 IP and was named Big South Conference Freshman of the year in 2021.

Instead of pitching during the Summer, he concentrated on building himself up so he could go deeper into ballgames. From 165 to 185-190 in 2022. 12-2, 2.53 ERA, 93 IP, 111K/18BB and a possible 1st Round Pitcher.

This is a kid who I doubt will have any problems starting the year at A+ Greensboro. He has the talent and an unbelievable work ethic. He had 4 pitches which included a 2 Seam FB, but has worked on perfecting a 4 Seamer that he can throw high in the zone. Excellent pick.


I am very intigued by this guy, solid #3 ceiling?


4 pitch mix, good control/command and hard worker. We can dream on a Kyle He drinks ceiling? Worst comes to worst, a good middle or late reliever?


Hendricks is a drinker? Another reason to dislike the Cubs.


No….just what I wrote Kyle ‘He Drinks Ceilings’. He is an Indian.


That’s why you make the heap big wampum, Lee!


And smoke peace pipe too much, lol.


We’ll be smoking a turd in purgatory for these comments, chief!


Nah….don’t believe in purgatory. If it ain’t mentioned in the Bible……


Wow, a Kyle He Drinks ceiling? (Just being a jerk haha, I know you meant Hendricks)


NP….gotta have fun with it. Of course, your comment is gonna look AWFUL silly after I correct it!


Wouldn’t be the first time I looked silly, nor will it be the last.


Actually, I left it the way it was. Like you, I have looked silly many a time!

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