In 2024, a youthful Pirate pitcher makes an impressive Grapefruit League debut.

One of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ underrated pitching prospect made a promising debut on Monday.

Pitching depth is the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system’s strongest suit. Impressive names like Paul Skenes, Jared Jones, Anthony Solometo, Bubba Chandler, and Thomas Harrington are on their non-roster invitee list for Spring Training. However, Justin Meis, a minor league pitching prospect that the Pirates invited to camp, made his Spring debut during the team’s defeat on Monday afternoon. Meis was selected by the Pirates in the tenth round of the 2021 draft, and he had a good first preseason game.

Meis gave up just one hit in one inning of relief work. Still, his four-seam fastball had an average velocity of about 97 mph. Meis was throwing between 94 and 95 mph previous season, so this significant increase in fastball velocity is quite encouraging. Since Meis was mostly utilized as a hybrid starter/long reliever, his shorter appearances may have allowed him to reach his pitch count ceiling more frequently, which could account for the velocity increase.

Meis threw the fifth-hardest pitch in the game on Monday, reaching a maximum velocity of 97.6 mph. His fastball featured a break of nine inches and a dip of almost 15.7 inches. Yerry Rodriguez, Huscar Brazoban, and Jackson Kowar were MLB pitchers with a similar four-seam fastball velocity and break. While Shane Bieber moved less quickly than Meis, he too had a similar gait.


Meis’ slider has always appeared to be a plus pitch, and in his debut, it averaged 87 mph with a 40-inch vertical drop. For another MLB comparison, Jordan Romano, Marcus Stroman, and Brusdar Graterol also sat with their sliders at about 86–88 MPH, 40 inches of vertical break, and 4-5 inches of horizontal break.

Meis tossed 34.2 innings in 15 appearances during the second half of the previous season, including four starts. Meis had a difficult first half of the season, but he finished with a 2.08 ERA, 3.59 FIP, and 1.04 WHIP, setting a record for excellence.

Meis had an incredible 0.52 HR/9 rate and an above-average strikeout percentage of 28.1%. He did have some difficulty walking, with a walk rate of 13.7%. Meis’.195 batting average on balls in play contributed to some of his success, but it doesn’t imply he can’t be good in the future. Furthermore, the sample size consisted of fewer than 50 innings pitched.

Meis seems like a pitching prospect worth keeping an eye on in 2024. He’ll most likely

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