A trio of Pirates pitching prospects took center stage on the second day of the Minor League season as Dario Agrazal, Travis MacGregor and Nick Kingham combined for 24 strikeouts while allowing one run over 16 1/3 innings.• Pirates' top prospect performancesAgrazal's performance, in just his second career start for
A trio of Pirates pitching prospects took center stage on the second day of the Minor League season as Dario Agrazal, Travis MacGregor and Nick Kingham combined for 24 strikeouts while allowing one run over 16 1/3 innings.
• Pirates' top prospect performances
Agrazal's performance, in just his second career start for Double-A Altoona nonetheless, was arguably the best of the group, as Pittsburgh's No. 30 prospect kept Akron out of the hit column for six innings en route to facing three batters over the minimum. Throwing 41 of his 68 pitches for strikes, the 23-year-old right-hander posted more walks (three) than strikeouts (two), but benefited from eight groundouts. The Curve's bullpen would ultimately squander a six-run lead, leaving Agrazal with a no-decision in his season debut.
MacGregor, meanwhile, kicked off his first full-season start by recording 12 of his 16 outs via a strikeout in Class A West Virginia's 4-2 loss against Greenville. Ranked No. 25 on Pittsburgh's Top 30, MacGregor, Pittsburgh's second-round pick in 2016, allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and on walk in 5 1/3 innings. The 12 strikeouts marked a new career high for the 20-year-old right-hander, and he threw 64 of his 87 pitches for strikes in the outing.
Kingham also pitched well in his season debut for Triple-A Indianapolis, only to see his team's bullpen surrender an early lead -- and with it his chances of an Opening Day win. The Pirates' No. 13 prospect matched his career high with 10 strikeouts and didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning, ultimately completing five innings of one-hit ball in the start, the 41st of his career at the Triple-A level.
Pirates hurlers will look to add to their impressive start to season on Saturday when No. 28 prospect Brandon Waddell and Tyler Eppler make their respective season debuts for Altoona and Indianapolis.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.