STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Dario Agrazal has been thrust into the Pirates' rotation much sooner than anyone could have anticipated.
With what he's shown so far, he seems to be more capable than many might have thought. Let's not forget that you wouldn't have found Agrazal on any preseason top-30 prospects list, and you won't find him on any midseason update either.
In fact, the 24-year-old righty resided so deeply under the radar that the club was able to pass him through waivers in January of this year without a single team claiming him. Agrazal responded to the slight by continuing to tread water in the minors, with a combined 4.05 ERA in 14 starts between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis. The big-league club likely put enough stock in his other peripherals -- namely, an increased ability to strike out hitters this season to the tune of 7.0 K/9, up from 5.4 the previous season -- to have confidence in bringing him to its ravaged rotation.
After another gem Sunday, Agrazal has proven to be able to get MLB hitters out on a consistent enough basis to serve as rotation depth at the very least, and perhaps a back-end starter at best.
The question now shifts to one that is more difficult to quantify. Does Agrazal have the staying power to build on this early success?