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Crowe, Yean heading to Pirates in Bell deal

Two right-handers may brighten future for Pittsburgh rotation
Third-ranked Nationals prospect Wil Crowe made his MLB debut for Washington in 2020. (Ralph Thompson/Sacramento River Cats)
@brianjstultz
December 24, 2020

The Pittsburgh Pirates did a little late shopping on Christmas Eve and brought home a pair of talented pitching prospects. In sending All-Star first baseman Josh Bell to Washington, Pittsburgh acquired third-ranked Nationals prospect Wil Crowe and sixth-ranked Eddy Yean, according to an announcement by Pirates general manager Ben Cherington.

The Pittsburgh Pirates did a little late shopping on Christmas Eve and brought home a pair of talented pitching prospects.

In sending All-Star first baseman Josh Bell to Washington, Pittsburgh acquired third-ranked Nationals prospect Wil Crowe and sixth-ranked Eddy Yean, according to an announcement by Pirates general manager Ben Cherington.

"Wil Crowe commands a solid fastball and several good secondary pitches. He brings a strong reputation and work ethic, and has a chance to compete for Major League innings in 2021," Cherington said in a statement. "Eddy Yean is a Dominican League prospect who was one of the better young pitchers in the short season in 2019. He has a mid-90s fastball to go along with a promising slider and changeup. Yean will join a growing group of promising starting pitching prospects within our Minor League system."

Crowe, a 6-foot-2 right-hander, made his MLB debut on Aug. 22, 2020 against the Miami Marlins, allowing four runs (two unearned) on six hits and two walks while fanning two in 3 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old Tennessee native finished the season with an 11.88 ERA over 8 1/3 frames in three starts.

In 2019, the University of South Carolina product posted a 4.70 ERA in 149 1/3 innings across Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Fresno, striking out 130 batters in 26 starts. Crowe was named the Pitcher of the Year in the Carolina League in 2018 after dazzling with an 11-0 record, 2.69 ERA and 78 punchouts in 87 innings over 16 games (15 starts) for the Potomac Nationals.

A hard thrower with a four-seam fastball that reaches the mid-90s, Crowe also features two solid breaking pitches and a swing-and-miss changeup.

Yean, a 19-year-old righty from the Dominican Republic, debuted in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League in 2018 and held his own across two stateside levels in 2019. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder put up a 3.50 ERA in 46 1/3 innings in the Gulf Coast League and New York-Penn League while showing good command, striking out 43 batters to 17 walks and holding hitters to a .220 average.

His fastball has reached the upper 90s and sets up a slider that ranges from 84-to-86 mph. Still raw, Yean is expected to be a big league starter when he puts everything together.

Bell had eight home runs and a .305 on-base-percentage for Pittsburgh over 57 games in 2020, which followed a 37-homer, All-Star campaign in 2019 for the three-time MiLB.com Organization All-Star and 2014 Florida State League MVP.

Brian Stultz is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @brianjstultz.