For Pittsburgh Pirates 2022 seventh round pick, J.P. Massey the minor leagues have been a blessing. After four pretty turbulent college years, the hard-throwing righty has been a pleasant surprise for Single-A Bradenton this season.


The former Minnesota Golden Gophers star has started ten games with a 2-3 record, but a very solid 2.84 ERA. Over his first 44 innings pitched, Massey has accumulated 29 strikeouts and a very impressive 1.29 WHIP. In all, it’s the consistency that he’s been striving for that is quickly becoming a staple of who he is as a pitcher.



That consistency helped earn Massey the Florida State League Pitcher of the Month for May, as he allowed just two earned runs across 25 innings, with a paltry (0.72) ERA. For Massey it’s all about that word consistency, and he knows with it the sky is the limit for him as a pitcher, eventual starter for the Pirates.


“I’ve had my ups and downs throughout my career, especially leading up to the Draft,” Massey told “So just to start finding some consistency and have a place where I can consistently work and get better is amazing.”


Winning that award was big for Massey after he struggled mightily in April. In just over two months, the former Big Ten hurler has shown more promise than he did in college where he sported a 3-14 record with a 6.70 ERA. Despite his struggles, the Pirates saw something they liked, and now it looks as if they may have been onto something.





 What Led To College Struggles?


For Massey, the Chicago, Illinois native, talent and toughness has never been in question. Despite feeling untouchable when he arrived in college, that changed pretty quickly. During his four years in the “Twin Cities,” things couldn’t have gone worse, as Massey could never find what he needed to have any continued success.


 “Going into college, just being young and feeling invincible, I was in a great spot mentally,” Massey said. “As time went on, dealing with Draft projections, COVID, whatever it may be, it was a lot more difficult. Life wasn’t the same.”


Those circumstances could affect anyone, and Massey was no different. The bright side of it is Massey was able to talk to someone outside of those close to him.


Massey Meets Mental Coach


In an effort to alleviate some of the mental fatigue that had hindered Massey, he began meeting with a mental coach in Arizona upon a family referral. That was huge for him and to this day it’s paying dividends.


“He’s been more than a mental coach for me at this point,” Massey said. “He’s one of my best friends that I go and talk to about anything. … It’s a lot more than talking through your thoughts and feelings. It’s truly trying to evaluate it and trying to figure out what you need to do to put yourself in a position of success.”



That is exactly what’s beginning to happen for Massey after those four up-and-down years at Minnesota where he just couldn’t seem to string together anything that resembled sustained consistency.







Massey Has Some Good Pitches



Having spent the offseason working with pitching coach Marvin Freeman, a former MLB hurler who made 221 appearances in ten major league seasons, Massey is adding more to his repertoire.



Known for his four-seam fastball that has reached 97-98 over his career, now he’s working to add some more movement to off-speed stuff which consists of a curveball and change-up. He also has a nice two-seamer that he’s been using more and more at Bradenton.


If all goes as planned the Pirates hope to have him be a part of their pitching rotation by 2025.

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