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Struggling to find the strike zone, rapidly losing confidence and earning runs. In the 2018 season, Pittsburgh Pirates right-handed pitcher Tyler Glasnow was a victim of these lackluster descriptions. Not having his “A-Game”, Glasnow was hopeful for something to turn the tides. Unable to find his true self in that season with the Pirates, Glasnow needed a change, fast.

The trade deadline was approaching and rumors were swirling that the Pittsburgh Pirates were a favorite to land then, current  Tampa Bay Rays RHP Chris Archer.

Quietly sitting in his locker, Glasnow wondered if he could be involved in this blockbuster trade.

As time progressed, the trade deadline was inching closer. Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager, Neal Huntington, crunching time to complete a deal.

A few moments before the deadline ended, the news had been broken. All eyes were glued in on the tv, specifically MLB Network. “Chris Archer has been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates”, the screen read. Shortly after the news had hit, questions were asked and worry rose.

Who would be traded to Tampa?

Glasnow started scanning numbers and the possible candidates to be shipped to Tampa Bay in his head. He quickly made the realization that he could very well be involved in the trade. While putting pieces of the puzzle together, he realized this was more than just a thought. Being traded was a reality. As time progressed, more details had been released and in fact, Tyler Glasnow was involved in the trade along with outfielder Austin Meadows and PTBNL (Shane Baz).

When all the rumors had been shattered and the actuality had been released, the Pirates clubhouse went silent. Players and coaches were unsure of the next step.

Deep down inside, Glasnow thought the trade could be his big break. A fresh start, a new city, a new team, a new division. All signs pointed in the right direction for Glasnow. But on the outside, a slim sense of nervousness entered the clubhouse.

After spending three years in Pittsburgh, the 6-foot-8 right-hander’s time with the team has come to a close. Joining an uprising Tampa Bay Rays team with an open and optimistic mindset, this could be Tyler Glasnow’s calling.

But little did they know, Tampa Bay got way more than what they traded for.

Tampa Bay took a risk and eventually hit the jackpot on this 3-for-1 trade. Three years removed from the completion of the deal, Tampa acquired Austin Meadows, a now starting outfielder and top-of-the-order bat, Shane Baz, a young right-handed pitching prospect and pitching phenom, Glasnow.

For the former Pirate Glasnow, it took some time to reach his full potential and get comfortable in Tampa Bay. After tossing a poor 1-5 record with a 4.20 ERA in just 55.2 Innings. Unsatisfied with his performance, Glasnow had to go back to the drawing board for the upcoming season. He took some time off, relieved his stress and was eager to come back stronger.

The 2019 season, his first full-year in Tampa Bay, was the real Tyler Glasnow. He rapidly began to show the baseball universe what kind of pitcher he really is. Once the season got rolling, Glasnow hit his full-stride. Striking out hitters left and right and utilizing his deadly curveball were what pushed Glasnow in a full set of steam.

Attacking hitters and pounding the zone with his 6-foot-8 prowess is what gives Glasnow that ‘X-factor’. When digging deeper under the surface, there is one characteristic that sets Glasnow apart for the rest: his one-of-a-kind arm slot.

Having an over-the-head release point along with a 6-foot-8 frame is rarely seen from a pitching standpoint. At release point, Glasnow’s arm is almost nine feet in height, which is deceiving towards hitters. This uncommon trait of Glasnow will certainly set him up for big success in future seasons.

Only improving each and every year, Tyler Glasnow is already considered a legit threat in the American League Cy Young race. While equipped with a triple digit heater and a detrimental off speed pitch, the right-hander will be a threat towards all of baseball in upcoming seasons.

Photo: Bob Levey / Getty Images