#3: Brandon Waddell
Brandon Waddell’s name has been the most talked pitching prospect on this site. This is because he put up ridiculous numbers in April this year and got promoted to AA already. Rather than reiterate a lot of what has been already said, I will just share info that has already been written on this site:
” On the year Waddell at High-A Bradenton he possessed a 0.93 ERA. His strikeout to walk ratio was very impressive sitting at 26 strikeouts to two walks. The Pirates tend to move players quickly through High-A, so with that the Pirates decided he did as much has he could at the High-A level. Being Waddell pitched at a high-end college in Virginia and threw in a lot of post-season games, the Pirates definitely feel that he is ready for the next test at AA.”
“A quick scouting report on Waddell. His fastball is average, it sits around 90-92mph, but he possesses a deceptive arm angle with a plus slider as well. If he can add another tick to his fastball and learn to keep his slider hard and sharp down in the zone he could continue to develop into a top 25 prospect in the organization.”
“One pitch that needs a lot of work is his change-up. It shows signs of being a plus pitch at times, but he has never thrown it consistently enough to become comfortable with the pitch. This is a pitch the Pirates try to develop in all their pitchers in the Minor Leagues.”
“Obviously Waddell is proving that he can be an effective starter. So far this year he has done a great job of keeping hitters off-balance with his deceptive delivery and keeping the ball down in the zone. He has also shown more consistency in throwing his plus slider and has shown improvement in his change-up. It will be interesting to see if he can continue that against more advanced hitters.”
The quotes above are from an article on Sunday about his promotion to AA. When the year started many questioned if Waddell would be better suited for a bullpen role. Unlike Cody Dickson, Waddell has strong command of his pitches, which are all at least average. It will be interesting to see how he does at AA. If he can continue to show strong command and the ability to use all three of his pitches effectively, he projects to be middle of the rotation for the Pirates.
Next: The most electric left-handed Pirate Prospect