Pittsburgh Pirates: 2015 Draft Pick Review
Fifth Round Pick, Brandon Waddell, Left-Handed Pitcher
The winnings pitcher of the 2015 College World Series, found himself being one of the last Pittsburgh Pirates draftees to sign in 2015. However, that was because he was pitching in the NCAA playoffs. He joined the Short-Season team in Morgantown (NYPL) and started six games. In those six games he threw 20.1 innings and had an ERA on 5.75. Many connected Waddell’s struggles to the fact that he had not been used to pitching that deep into the summer.
In 2016 Waddell showed great improvements. He started at High-A Bradenton and pitched outstandingly. In his five starts at the High-A level, he went 4-0 with a 0.93 ERA in 29 innings pitched. He also struck out 26 batters while only walking two. The Pittsburgh Pirates organization did not wait around and moved him right up to Double-A Altoona. Waddell has been a little more challenged in Altoona. He has made ten starts there and has had mixed results. On the year at AA he owns a 4.88 ERA. One issue Waddell has been battling at AA is that he is walking more batters. The hitters are more disciplined at the AA level and because of this Waddell is not getting as many swings and misses on pitched out of the zone. In the 51.2 innings he has thrown he has struck out 38 while walking 23. Over his last few starts he has done better, and seems to be adjusting to AA level.
Sixth Round Pick, JT Brubaker, Right-Handed Pitcher
JT Brubaker was the Pittsburgh Pirates sixth round pick and was a head scratcher for some. This was because he pitched in a non-power five conference and he was not supposed to be drafted until day three of the draft (11-40 rounds).
One thing that led to the Pittsburgh Pirates drafting Brubaker in the 6th round was that he would be a quick and easy sign. With that Brubaker made 15 starts for Short-Season Morgantown (NYPL). In those 15 starts Brubaker compiled a six and four record with a 2.82 ERA.
He picked right up in 2016. He started this year at Low-A West Virginia and was very good. He started 12 games and went four and five in those starts. In his 62 innings he struck out 77 hitters while only walking 24. With that the Pirates moved him up to High-A Bradenton. Like Waddell, Brubaker has struggled some with the move up. He has made three starts for far and has no wins and two losses on his record. In those start he has thrown 15.1 innings he has a 6.46 ERA. The good news is that it is a very small sample size and will most likely make adjustments and improve.
Next: Tolman and McGarry