Pittsburgh Pirates: MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects for 2017

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates Mitch Keller next top prospect
Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /

# 48 Mitch Keller, Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Mitch Keller was not ranked at this time last year on the preseason top 100 list.  However, after posting an impressive first half, Keller was rated number 72 overall on the midseason update.  Keller continued to dominate in the second half of the 2016 season, and earned himself a promotion to High-A for their playoff run.  During the playoffs, there are more scouts and media in attendance than usual.  Keller continued his dominance, and because of that, has really been put on the national prospect map. Keller was upgraded to number 48 overall for this year’s list.

2016

The 2014 second round pick showed just about the best command out of any minor league pitcher last year.  Keller struck out 147 hitters while only walking 24, giving him a 22 percent strikeout to walk percentage.  Keller finished up his dominant season by throwing eight shutout innings for High-A Bradenton during their Championship series.  This was great to see, as Keller continued his success against more advanced hitters, including one of the top teams at the level.  The opposing team was the Yankees High-A affiliate who featured number 47 overall prospect Jorge Mateo and number 3 overall prospect Gleyber Torres.

2017

Keller will start at High-A Bradenton this season.  The Pittsburgh Pirates typically move their high-end prospects quickly through High-A.  So it is very likely Keller will spend most of his season at Double-A this year.  If he continues his dominance, Keller very well could be in a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform by summer of 2018.  Looks like the Bucs are developing another high-end starting pitching prospect, something that has become a trend.