Pittsburgh Pirates: More on Newly Acquired Pat Light
News: Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired a young, power arm from the Minnesota Twins. Here is more on the newest Pirate reliever.
On Thursday afternoon, the Bucs acquired Pat Light, a right handed reliever from the Minnesota Twins. In exchange for Light, the Pirates will send the Twins a player to be named later or cash. However, as MLBTR contributor Steven Adams notes, the Minnesota Twins did not mention a Player to Be Named Later in their press release. So as of now, it is looking like this could be a straight cash deal.
As noted yesterday on Rum Bunter, Pat Light’s short MLB career has not started off on the right note. So far he has 162/3 innings between the Twins and Boston Red Sox. In those innings, he has allowed 22 hits, walked 16 batters, and struck out 16 batters. He owns an 11.34 ERA, with 7.41 FIP, and a 5.79 xFIP.
Pat Light, was a first round pick (number 37 overall) by the Boston Red Sox in 2012. He attended Monmouth University, where he was used as a starter. Also, Light set a Monmouth record his senior year, as he struck out 102 batters. He was showing natural power stuff. Light would remain a starter, as he was used as one until the 2015 season, when finally he was transitioned into the bullpen.
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Red Sox Prospect
Meanwhile, Light ranked as the Red Sox 18th best prospect at the end of the 2015 season (MLB Pipeline). He split time between the Red Sox’s Double-A and Triple-A that season. In Double-A, Light was extremely effective, striking out 32 hitters in 29 innings, and he recorded a 2.43 earned run average with a sub 1.00 WHIP. His numbers were not as impressive in Triple-A however, posting a 5.18 earned run average, but still posting more than one strikeout per nine innings.
Entering the 2016 season, Light once again rated as a top 20 prospect in the Red Sox system. The reason being, many felt he had the build of a future closer. Light stands at 6’5” and weighs 230 pounds and uses his physical size in his pitching. His fastball sits at a 70 grade on MLB Pipeline’s 20-80 scale. He mainly works 95 to 97 miles per hour, but he has reached 100 a few times in his minor league career. He also throws a power slider and a firm splitter that is used as an off-speed pitch. His biggest issues? Of course, like most young power pitchers have, Light struggles with command. This could be seen in his 2016 MLB season, as he walked 16 hitters in his 16.2 innings pitched.
The Twins acquired Light at the trade deadline last season for left handed reliever Fernando Abad. At the time, the deal was very intriguing. As stated earlier, many felt Light had the potential to be a future closer type for the Sox. Instead, Light found himself ranked as the Twin’s 14th best prospect. His lack of command could very well be why the Twins gave up on him. After all, he did just pitch in 14 innings for them. Regardless, this pick up is intriguing for sure. This deal seems very similar to when the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Arquimedes Caminero a few years ago. Chances are Light will start in Triple-A if he remains with the team.
With that, he likely will get a chance in the big leagues as injuries occur. The Bucs cut Lisalverto Bonilla for Light. Bonilla seemed intriguing, but Light has way more upside, that is of course if he can learn to command his pitches. If there is an organization that will tap into Light’s upside, it will be the Pittsburgh Pirates.