During the 2018 season, right-handed relief pitcher Tate Scioneaux will be a prospect that fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates should keep an eye on.
During the course of a Major League Baseball season there is no part of a 25-man roster that experiences more overturn and changes than a team’s bullpen. This is one of the reasons that right-handed relief pitcher Tate Scioneaux is a Pirate prospect to watch in 2018.
24-year-old Tate Scioneaux was drafted in the 39th round of the 2015 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. It has taken Scioneaux just 96 career minor league games to emerge as a legit bullpen prospect for the Bucs.
Tate Scioneaux spent the 2017 campaign as a member of the Double-A Altoona Curve. In 83 innings pitched for the Curve Scioneaux allowed just 67 hits, four home runs, and he averaged just 1.63 BB/9. He posted a 2.39 ERA and a 2.85 FIP for Altoona.
The one knock on Scioneaux in 2017 was a low number of strikeouts. He averaged just 7.27 K/9, however, he averaged 9.82 K/9 In 2015 and 2016 at short season, Low-A, and High-A. So, there is reason to expect the low strikeout rate in 2017 to be an anomaly and not a trend.
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Tate Scioneaux throws a plus fastball that sits in the upper 90s. He also throws a plus slider that can generate swings and misses.
When the 2018 season begins, odds are, Tate Scioneaux will once again be at Double-A. However, the Pirates have already been aggressive with Scioneaux when it comes to promoting him through the minor leagues.
Despite having just 67 2/3 innings at High-A in 2016, Scioneaux spent all of 2017 at Double-A. Even if Scioneaux starts the 2018 season at Double-A, if he repeats his success of 2017, or anywhere close to it, he should find himself at Triple-A sooner rather than later.
In 2017 the Pittsburgh Pirates used 20 different relief pitchers. This goes to show how much bullpen depth can be needed in a season. If Tate Scioneaux continues to pitch the way he has throughout his minor league career in 2018, then there is a good chance he could make his Major League debut at some point in 2018. This makes him a Pirate prospect worth watching in 2018.