Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Shane Baz Shines In 2018 Debut


One of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ top pitching prospects made their 2018 debut on Wednesday night and shined in the process

With the 12th overall pick in the 2017 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates selected high school right-handed pitcher Shane Baz. Baz quickly became one of the team’s top prospects, as he checks in as the team’s third best prospect according to both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline.

After signing quickly, Baz was able to make 10 starts for the GCL Pirates in 2017. In these 10 starts Baz’s struggled with control walking 14 batters in 23 2/3 innings. He struck out 19, allowed just two home runs, and owned a 3.80 ERA and 4.82 FIP.

This season the 19-year-old Baz has made the jump to the short-season Bristol Pirates of the Appalachian League. And in his debut for the Bristol Pirates on Wednesday night Baz looked good in five innings of work.

In his five shutout innings on Wednesday night Baz allowed just four hits and he walked three batters. While he struck out just one, he flashed the kind of stuff that shows he has strikeout potential.

His fastball topped out at 96 miles per hour, and he sat in the low-to-mid 90s for much of the night. As is almost always the case with young pitchers, Baz’s off-speed pitches still need work. However, that will come with time and reps.

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As his 2018 season unfolds the biggest thing Baz needs to work on his refining his control. His 13.3% walk rate of 2017 needs to be lower and walking three batters in five innings to start 2018 is not the start he was looking for. However, to his credit, he limited the hits he allowed and did not allow a run in his five innings of work.

It is up to Baz and his pitching coaches to work on repeating his delivery in order to improve control moving forward.