Mitch Keller Shoves And Other Notes From Last Night’s Curve Game
Last night in Double-A Altoona, top Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Mitch Keller twirled a gem. Here’s that and other notes from last night’s Curve game.
Against the Harrisburg Senators, led by prospect Carter Kieboom, Mitch Keller tossed eight scoreless innings, surrendering one hit and two walks while striking out six batters. As is usual for the Pirates top prospect, he pounded the zone throwing 58 of his 92 pitches for strikes (63 percent).
Keller lowered his ERA to 2.72, for reference his ERA in all of 2017 was 3.03. The one concern is the 22.22 percent walk rate he has on the season and 9.36 percent walk rate. Last year those numbers were 25.0 and 6.9 percent. He’s still projects to have 70 command according to Fangraphs, am encouraging sign.
Despite not striking out batters at a rate that is hoped for and walking more batters, tossing up zeros is always great. With the 70 future value command, the walks will decrease and the strikeouts will (hopefully) increase. He’s inching closer and closer to a call up to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Jason Martin continues to tear up Double-A pitching, going three for four with a double. Like Keller, Martin should be inching closer to a promotion, as he has a .537 slugging percentage on the season. Will Craig and Cole Tucker each also picked up two hits, with Craig also drawing a walk. The Pirates 2016 first round pick is now up to a .258 average with a .468 slugging.
Christian Kelly went two for four, and his double in the second inning that scored Bralin Jackson was all the was needed. Montana DuRapau closed out the Curve’s four to nothing victory. The 26-year-old relief pitcher now has nine strikeouts in seven innings.
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But the big storyline from last night was Mitch Keller’s eight scoreless innings, continuing to show why he’s the Pirates top prospect. The now 22-year-old should be moving up to Triple-A in the next couple weeks, allowing him to get his feet wet this year to look for the call up to the majors in 2019.