Gage Hinsz Is Turning Into A Great Comeback Story

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

A Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect is turning into one of the best comeback stories in all of baseball

In the 11th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates selected right-handed pitcher Gage Hinsz. After signing with the team, Hinsz was able to make three starts in rookie ball in 2014. After 10 starts in 2015, Hinsz was becoming to climb Pirate prospect rankings.

In 2017 Hinsz reached the High-A level. In 20 games (19 starts) for the Bradenton Marauders, Hinsz owned a 5.61 ERA and a 4.62 FIP in 94 2/3 innings pitched. Hinsz entered the 2018 season ready to pitch for the Marauders again while working to earn a promotion to Double-A, but then fate got in the way.

In May, Hinsz underwent heart surgery. Due to this, he did not pitch during the 2018 season at all. Obviously, returning to a baseball mound was the least of his concerns when dealing with his heart condition.

This surgery, however, did not deter Hinsz. Six months after undergoing open heart surgery, he was back on the mound. Hinsz has been pitching this offseason in the Puerto Rican Winter League, and he has been doing so with great success.

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Hinsz made his fifth start of the Winter League season on Wednesday. In this start he allowed four hits, he walked a batter, and he struck out eight in six scoreless innings of work. Hinsz has now held the opposition scoreless in four of his five starts.

In his five starts this winter Hinsz now owns a 1.08 ERA in 25 innings pitched. He has allowed 16 hits, one home run, he’s walked seven batters, and he has struck out 23.

Through his performance in the Puerto Rican Winter League, Hinsz is quickly becoming the best comeback story in baseball. Additionally, he is flexing his muscle as a rising pitching prospect in the Pirate system.

Look for Hinsz to open the 2019 season with either High-A Bradenton or Double-A Altoona. If he starts the year in Bradenton, do not expect him to be there long. As long as he pitches well for the Marauders, he should find himself as a member of the Curve sooner rather than later.

MLB Pipeline ranked Hinsz as the team’s 19th best prospect entering the offseason. His performance this winter will do nothing but cause him to climb prospect ranking lists, making Hinsz a prospect worth keeping an eye on during the 2019 season.