Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Eduardo Vera Impresses

(Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
(Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates finished up their Spring Training and exhibition games yesterday against the Houston Astros.  A prospect gave them a big performance.

The Pittsburgh Pirates took on the Houston Astros in their final exhibition games of the preseason.  The Buccos ended on a high note and took home a victory from Houston by a score of 5-1.  The Pittsburgh Pirates played a game that should look very similar to how they play this year, good pitching and enough offense.

The most impressive part of the game was Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitching prospect, Eduardo Vera.  Vera came in relief after veterans Brandon Maurer and Tyler Lyons pitched.  The two veterans threw a scoreless inning each.  Then Vera came in during the 3rd innings and complete a total of 5 innings. The righty picked up his second win of the preseason.  He gave up only 1 run on 3 hits.  The one run came from a solo shot off the bat of star outfielder George Springer.

Now Vera did not strike out any batters, but he also did not walk any either.  That is part of Vera’s pitching profile as he is a control and pitch to contact pitcher. This Spring he threw a total of 10 innings and only struck out 5 batters, but still did not walk anyone. His earned run average for the Spring was a minuscule 1.80.

Vera has been in the Pittsburgh Pirates system since 2012 when he signed as a 17-year-old out of Mexico.  Vera stands at 6’2” and weighs around 185 pounds. He is now 24 years of age and has worked his way up through the system, finishing in Double-A last year. The Mexico native began the year in High-A, so it is likely that he will start the year in Double-A this year.

At High-A Bradenton, Vera had a lot of success.  He threw 58 innings for the Marauders and had an impressive ERA of 2.95.  As mentioned earlier, his strikeout rate was underwhelming at just 4.6 per nine innings, but he showed really strong command walking only 1.55. Also, he produced a good bit of groundball outs making up for 47% of his outs.

When he moved up to Double-A Altoona he kept on pitching relatively well.  His earned run average jumped up some but was still a solid 3.62. He also saw his strikeouts go up to 6.3 per nine innings and walks move up to 2.13 per nine innings.  While the walk rate increased, it still is a very low rate.  Vera ended up throwing a total of 97 innings at Double-A and a total of 155 innings on the minor league year.

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Eduardo Vera is 24 years of age and most likely will be in Triple-A at some point this season.  With that being said, he could be in line for a late season call up. Vera most likely projects as a bullpen arm at the MLB level.  He does not have swing and miss stuff but does a good job of getting weak contact which could be good for certain situations.  Regardless, he definitely made a good impression this Spring.