Pittsburgh Pirates Promote Rising Prospect Cody Bolton

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

The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted one of their pitching prospects.  The team is moving the promising young right-hander to Double-A.

One of the fastest rising prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system, and quite frankly, in baseball, is Cody Bolton.  The young right-handed starting pitcher has been very good since being drafted by the Bucs.  However, what he has done so far this year will likely make him a Top 100 Prospect by the end of the year.

Bolton has been pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates High-A team the Bradenton Marauders. However, yesterday John Dreker of Pirates Prospects reported that Bolton was being promoted to Double-A Altoona.  This is a big step up for the prospect at just 21 years of age, but a well-deserved promotion.

The young right-handed pitcher has dominated High-A this season.  The California native made 12 starts for the Marauders, posting a 6-3 record with an impressive 1.61 ERA.  Bolton has only given up more than two earned runs in one start this year and has blanked the opponents four times.  He has also struck out 69 batters across his 62.1 innings of work.

This is impressive but should have not been unexpected.  The Bucs took Bolton in the sixth round of the 2017 Draft.  The report was that he had a very strong commitment to the University of Michigan.  He was considered to be one of the better prep pitchers in the Draft, but he was expected to be an early second-day pick.  Really the belief was he was going to Ann Arbor to play baseball.

Instead, the Bucs gave Bolton an over-slot deal that paid him $300,000, which was about $50,000 over-slot.  The deal has proved to be worth it as shown by his dominance this year and in his career.  In 2017, he pitched in the Gulf Coast League and quickly outperformed first-round pick Shane Baz and Competitive Balance Pick Steven Jennings.  He made nine starts and had a solid 3.16 ERA with a solid strikeout to walk ratio of 2.75.  He followed that up with a 3.65 ERA at Short-Season A in 2018.

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Entering this year, Bolton was finding himself starting to pop up in Top 30 Pittsburgh Pirates lists.  Here at Rum Bunter, he was ranked at number 15, with the belief that he would continue to pitch well.  However, he is exceeding those expectations.  If he goes up to Double-A and continues to pitch well, Bolton could jump into the Pittsburgh Pirates top five and a top 100 overall prospect.