Checking in at number 25 on the Pittsburgh Pirates top 30 prospects 2019 season rewind list is a starting pitcher that spent the season at High-A
In the 4th round of the 2018 MLB Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted pitcher Aaron Shortridge. The right-handed pitcher was drafted out of Cal Berkeley where he was a standout on the mound for the Golden Bears.
After signing, Shortridge made eight starts for the short-season West Virginia Black Bears in 2018. With the Black Bears he posted a 2.67 ERA, 2.30 FIP, 5.5% walk rate, 29.9% strikeout rate, and 0.30 HR/9 in 30 1/3 innings of work. With that, Shortridge’s professional career was off and running.
Pitching for High-A Bradenton in 2019, Shortridge continued to pitch well. He made 24 starts for the Marauders this past season and logged 135 2/3 innings of work. He posted a 3.25 ERA, 3.68 FIP, 4.6% walk rate, 19.1% strikeout rate, and allowed 13 home runs.
Shortridge has great control of his fastball that sits in the low 90s. Due to this, it plays more explosive than a low 90s fastball. He made strides in 2019 developing a breaking pitch, which he pairs with a strong change up to work off of his fastball.
Throughout his collegiate career Shortridge pounded the strike zone. This has continued in his professional career. 32 starts into his professional career Shortridge has a the looks of a strong middle-to-back of the rotation starting pitcher. While he will never be a staff ace or anchor at the MLB level, he has more than enough tools to have a successful career as a starting pitcher.
Barring something unforeseen, Shortridge will start the 2020 season with the Double-A Altoona Curve. To be honest, a strong argument can be made that he should have earned a promotion to the Double-A level during the 2019 season. If he pitches well for Altoona, he could find himself at the Triple-A level before the end of the season.