Pittsburgh Pirates Top 30 Prospects 2019 Season Rewind: Steven Jennings

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As we continue to work our way through the Pittsburgh Pirates top 30 prospects from 2019 season rewind we reach the team’s 17th ranked prospect and one of their top pitching prospects

With the 42nd overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates selected right-handed pitcher Steven Jennings. When he was drafted Jennings, a Tennessee native, was committed to pitch at Ole Miss. However, after the Pirates gave him a $1.9 million signing bonus his plans changed and he went pro.

Jennings was able to quickly get his pro career started, making 10 starts for the Gulf Coast League Pirates in 2017. Just like that, his professional career was off and running and he was one of the team’s top pitching prospects.

The 6-foot-2, 175 pound Jennings features a four pitch mix. His fastball typically sits in the low 90s, but can reach the 94-95 MPH range. He also has strong fastball control which helps to make up for the few ticks in velocity he lacks.

Jennings also throws two distinct, strong breaking balls. He throws both a slider and a curveball, and mixes in a change up as well. While his change up is no as advanced as his slider and curveball are, it is still good enough to keep hitters off balanced in the box.

During the 2019 season Jennings pitched for the Low-A Greensboro Grasshoppers. The 20-year-old Jennings posted a 4.71 ERA and a 4.23 FIP in 130 innings pitched across 27 starts. He posted a career high 20.9% strikeout rate and a career low 7.1% walk rate. However, his 1.04 HR/9 was also a career high.

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Jennings will likely start the 2020 season with High-A Bradenton. If he can improve upon his 2019 season and pitch better with the Marauders than he did with the Grasshoppers, then he could find his way to Double-A Altoona be fore the 2020 season comes to an end.

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