Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: Blake Weiman is Making a Case


The Pittsburgh Pirates have not had a traditional left-handed relief pitcher in a few years.  A relief prospect is having a strong spring so far and is making a case.

Over the last few years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been plagued by lacking quality left-handed pitching (outside of their former closer).  With the exception of Steven Brault and buy-low free agents, the team has not had any real impact lefties in their rotation or bullpen.  While having both lefties and righties is not integral to having success, it definitely helps make teams tougher to matchup against.

The issue is that former General Manager Neal Huntington never really took the time to invest in left-handed pitching prospects.  He rarely used top draft picks on them and never really looked to acquire them in trades.  Huntington preferred to take projectable right-handed pitchers and athletic position prospects.

There is one left-handed pitching prospect that Huntington drafted that has turned into a potential left-handed relief option.  In 2017, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected left-handed pitcher Blake Weiman out of the University of Kansas in the eighth round and signed him to a $175,000 bonus.

Weiman has quickly moved up the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system.  After making his professional debut in 2017, the 6’4” lefty moved up three levels in 2018 making it to Double-A. Last year he started at Double-A and moved up to Triple-A to finish the year.  Also, he pitched in the prestigious Arizona Fall League in 2018.

Over the course of his minor league career he has posted very impressive numbers.  Across the last 2.5 seasons, Blake has thrown a total of 131.1 innings.  He owns an outstanding 2.88 ERA to go a long with an impressive 146 strikeouts to just 21 base on balls allowed.  He only appeared in eight games at Triple-A last year and had an ERA over 4.00, but is is obviously a very small sample size.

Weiman has shown good stuff so far this Spring Training.  He has appeared in three games and has not given up a run yet.  He has thrown 1.2 innings and has struck out two hitters while only allowing 1 base hit.  The former Jay Hawk has flashed a low 90s fastball and a slider which should play at the big league level.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates may have a sleeper relief pitching prospect in Blake Weiman.  He does not have over powering stuff from the left side, but he has done a great job of getting outs, especially via the strikeout.  Weiman will definitely start the year at Triple-A, being he has only thrown in eight games there.  However, it is important for him to continue and pitch well in Spring Training because he will only continue to build the organization’s confidence in him and position himself for a call up in 2020.