Pittsburgh Pirates Minors Spotlight: Outfielder Bligh Madris

Bligh Madris, an outfield prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system, was a recent guest on the Rum Bunter Podcast. Now let’s examine his minor league career further.

With the 268th overall pick in the 9th round of the 2017 MLB Draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected outfielder Bligh Madris. The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Madris out of Colorado Mesa University, where Madris was a JUCO star.

Madris was a recent guest on Rum Bunter Radio. We are thankful that Madris joined the show and talked baseball and his road to the pros with us. Now, let’s take a deeper look at how his professional career has unfolded thus far.

Madris made his professional career in 2017 with the West Virginia Black Bears of the New York-Penn League. With the Black Bears, Madris accumulated 256 plate appearances in 56 games. Madris hit for a .270/.344/.429 slash line with a 131 wRC+ with the Black Bears. He also posted a strong 8.6% walk rate and 16.8% strikeout rate at West Virginia.

The success Madris had with West Virginia came under the guidance of manager Brian Esposito. Madris sung Esposito’s praise on the podcast, and spoke of what a great leader and baseball coach he is. After hearing what Madris had to say, it should be no surprise that Esposito is now kncoking on MLB’s door as manager of the Triple-A Indianpolis Indians in the Pirate organization.

Following a successful year with the Black Bears, Madris made the jump to the High-A level with the Bradenton Marauders. With the Marauders, Madris had the worst season of his professional career.

At Bradenton, Madris hit for a .238/.292/.371 slash line in 411 plate appearances across 103 games playes. This included a 6.8 % wlak rate, 21.4% strikeout rate, and a 89 wRC+, all of which were career worst. Despite the struggles, this did not stop Madris from earning a promotion to the Double-A level.

To his credit, the struggles at the High-A level did not slow Madris down. In fact, it laid the ground work for a successful season at hte Double-A level.

During the 2019 season Madris played for the Double-A Altoona Curve. On the podcast, Madris raved about how great the fans were in Altoona and how passionate they are about the Pittsburgh Pirates.

With the Curve, Madris had 514 plate appearances in 132 games played during the 2019 season. He hit for a .260/.324/.379 slash line. Madris posted a 106 wRC+, 8.4% walk rate and 19.3% strikeout rate with the Curve.

Unfortunately, the 2020 season was a bit of a lost season for Madris. Without a minor league season, the Pittsburgh Pirates prospect was left without anywhere to play. In 2021, Madris could start the season with Double-A Altoona or Triple-A Indianpolis, either way, he will be ready to have a strong season for the Pittsburgh Pirates.