The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired right-handed pitcher Ricky DeVito at the trade deadline. So what is he bringing to the organization and what is his future?
The Pittsburgh Pirates dealt right-handed reliever Richard Rodriguez to the Atlanta Braves this past trade deadline. They got two young pitchers back. Bryse Wilson was the MLB-ready arm they got back. But right-handed pitcher Ricky DeVito was the headliner, the real piece that the Pirates were getting back. So, what is DeVito bringing to the table?
The Braves selected DeVito in the 8th round of the 2019 MLB Draft. Coming out of Seton Hall, the right-hander put up some pretty decent numbers. He had a 2.60 ERA, 2.86 FIP and 1.28 WHIP through 141.2 innings of work.
DeVito got his fair share of strikeouts and kept baseballs within the park. He posted a 24.9% strikeout rate and an outstanding 0.19 HR/9. Control wasn’t his strong suit, but he wasn’t completely wild. His 9.8% walk rate isn’t good, but it isn’t great either. It’s workable.
So far, he hasn’t pitched all that much professionally but has done well when has taken the mound. DeVito has 57 professional innings under his belt with a 3.16 ERA, 3.60 FIP and 1.33 WHIP. He has a solid 0.79 HR/9 and a 24.5% strikeout rate, but like in college, it’s been walks that have been his downfall. His 9.1% mark is again, a tad higher than you’d like. This season, he’s looked pretty decent with a 3.16 ERA, 3.57 FIP and 1.27 WHIP, but has been limited to just 20.1 innings because of an injury.
DeVito’s numbers look good, but does he have the stuff to back it up?
DeVito’s fastball comes in around 92-95 MPH and tops out at 97. Overall, not bad velocity and about average spin with 2200 RPM. Currently, it projects as a 50-grade pitch. His primary breaking ball is a curveball. It currently is a 45-grade offering, but projects as a 50-grade pitch. Out of his three-pitch arsenal is his splitter. DeVito’s splitter is considered a 60-grade offering. It’s already a plus offering with a 55-grade by FanGraphs.
DeVito has mainly worked as a starting pitcher. 13 of his 17 games have come out of the rotation. His three-pitch mix is solid, so he could be a starting pitcher. But his stuff would play up as a reliever. The Pirates have more than enough young pitching in the system that DeVito could move to the pen. For now, though, he should remain as a starting pitcher until he proves otherwise.
DeVito is already 23-years-old. He should be in the Major Leagues within the next year or so, helping a potentially contending-ready MLB club. What role he’ll fill is to be determined. If a handful of the Pittsburgh Pirates top pitching prospects are doing well in the major leagues, he could be a really good reliever. If they need him to be a starting pitcher, he could also do that.