Pittsburgh Pirates: Five More Surprising Ex-Players Still Active

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 09: Vin Mazzaro #32 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Five of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 9, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 09: Vin Mazzaro #32 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Five of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 9, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 13: Brandon Cumpton #58 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Chicago Cubs on September 13, 2014 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Brandon Cumpton

Brandon Cumpton was a right-handed pitcher the Pirates drafted in the 9th round of the 2010 draft. After climbing his way throughout the minor leagues, Cumpton made his debut in 2013 and was pretty solid in his first look in the majors. He pitched 30.2 innings, starting 5 of the 6 games he played in. The right-hander only allowed 7 earned runs with just 5 walks. Sure he only had 22 K’s, but also allowed a single long ball.

Cumpton spent the 2014 season as a swingman pitcher, starting 10 of the 16 games he appeared in. While he had a 4.89 ERA in 70 innings pitched, he allowed just 2 long balls, 18 walks, and 46 K’s. He still had a solid 3.22 FIP.

However, a 2015 Tommy John surgery kept him out of the next two seasons. He returned in 2017 to professional play but didn’t appear in the majors for the Pirates. After 2017, he was released and was signed by the Texas Rangers. But his stint wouldn’t last long as he would get released again, this time in Spring Training. The last MLB team Cumpton would play for is the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2018, he pitched 1.2 innings in the majors for the Jays but was let go after the season.

Since then, the right-hander has pitched in the Dominican Winter League, Mexican League, Atlantic League, and American Association. In 2021, Cumpton pitched 46.1 innings in the Mexican League, but gave up 41 earned runs and had a WHIP just a tick below 2.0 at 1.99.

Brandon Cumpton had a pretty promising start to his career. He looked like he could be a back-of-the-rotation type starter or swingman for the Pirates for a handful of seasons. But a poorly timed Tommy John surgery and other injuries led to a downfall for the former Pirate.

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