Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Three College Pitchers to Watch

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Hunter Owen

Vanderbilt is one of the most famous baseball schools in the world. Many MLB All-Stars can trace their origins through Vandy, including Pirate All-Star outfielder Bryan Reynolds. The school will once again have multiple early-round players, one of which is a guy the Pirates could have available to them in the second round: left-hander Hunter Owen.

In 57 innings, Owen has a 3.16 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 4.19 K:BB ratio. Owen has a solid 0.95 HR/9 rate, but that’s arguably the weakest link in his statistics. He’s only walked 6.9% of the batters he’s faced while striking out 28.9% of opponents. His overall numbers may not be the most overpowering in college sports, but they’re overall very solid.

Owen typically sits 92-95 MPH with his fastball but has been able to crank up the heat when he needs to. While his four-seamer is an above-average offering, both his slider and curveball are arguably better pitches. His changeup tunnels really well with his four-seamer, adding deception to the off-speed offering.

Owen is a sizeable 6-foot-6 and weighs in at 260-LBS with a clean delivery. There have been some questions regarding his durability. He only pitched in 26.2 innings in 2022 and missed some time at the start of the 2023 campaign. This was the first time he was really given a chance to stretch out. He’s definitely a player I would seriously consider taking in the second round if I were in the Pirate war room.