Since making his MLB debut earlier this month, Hunter Stratton has pitched well out of the bullpen for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Earlier this month, the Pittsburgh Pirates promoted right-handed pitcher Hunter Stratton to the majors. This marked the first trip to the majors for the 26-year-old Stratton. Thus far, he has impressed with the Bucs.
Stratton's success has come as a bit of a surprise. At Triple-A Indy this season, Stratton posted just a 3.99 ERA and a 4.37 FIP in 56.1 innings pitched. He allowed home runs at a rate of 1.12 HR/9, to go with a 12.8% walk rate but a very strong 30.6% strikeout rate.
In the majors, Stratton's swing-and-miss ability and strikeout rates have continued. His 25.0% strikeout rate in the majors is a step down from what he was doing at Indy but is still above league average.
Stratton has averaged 95.9 MPH on his four-seamed fastball which ranks in the 83rd percentile in all of baseball. He has generated a lot of swing-and-miss with a 34.3% chase rate and a 31.6% whiff rate.
Stratton's four-seamed fastball has a 23.3% whiff rate, to go with a 33.3% whiff rate off his cutter and a slider with a 57.1% whiff rate. Opponents are batting just .176 against his four-seamer, .200 against his cutter, and .250 against his slider.
Even though his strikeout rate has dipped from the minors, his walk rate has dropped as well. In the majors, Stratton's walk rate is just 7.5%. He's allowed 2 home runs. Overall, Stratton owns a 2.70 ERA in 10.0 MLB innings pitched thus far.
The performance from Stratton this September likely is not putting him in position to crack the team's Opening Day bullpen. However, it is putting him in position to remain on the 40-man roster throughout the offseason and be in position to return to the majors at some point in 2024.