Jackson Wolf was one of the players the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired at the trade deadline. What does he bring to the Bucs, and what could he do in the future?
One of the multiple prospects the Pittsburgh Pirates netted at the trade deadline was Jackson Wolf. Wolf was acquired alongside Alfonso Rivas and Estuar Suero from the San Diego Padres for Ji-Man Choi and Rich Hill. So now that Wolf has finished off his 2023 season with the Pirates, what does the side-arm southpaw bring to the organization, and what could he give the Pirates in the future?
Wolf was the Padres’ 4th round pick from the 2021 draft. A senior out of West Virginia University, Wolf was acquired in the midst of a breakout season at the Padres’ Double-A affiliate. In 88.1 innings, Wolf owned a 4.08 ERA, 3.86 FIP, and 1.09 WHIP. Wolf had struck out nearly 30% of the batters he faced (29.8%), while having a 6.3% walk rate. But he did have a below-average 1.22 HR/9. Wolf’s HR/FB ratio of 12.8% was a tad high, however, and just a slight downtick would probably put him at the average rate in the Texas League.
Wolf had an up and down second half stretch with the Pirates. In his first four outings and 18 innings pitched, he only allowed five earned runs, struck out 19, while walking six, and allowing a single home run. But his final four outings amounted to the same amount of innings but allowed a dozen home runs, struck out 11 with four walks, and four home runs. Of course, looking at two sample sizes of less than 20 innings isn’t going to tell you much, but he did have a volatile first few outings as a member of the Pirates.
Even though Wolf has yet to pitch a game at Triple-A, the Padres already got him his major league debut in. He pitched one game on July 22nd against the Detroit Tigers in Comerica. He pitched five innings, allowed three earned runs, and only struck out one batter. But he also walked just one of the 22 he faced.