To cap off the end of the 2009 season, I’m going to be counting down my list of the top 50 prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ system. I’ll be counting down one prospect per day, with an extensive recap on each player, until I reach number one. Check out the previous installments:
Pittsburgh Pirates Top 50 Prospects: 25 – Trent Stevenson
Now on to prospect number 25:
25. Trent Stevenson, RHP
2009 Season: The Pirates selected Stevenson in the seventh round of the 2009 draft, as part of their plan to load up on prep pitchers who fell due to signability concerns. Stevenson had a commitment to the University of Arizona, after putting up a 3.91 ERA and a 59:13 K/BB ratio in 48.1 innings pitched at Brophy Prep in Arizona. The Pirates got Stevenson to break his commitment to Arizona with a $350 K signing bonus on July 23rd.
By signing in late July, Stevenson got a bit of a head start on the other high school arms taken around him. In 15 innings pitched in the Gulf Coast League, Stevenson posted a 1.20 ERA, with eight strikeouts and no walks. Stevenson also allowed only one home run, after allowing just two in 48.1 innings in prep ball this year.
Information: Stevenson didn’t have the incredible prep stats that guys like Colton Cain and Zach Von Rosenberg had, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t come with a lot of the same potential. Stevenson is more of a raw talent, with an incredibly projectable frame. Stevenson stands at 6′ 6″, but is only 165 lbs, leaving plenty of room to fill out. He throws an 88-91 MPH fastball that was up to 93 MPH last fall. That velocity could very well increase with his projectable frame.
Stevenson was 5′ 10″, 125 lbs and a shortstop in 2005. Not only did he grow eight inches in three years, but he also changed positions in that time. He’s still growing in to his body, and still growing in to the position as well. On the mound, Stevenson lacks consistency at times. His slider is sharp, but is a victim of those inconsistencies, mostly due to Stevenson dropping his arm slot. He throws the slurvey slider in the upper 70s. He also has a very good feel for his changeup.
Stevenson is a very raw pitcher right now, but does have a lot of upside. He turned 19 in June, so he’s got plenty of time to learn the position. The right hander can throw for decent velocity now, and his big frame should provide a strong chance of a velocity increase in the future. He also has a clean arm action and smooth mechanics, which should help to keep his career from being derailed by injuries. If Stevenson fills out his projectable frame, and improves his consistency, he could be a very special pitcher.
2010 Expectations: Since he’s more of a raw talent, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Stevenson limited to short season ball, working in either Bradenton or State College on his fastball command and control.
Optimistic Projection: A top of the rotation starter if he fills out his frame, adds velocity, and increases consistency with his fastball and slider.
Conservative Projection: A 3-5 starter if he stays at the same velocity and struggles to keep his approach consistent.
Check back tomorrow for prospect number 24…