Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect Trent Stevenson has retired, and has been placed on the “Voluntary Retirement” list by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Stevenson was drafted in the seventh round of the 2009 draft, and was given a $350,000 bonus to break his commitment to the University of Arizona.
Stevenson had struggled the last two years in pro ball. Last year he started out in West Virginia, and posted a 6.93 ERA in 49.1 innings, with a 4.6 K/9 and a 2.4 BB/9 ratio, mostly working out of the bullpen. He was demoted to State College, where he worked out of the rotation, putting up a 5.80 ERA in 35.2 innings, with a 3.0 K/9 and an 0.8 BB/9 ratio.
This year Stevenson returned to West Virginia. He combined to give up a 9.26 ERA in 11.2 innings, with a 9:2 K/BB ratio. The bulk of the damage came in his third and fourth appearances, where he combined to give up ten earned runs on 12 hits in 3.2 innings.
Stevenson had a nice slider, which had sharp break and was used to get ground balls. The pitch was above average at times, but lacked consistency. When it was on, Stevenson’s game was on. When it was off, he struggled. That’s partly because Stevenson’s other pitches lagged behind. His fastball mostly worked in the upper 80s, and there was hope that his projectable 6′ 6″, 175 pound frame and easy throwing motion would allow him to add velocity going forward.
Stevenson was part of the group of prep pitchers taken in the 2009 draft class. Of all the over-slot bonuses, Stevenson was fifth behind Zack Von Rosenberg, Colton Cain, Zack Dodson, and college pitcher Jeff Inman. If Stevenson does eventually return to baseball, the Pirates would still hold his rights.