The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed another sixteen-year-old out of Australia. After signing shortstop Sam Kennelly in July, they signed pitcher Nick Hutchings in November. Hutchings has been playing with the Adelaide Bite of the Australian Baseball League and doing well in his limited time. The 6′ 2″, 165 pound right-hander has made four appearances for Adelaide in relief. He has pitched a total of 4.1 innings, allowing just one hit, while striking out eight. On December 8th, he struck out all three batters he faced.
Hutchings is currently competing in the U18 National Youth Championships in Australia along with Kennelly. Hutchings started game two yesterday for the South Australian team. He threw four innings and had a rough outing, along with some trouble in the field behind him. He allowed six runs in the first, though the last four runs were unearned. Hutchings finished with the loss, allowing seven runs (three earned) on five hits, with three walks and five strikeouts.
Hutchings was signed by Tony Harris, who not only scouts for the Pirates, but also manages the Adelaide Bite. Hutchings has been a top player among his age group for years, starring in the U16 version of the National Youth Championships last year. He also earned an invitation to the ABL’s National Academy on his 16th birthday. Hutchings has been working with Harris on improving his control, velocity and off-speed pitches. He currently throws in the upper 80s with his fastball, and complements that with a slider and a changeup.
Hutchings reportedly turned down offers from the Padres, Reds, Phillies, and Astros to sign with the Pirates. He becomes the seventh player out of Australia signed by the Pirates since 2009. The right-hander isn’t expected to make the jump to the US until the 2013 Fall Instructional Leagues.