Pirates Release Six Minor League Pitchers

The Pittsburgh Pirates released six minor leaguers this morning. Details on each player below.

Logan Pevny

Logan Pevny

Logan Pevny – Pevny was a 49th round prep pitcher taken in the 2010 draft. He’s a tall, skinny pitcher who throws in the upper 80s, and tops out at 92 with sink to his fastball. He threw for State College last year, pitching in relief. The right-hander had good overall numbers, with a 2.08 ERA, but needed some improvement on his strikeout and walk rates.

Mike Jefferson – Jefferson was taken in the 22nd round of the 2011 draft, and had been used as a starter the last two seasons. The lefty threw in the 86-88 range in some outings, and 90-91 in others. He had good off-speed stuff, which led to some good results in the lower levels.

Zach Foster – Foster is a sidearm pitcher who has thrown out of the bullpen in Bradenton the last two years. He will be 26 this year, so he was getting a little old for prospect status, especially with only one game above A-ball. Foster spent a lot of time at McKechnie Field this Spring, serving as a minor league backup in big league camp.

Nathan Kilcrease – Kilcrease was signed as a minor league free agent last season to help fill out the West Virginia bullpen. He had great numbers, but didn’t have the size or stuff to be a prospect in the upper levels.

Jordan Cooper – The Pirates drafted Cooper twice. Once was in 2009 as a prep pitcher. They took him again in 2011, after struggling for two years with Kentucky. Wilbur had a report on Cooper yesterday, noting that he had trouble controlling his 89-92 MPH fastball.

Josh Poytress – Poytress has hit 92 MPH in the past with his fastball, but usually works in the 86-88 MPH range. His off-speed stuff is much better than his fastball, making him very similar to a lot of the left-handers in A-ball. He struggled with his control numbers last year, and was going to have a hard time making it past A-ball without seeing improvements to the fastball, which didn’t come this year.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • John Dreker

    The Pirates have really cleaned out the minor league pitching cupboard recently, six today and six last week. This list is a little more surprising. I figured Cooper, Pevny and Poytress were certain to make teams, due to some combo of age/talent/bonus.
    Kilcrease was outstanding last year, plus he is a very hard worker, so I also figured he would be around. Jefferson is only a little surprising, because he is a lefty, with okay results, who has been around less than two years.
    When I saw how many pitchers the Pirates had going into camp, I figured some good ones were going to get left back at AA that could move up if they decided to keep them all. I didn’t think the trickle down would result in so many lower level minor league pitchers being cut, with a handful of surprising ones.
    I’m not saying they were future major leaguers for sure, just surprised how quick they gave up on them. Three of them are from the first 23 rounds of the 2011 draft

    • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 Lee Young

      I’m with you on how fast some of those were released.

      I guess we’re down to just one Kilcrease?


    • http://users.rcn.com/wtmiller/pirateprofiles.htm WTM

      I suspect these decisions are based partly on things we’re not privy to, like how well a guy is taking coaching.

      Cooper was going nowhere. He pitched yesterday and his command was as bad as ever. It’s not like he has great stuff, so there’s probably a limit to how long they wanted to keep trying to get improvement on the same things.

      • John Dreker

        I think part of the surprising thing with Cooper is that they drafted him twice, a couple years apart. So he was someone that they liked for awhile, but they gave up on him quick. He is a very streaky pitcher, can be real bad or real good. He was injured the second half of last year, so there was also probably some rust involved with his Spring performance. Poytress also looked real good last year at times, then got hurt

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 Lee Young

    I wonder how many of these guys will get picked up?

    I haven’t seen too many of our cuts find homes elsewhere.


    • John Dreker

      Not many usually do from the lower levels. It’s tough to latch on with someone else when another team is willing to give up on you at such an early stage of your career. The Pirates don’t pick up other team’s released players too often either, and if they do, they are usually backup catchers or bullpen arms.

  • snofool

    with one of these guys going 5-0 last year between WV and brain. with 45 innings and pitching as well as any of the others out of the pen, tells me theres somthing more going on here, as always follow the money!!!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 Lee Young

      what part of ‘his stuff won’t play well at higher levels’ did you not understand?
      Some guys always think its about the money!

  • snofool

    Lee, at the age of a couple of these guys giving how they have preformed it makes no sence. Unless you have spent your prospect budget unwisely, when you consider how pitcher poor this organization has been and how they’re big money arms have performed, it would make sense to keep a couple of these younger guys around for another year or 2

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