Jon Sandfort has started the season with seven shutout innings, allowing two hits, no walks, and striking out nine.
The Pirates have had a strategy over the last few years in the draft. Take hard to sign prep pitchers in the middle rounds of the draft, give them over-slot bonuses, and hope they develop into solid starters. With any luck, you'll see one or two pitchers take that unseen leap from a somewhat unknown player to a potential top of the rotation starter.
The Pirates have already seen that twice. Tyler Glasnow is emerging with the potential to be a future ace. Nick Kingham is also emerging with the potential to be a top of the rotation guy. The Pirates had an advantage with those two, in that they could give them both above-slot bonuses. Glasnow received $600,000 in the fifth round in 2011. Kingham got $480,000 in the fourth round in 2010. The 2012 draft was the first draft under the CBA which prevented these types of deals. If the Pirates wanted an over-slot pitcher, the...
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.