Spring Training Coverage

How Ryan Hafner Became a Pitching Prospect to Watch

How Ryan Hafner Became a Pitching Prospect to Watch

Last year in West Virginia, all of the pitching focus was on Tyler Glasnow, who impressed with a 36.3% strikeout rate in his big breakout season. Meanwhile, Ryan Hafner quietly put together a dominant season out of the bullpen, working a long relief role where he threw 87 innings on the year. In that time, Hafner had a 26.9% strikeout rate, and posted a pretty dominant 3.00 ERA. Following that strong season, the Pirates will be moving Hafner to the rotation in Bradenton during the 2014 season.

The 2010 draft for the Pirates was their second draft where they went big on hard-to-sign prep pitchers. A lot of the guys in the top ten rounds ended up going to college, rather than signing for over-slot money. So the Pirates turned to later round picks, including Hafner. The right-hander got a $450,000 bonus as a 17th round pick. He was all about projection at the time, with a fastball in the upper-80s and the lack of a good breaking ball.
A Lack of Control
The 2010 draft also featured pr...

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Spring Training Coverage
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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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