The Pittsburgh Pirates have drafted Tyler Eppler, a right handed pitcher from Sam Houston State, in the sixth round. Eppler sits in the 88-93 MPH range with his fastball, and can touch up to 95 MPH. He doesn’t have much life to the fastball, but projects to have average control. He needs some work with his secondary stuff. He throws an 11-to-5 curveball, a mid-80s cutter, and a changeup which gets mixed reviews, but which some call his best off-speed pitch.
Eppler had a 3.20 ERA in 109.2 innings at Sam Houston State this year, with a 67:30 K/BB ratio. He’s got a big frame, at 6′ 6″, 220 pounds, so there could be some more projection and room for him to add velocity going forward. He’s going to need to work on adding a strikeout pitch and improving the secondary stuff. This seems like a typical pick from the Pirates, taking a highly projectable guy with a good fastball, and hoping to develop everything else to get a good starter.
This is the second year in a row that the Pirates have taken a pitcher from Sam Houston State. They took Cody Dickson in the fourth round last year.