Prospect Highlights: Two Young Players From Australia Seeing Time With the GCL Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates have two 18-year-old players from Australia making their pro debuts in the Gulf Coast League this year. If you follow the site closely, both players have been mentioned here often because they have played Winter ball, including stints in the Australian Baseball League, playing against competition that is usually much older and much more advanced. The league has some players with Major League experience, as well as many minor league veterans. That’s great experience for young players, but it also shows how advanced they are, because you don’t play in the ABL unless you’re good enough to help the team.

The first player from today is starting pitcher Nick Hutchings, who has made six starts so far. He has a 5.33 ERA in 25.1 innings, with a 9/16 BB/SO ratio and a 1.65 GO/AO ratio. The important thing to remember with the 6’2″, right-hander is that he is younger than many high school draft picks from 2014, so while the results might not look great, you have to keep them in perspective.

Below are four videos of Hutchings last outing, starting with him in the bullpen. All videos here are courtesy of the GCL Pirates fan page.

Hutchings mound warm-ups

Hutchings facing a righty

Facing a lefty

Sam Kennelly has seen limited action in his first year in the States. He has played 11 games, hitting .231 with two doubles(one shown below) and a 5/6 BB/SO ratio. He got in a lot of action in the off-season, playing tournament ball, seeing time with a club team and playing for the Perth Heat in the Australian Baseball League. He will likely play in the ABL again this year and of course, he will see time in the Fall Instructional League, so the limited playing time shouldn’t have an adverse effect on him. Kennelly signed for $225K in 2012, so he was one of the higher profile signings that year. Just like Hutchings, he finished out school before coming to the United States to play.

The three videos below are all we have on him, so while it starts off good with a double, there is also a ground out and the ever-popular walk. It’s still three chances to get to see a player at a level you normally get nothing from as far as video.

The double. This is a nice long at-bat that obviously ends good.

The ground out.

The 3-1 pitch here looked hard to lay off of…

John Dreker

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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  • leadoff

    Thanks John, can’t get over how mature these guys look for just out of high school. I was expecting a couple of 6.2 string beans. Do you remember who the catchers were, that way I got a look at the pitchers and the catcher.

    • John Dreker

      It’s Yoel Gonzalez, youngest player on the team, still 17 for a few more days.