The Pittsburgh Pirates will be losing Mike Steele, a scout that played a big role in the drafting of 2014 first round pick Cole Tucker. Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game reports that Steele will be going to Long Beach State University to be an assistant coach.
— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogersPG) August 19, 2014
Prior to becoming an area scouting supervisor this year, Steele was a pitching coach in the Pirates’ system from 2008-2013. He coached in Lynchburg in 2008, in State College from 2009-2010, in Bradenton from 2011-2012, and coached in Jamestown in 2013. During this time he coached a lot of pitchers who have since reached the majors, such as Gerrit Cole, Brandon Cumpton, Casey Sadler, Vic Black, Phil Irwin, Duke Welker, and Kyle McPherson. He also coached Jameson Taillon in Bradenton in 2012.
One of the reasons I warmed to the Cole Tucker pick, aside from the fact that a lot of information came out saying Tucker was better than the publicized rankings, was due to Steele’s involvement. He showed a good eye for spotting talent when he was a pitching coach. As one example, when Tyler Glasnow was in his first Spring Training with the Pirates, Steele was raving about him, talking about how Glasnow would eventually throw 200 MPH. This was back when Glasnow was just another mid-round prep pitcher who no one really knew about, and who only threw 88-91 MPH. It was before he was hitting 96 MPH at the end of the 2012 season, and well before his big breakout in 2013.
Obviously it’s tough anytime the Pirates lose someone with a good eye for talent. We’ll have updates on this if we receive any word from the Pirates on the situation.