BRADENTON, Fla. - The Pirates have a pretty set routine when it comes to the prep pitchers they draft. Those pitchers spend half a season in the GCL after signing. They go to extended Spring Training and then Bristol the following year for their first full pro season. Then, if they are developed enough, they go to West Virginia for a full season, always ending the season at the level.
Well, almost always. That trend ended last year with Mitch Keller, who made the jump to Bradenton at the end of the season, and helped lead the Marauders to a Florida State League championship in the playoffs. Keller had a huge breakout season in 2016, showing improvements with his command, his velocity, his changeup, and other areas of his game. The result was that he averages as a top 30 prospect in all ...
To continue reading the rest of this article, subscribe to Pirates Prospects. Subscribers get access to every article on the site, along with all of our exclusive live coverage of the Pirates' minor league system, all for a very low monthly or yearly rate.
If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.