JARED LAKIND, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: March 9, 1992
Height: 6′ 2″
Drafted: 23rd Round, 687th Overall, 2010
How Acquired: Draft
High School: Cypress Woods (TX) HS
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Lakind drew interest as a LHP whose fastball edged into the 90s, but the Pirates drafted him as a firstbaseman. PGCrosschecker rated him the 41st best prospect in Texas, while Baseball America ranked him 99th. He had a commitment to Arkansas, but somewhat surprisingly the Pirates were able to sign him for $400,000. He struggled to hit through two seasons and, in 2013 training camp, the team moved him to the mound. As a reliever now, he generally throws about 89-92, with a good breaking ball.
Managed to get into four GCL games. Lakind fanned five times in seven at-bats in the first two, but in the second two went 3-for-7 with a double and HR.
Showed some power, but struggled severely to make contact, striking out in 40% of his ABs. He also had problems in the field, with six errors and a .978 fielding percentage. Played only ten games in August as the Pirates moved Jose Ozuna to first.
Lakind was swinging the bat much better in training camp in 2012 than the previous year and the Pirates moved him up to State College, where he split time at first with Samuel Gonzalez. He struggled to hit, not even showing much power. He also struggled defensively, committing ten errors in just 38 games at first.
In his first season on the mound, Lakind pitched out of the Jamestown bullpen. He didn’t put up especially good numbers, but it was his first shot at pitching as a pro. Left-handed hitters batted only .222 against him.
The Pirates sent Lakind to West Virginia in mid-May. He got into seven games in relief and struggled, posting a 7.11 ERA, with six walks and six Ks in 12.2 IP. When Jamestown’s season opened, the Pirates moved him down and he dominated in eight appearances. In late July they sent him back to West Virginia and he got much better results in ten games through the end of the season. In 11.2 IP, he had an ERA of 1.54, with three walks and 14 Ks. He was tougher again on left-handed hitters, allowing them an OPS of .695 on the season, as opposed to .792 for right-handed hitters.
Lakind had surgery to remove a cyst from his leg in spring 2015, so he wasn’t able to pitch until late June. After a five-game rehab in the GCL, he went to West Virginia, where he pitched out of the Power’s bullpen. He put up good numbers there, although not quite as good as the ERA suggests, and he held left-handed hitters at both stops to a .527 OPS. The innings, though, were very limited.
The Pirates moved Lakind all the way up to Altoona. The move was surprising, considering that he’d never pitched above low A and had only 85.2 IP of pro experience altogether. It’s likely the Pirates thought Lakind was at least potentially a prospect and wanted to get a look at him at a higher level because he was due to become a minor league free agent after the season. Whatever the reason, Lakind stayed healthy and had a very good season, holding opponents to a 216/298/310 line. He was tough on both left-handed and right-handed hitters, holding them to an OPS of .587 and .623, respectively. He struggled a little at the start of the season, which is hardly surprising given his experience level. In April, opponents hit 318/418/386 against him, with nine walks and ten strikeouts. Lakind dominated for the next two months, holding opponents to an OPS of .320 in May and .397 in June. He had a very rough July in which he allowed over half the extra base hits he gave up all year, leading to a 1.019 OPS, but he finished well. He had issues with the strike zone occasionally, but that’s hardly surprising given his limited experience.
Like many of his Altoona teammates, Lakind has left the Pirates with a tough call to make. He would have been eligible for minor league free agency, but the Pirates signed him for 2017. He will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft unless they add him to the 40-man roster, which they evidently don’t plan to do. He’s probably not that likely to get selected. He is just a relief pitcher who has yet to pitch in AAA and will be 25 when the 2017 season opens. On the other hand, he’s left-handed and could still improve his command as he gets more experience.
|2017: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $400,000
MiLB Debut: 2010
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2017
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 8, 2010: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 23rd round, 687th overall pick; signed on August 12.|