PAT LIGHT, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: March 29, 1991
Drafted: 1st Round, 37th overall pick, 2012 (Red Sox)
How Acquired: Trade (from Twins for PTBNL or cash)
College: Monmouth University
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|The Red Sox drafted Light in the supplemental first round. At the time, he threw in the low- to mid-90s and was expected to remain a starter. He struggled in the role, in large part due to weak secondary pitches, and moved to the bullpen before reaching AA. At about that time, he also changed his mechanics, resulting in increased velocity, and he also resumed throwing a splitter, which he’d thrown before being drafted. His fastball now can reach 100 mph, although he averaged 95 in his limited major league time in 2016, and he also throws the splitter and an occasional slider. He didn’t have control problems until he got to AAA, but since then he’s had significant problems with walks. He had a high groundball rate (54%) in the majors, although the sample size was very limited. He was generally a groundball pitcher in the minors, but not so pronounced. He was effective against both left-handed and right-handed hitters in AA and AAA, but again the sample size is still fairly limited. The Pirates acquired him from the Twins shortly before spring training in 2017, for a player to be named later or cash.
Light made a dozen starts in the New York-Penn League and pitched very well, including good control. Baseball America rated him the #21 prospect in a very deep Red Sox system after the season.
Hamstring problems hampered Light, as he managed only 34.1 IP and struggled when he was on the mound.
The Red Sox moved Light up to high A after three starts in low A. He mostly struggled through 22 starts at the latter stop, mainly due to inadequate secondary pitches. Opponents batted .295 against him and he missed very few bats despite velocity that reached as high as 100 mph. BA still rated him Boston’s 30th best prospect.
A move to the bullpen apparently worked, as Light pitched very well in the first half in AA. He struck out over a batter an inning and had a solid walk rate, while holding opponents to a .168 average. After a mid-season promotion to AAA, though, he struggled badly with his control. BA rated him 11th in the Sox’ system after the season.
The Red Sox called Light up briefly twice and he had one rough outing each time. While in AAA, he got good results despite poor, although improved, control. He had a high K rate and opponents hit only .188 against him. At the deadline, Boston sent him to Minnesota for a lefty reliever. The Twins called him up a few weeks later and he made 15 appearances for them, struggling to throw strikes.
Light obviously fits the Pirates’ preference for hard-throwing relievers, but he just as obviously has issues to address with both his delivery and secondary offerings. He has one option left, so they have time to work with him.
|2017: Major League Minimum|
|Signing Bonus: $1,000,000
MiLB Debut: 2012
MLB Debut: 4/26/2016
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2022
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/15
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2015, 2016)
MLB Service Time: 0.054
|June 11, 2009: Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 28th round, 852nd overall pick.
June 4, 2012: Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the Supplemental 1st round, 37th overall pick; signed on June 13.
November 20, 2015: Contract purchased by the Boston Red Sox.
August 1, 2016: Traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Minnesota Twins for Fernando Abad.
February 9, 2017: Traded by the Minnesota Twins to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later or cash.