The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to terms with 23rd round pick Jordan Cooper, Pirates Prospects has learned. Cooper is a draft eligible sophomore out of Kentucky, and was selected by the Pirates for the second time in three years, after opting to attend Kentucky rather than signing as a 17th round pick in 2009. Cooper obviously was open to joining the Pirates, as he would have had to sign a letter giving them permission to draft him again in order for them to take him this time around.
Cooper had a difficult year at Kentucky, pitching like an early round pick at times, but struggling badly at others. In his better starts his sinker ranged from 89-94, and he had an effective slider and change. In his bad starts his velocity dropped at the upper end and his command wasn’t there. He had inconsistent velocity in high school as well.
Cooper’s issues started when he was a weekend starter. He moved to the middle of the week and had success, then struggled again once he returned to starting on Sundays. Because of this, it’s unknown whether the issues were related to pitching in big games, or if the matchups were just coincidental, and his struggles were a result of the inconsistencies that we saw out of him in high school. Cooper is expected to begin his pro career with State College.
The Draft Pick Signing Tracker has been updated. The Pirates have now signed 14 players.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.