The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed right-handed pitcher Cory Rhodes as a non-drafted free agent. He pitched as a senior at King University this season, posting a 4.08 ERA in 92.2 innings, with a 29/96 BB/SO ratio. The ERA sounds high, but the team plays in a high offense environment, with a team ERA of 5.30 and opponent ERA of 5.54 this season. Rhodes led King University with a 3.65 ERA over 56.2 innings in 2013 and a 3.09 ERA in 84.1 innings in 2012.
Rhodes pitched as recently as Wednesday in the National Baseball Congress World Series. He pitched three times over a six day span, including a complete game shutout in which he had 13 strikeouts on Tuesday. Rhodes is a big kid at 6’4″, 240 pounds and one source lists him as being 22 years old. He should be assigned to one of the short-season teams, either Bristol or Jamestown.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
Great to hear that the Pirates continue to look under every rock for possible players.