Gage Hinsz Named Top Late-Round Draft Pick By Baseball America

When the Pittsburgh Pirates took right-handed pitcher Gage Hinsz in the 11th round, there were no guarantees they would sign him. The 18-year-old was almost taken in the second round according to Hinsz himself, but he passed on a pre-draft offer. The Pirates ended up taking him nine rounds later and agreed to an over-slot bonus of $580,000, the maximum they could pay him without incurring heavy penalties for going over their draft bonus pool.

Baseball America released their draft grades today and named Hinsz the top late-round draft pick, which is anyone taken and signed after the tenth round. Hinsz is big and raw, but he already hits 93 MPH with his fastball and does it with a clean, easy delivery. He already has strong command of his fastball and he came from a high school that didn’t have a team. He is a highly projectable pitcher, with tons of upside and there is a chance that he ends up as the best pick the Pirates made this year. With his limited experience, room to grow and the abilities he already possesses, Hinsz could easily live up to Baseball America’s choice as the top late-round pick.

We have a recap of his first start as a pro, which includes video of every single pitch he made that day. You can view that here. He ended up making three appearances in the GCL this season, throwing a total of eight innings.

No other Pirates were on the various lists and Pittsburgh wasn’t ranked among the top five teams in the draft.

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.

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Pie Rat

The 2nd round pre-offer must have been low ball to pay him under-slot money in the 2nd round by whoever offered it. This new system has changed the way players get drafted. The best players don’t get taken first. Even though Hinz might work out, I’d rather see them pick the best player in the early rounds than have them save money so they can say they got the best player after round 10.


Given his current size, arm strength, and delivery I think it’s pretty unlikely to expect much projection as far as velocity goes. Rare for guys with such a high starting point in those areas to project even higher.

But that starting point also means the organization can begin turning him into an actual pitcher even faster. I’ll take that any day. Love this kid’s story.

John, he was obviously somewhat of a known commodity to receive pre-draft offers in the second round range, but do you know if he was big on the showcase circuit? Seems like a big hat tip to the scouting department for finding a kid in Montana that didn’t even play high school ball.


Thanks, John.

Kevin Anstrom

I was thinking Kevin Krause might show up in the Best Power Hitter category. Also John Sever for Best Late-Round Pick.


Probably a goofie question john sorry.. but does the pirates system look to have a descent amount of speed compared to other systems with marte & Polanco now up?


Bam! Thank ya kindly sir

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