Fifth Round: Pirates Draft UVA Left-Handed Pitcher Brandon Waddell

The Pittsburgh Pirates have drafted left-handed pitcher Brandon Waddell from the University of Virginia in the 5th round. He’s a 6′ 3″, 180 pound left-hander who just turned 21 last Wednesday. That makes him similar to third round pick Casey Hughston, in that they’re both a bit younger than most college players coming out of the draft.

Waddell has a fastball that can reach 92 MPH, but mostly sits in the upper 80s. He’s struggled with command at times, and MLB.com says that’s due to pitch selection and a blister issue. That’s a good sign, since it might be an easier thing to fix, as opposed to something that requires a mechanical adjustment. Waddell has potential with his 11-to-5 curveball, and a late moving cutter. Jonathan Mayo said that he has three average pitches, and Baseball America called his stuff “pretty vanilla”, but said he has deception with his delivery. He was rated 343rd by BA, and 163rd by MLB.

UVA will be playing in the College World Series this weekend, so there could be a chance to watch Waddell pitch. He most likely wouldn’t sign until after UVA is eliminated, although that would keep him fresh to the point where he could jump right in to the Morgantown rotation. He looks like a guy who has a shot at being a back of the rotation starter or a middle reliever.

Brandon Waddell’s Player Page

  • Blisters? Soak in pickle brine. Worked for Nolan Ryan.

  • Tim, I’m watching Hooper continue to fall here. I know either you or John said earlier this morning that he plans to honor his commitment. But we’ve seen the Pirates break commitments before (i.e. Josh Bell). What do you think the odds are the the Pirates take him? And would you think that we have one of the better shots at signing him due to our recent success with projectable pitchers?

    • His dream is to go to college,he won’t sign

      • So no chance at all then. That’s too bad. My dream is to have a 6’7″ lefty to pair with Glasnow. Just imagine how scary of a 1-2 that would be.

        • I agree,but some kids no matter how high u draft them or how much u offer them they just want to go to college and have fun before they go pro

          • That’s fair. Take it from a kid in college, college is pretty fun. And thank you, I’m still trying to figure out this whole draft process. This is my first year really following it.

  • sounds like a loogy to me

  • silversalmon586
    June 9, 2015 3:10 pm

    Rated #342? Obviously see something the scouts didn’t – or can sign for cheap…

    • 343 by one scouting service. 163 by another. That shows baseball scouting isn’t an exact science. How anyone can sit and complain about a teams MLB draft is kinda beyond me. Of all sports it is by far the biggest crapshoot. This kid could be the next Tom Glavine or never see above Single A. Who knows? Absolutely noone. Only time will tell.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        June 9, 2015 3:21 pm

        agreed….no question…

      • Fantastic point. I may have an opinion based on what I read on several sites but until I’m out there scouting for a living, I have to give at least the benefit of the doubt to those who do.

    • Also ranked #163 by MLB. And no doubt ranked top 100 by some – and no doubt ranked worse than 400 by some other. Pitchers such as John Smoltz, Andy Pettitte, and Brandon Beachy were not ranked in the top 500 of their respective drafts. You would have thrown a fit if the Bucs had drafted any of those guys in Round 10, let alone Round 5.

      BTW, Albert Pujols, Ryne Sandberg, and Mike Piazza were all given virtually no chance to make the majors when they were drafted.

  • Darkstone42
    June 9, 2015 3:04 pm

    Looking at his profile, he kind of reminds me of Brault, except that he has maybe a little more projectability. Not a huge upside, but a guy who could contribute in some capacity sooner than later.

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