The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 17th round draft pick Austin Sodders. The 20-year-old left-handed pitcher played for Riverside CC(CA) in 2015, where he made 11 starts and had a 2.03 ERA in 79.2 innings. He showed excellent control with 11 walks, while adding 58 strikeouts and holding batters to a .256 average. Sodders comes from a strong baseball family, with both his dad and older brother playing pro ball. He’s 6’3″, 180 pounds and fits the Pirates’ mold of tall, projectable pitchers, though most of the others are right-handed. He will pitch in the Gulf Coast League.
You can view his player page here. The draft tracker has been updated with his signing. The Pirates have now signed all of their picks in the top 18 rounds except 5th rounder Brandon Waddell, who is currently playing in the College World Series finals.
UPDATED 6/29 7:25 PM: Sodders apparently had a change of heart almost immediately after signing. He was announced signed on Monday June 22, but by that night he had second thoughts and was gone the next day. His transaction on the Pirates’ site has been taken down and he was switched back to unsigned on their draft tracker. His MiLB page has also disappeared. It appears that(for now) he won’t be signing.
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.
John: Sodders is a good sign with a lot of upside. I hope they get Brandon Waddell. He struggled this year, but was 10-3 for Virginia last year and 2-0 in the CWS. Who is the “prize” player/pitcher they are saving money to try to sign?
Probably Ike Schlabach if I had to guess. I hear that he doesn’t want a lot over slot but he may be worth going over slot to get. I guess it matters what Waddell signs for and it shouldn’t take long after the CWS to find out.
Any news on Brenden Spillane?
Not a thing. Very quiet on that front, which usually(not always) isn’t a good sign