Sixth Round: Pirates Draft Right-Handed Pitcher Jonathan Brubaker

The Pittsburgh Pirates have drafted right-handed pitcher Jonathan Brubaker from Akron in the sixth round. Brubaker wasn’t in the Baseball America top 500, and there wasn’t a ton of information on him. He seems to go by “JT”. He tops out at 94 MPH with his fastball, and flashes a plus slider, although both pitches have been inconsistent. He’s got an easy delivery and clean mechanics.

At this point in the draft, you’re basically drafting tools that you can develop. Brubaker is 6′ 4″, 175 pounds and can touch mid-90s, so he’s your typical projectable pick. The slider gives him a potential out pitch. The Pirates tend to draft the fastball and the frame, with the hope that they can develop the secondary stuff and teach good fastball command.

Expect Brubaker to go to Morgantown, where he will likely get a lot of innings in the rotation to work on his game. He will join fellow day two picks Jacob Taylor and Brandon Waddell in that rotation once he signs. It’s possible that this will be an under-slot signing (slot is $246,500), aimed at saving money for an over-slot guy on day three. There have been reports that he could develop into a back of the rotation starter, although the fastball/slider combo definitely gives him a backup to be a reliever if the changeup doesn’t work out.

J.T. Brubaker’s Player Page

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.

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Joseph Willis

This is the Tyler Glasgow like pick. Not ranked big kid throws hard that will pit on weight and throw harder hopefully. Except Glasnow was younger though


It seems like a lot of these guys are expected to sign underslot. Do you think they’re really trying to save up for Hooper, who is now expected to fall to Day 3, or is it more likely they’re going to go for guys lower on the radar with probably smaller demands?

Kerry Writtenhouse

It would probably depend on how big of a bonus Hooper or anyone else is looking for. From the 11th round on, anything over 100k counts against your pool.


This is the first one I’m not super happy with, but the fastball seems to be pretty decent at least. Maybe they saw something in his good days they think they can bring out with regularity.


I think I read about the wrong guy now that Tim is tweeting about him. I thought he was heavier with little room to add velocity. I was wrong, and now I see more upside to this guy.

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