Pirates Prospects has learned that the Pittsburgh Pirates will promote right-handed pitcher Gage Hinsz to the West Virginia Power and he is expected to start to Friday’s game. This was confirmed through Larry Broadway, who is the Director of Minor League Operations.

Hinsz pitched for Bristol last season, where he had a 3.79 ERA in 38 innings, with a .252 BAA and a 1.58 WHIP. He pitched briefly in the GCL in 2014 after the Pirates took him in the 11th round of the amateur draft, signing him to an over-slot deal for $580,000.

The scouting report after we saw him last season was that he sat 90-92, touching 93 MPH with his fastball, which had nice movement and downhill plane. The curve had sharp 11-to-5 break and potential to be a plus pitch. He was working on a changeup last year and the results were positive. His control was spotty at times, which led to 23 walks in 38 innings last year. Due to his upside, we ranked him as the 25th best prospect in our 2016 Prospect Guide.

Hinsz is 6’4″, 205 pounds, and just turned 20 back in April, so there was some room to add velocity. Back in March we posted video of Hinsz early in Spring Training. In mid-April, he was already showing some added velocity, touching 94 MPH.

Since then, the reports have been even better. Tim Williams talked to a scout today who told him that Hinsz was hitting 95 MPH during a recent start and the curve looked like a plus pitch. I was able to confirm that with someone else who recently watched him pitch. He will now join a West Virginia Power rotation that has another high upside 20-year-old righty who took a big leap forward this season — Mitch Keller.

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  1. No not great news. Why promote him to WV and skip him over Morgantown mid year?
    There are fans here who if they cant get a snif last year you’d think they give us a snif this year but no. Thanks Brass!

        • Google has it 2:20.

          Pittsburgh to Altoona is 2:17.

          It’s not a trip you make daily, but it can be done once a year. Last year I covered a game in Charleston, left after the game, and got in my hotel at Morgantown a little after midnight.

  2. Who else is still in extended spring training and hasn’t yet played this year? I understand Cumpton will miss all of 2016, but what about Kingham?

      • That is good to hear about Kingham – he’s been kind of forgotten, but if he can bounce back to where he as before TJS, he is another top flight starting pitching prospect. The problem with all these guys – Glasnow, Taillon, Kuhl, and Kingham – is they are all right handed and there doesn’t appear to be room for them all in Pittsburgh – at least not in the rotation (assuming Cole and Liriano aren’t going anywhere)….

      • Is Nick Buckner in EST, or is he repeating Bristol again? He seems like and intriguing young player with a fairly high ceiling, if he can ever harness the strikeouts.
        Speaking of strikeouts, I just read the stats on Adam Walker – the big first base prospect for the Twins. He is striking out at almost a 50% rate so far this season….

        • Buckner has been in Extended Spring since March. Not sure where he is going, but it will either be Bristol or Morgantown

    • We’ll have more updates later this month on the extended guys, with articles on the bigger prospects, and team previews for Morgantown, Bristol, and the GCL.

    • Helton was supposed to go Friday. They may piggyback pitchers. Have one go 5ip, one go 4ip

    • It’s possible that had something to do with it, but according to our live spring reports and what we have heard from others, he has made a leap forward since March. He was still pitching, so he was just getting slightly fewer innings down there instead.

      • Are the Pirates no longer ” enforcing ” fastball command in the low levels. It used to be that the breaking pitch was put aside until A+ AA. Not a complaint just wondering if philosophy changed a bit.

        • If you watch lower level guys, they go heavy with fastballs, nothing has changed. They throw two other pitches, but if you watch someone like Hinsz or Keller throw 75 pitches, you will see 55-60 fastballs, 10-15 curves and five changeups, but they usually don’t mix the other pitches in right away. I’ve seen the split even higher than that. A start by Logan Sendelbach early this season was at least 90% fastballs. I don’t think I saw ten off-speed pitches total

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