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.+ posts
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.