The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted right-handed pitcher JT Brubaker to Bradenton, per a West Virginia press release. Brubaker was drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 draft almost exactly one year ago today, taken out of college.
There wasn’t much room for Brubaker in the Bradenton rotation at the start of the year, but he also had some command issues to work out in West Virginia. He had a rough start to the season, posting a 4.40 ERA in 45 innings, with a 50:20 K/BB ratio. He has been dominant in his last few starts, putting up a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings, with a 27:4 K/BB ratio.
Brubaker was our #30 prospect in the system heading into the season, throwing his fastball 90-93 MPH and touching 94. He also throws a slider, a curve, and a changeup, with the slider being his out pitch.
West Virginia recently added Gage Hinsz to their rotation, giving them six starters. That allowed them to skip Mitch Keller this week, giving him a bit of a rest as the South Atlantic League All-Star break approaches. It looks like that rest might be over, as Brubaker’s promotion puts them back at five starters. Julio Vivas was added to the West Virginia roster in a corresponding move.
No word yet on any moves from Bradenton or higher, but we’ll update this when more moves are known.