ALTOONA, Pa. – Pirates Prospects has learned that Mitch Keller has been promoted to Double-A Altoona. According to multiple sources, he will be joining the team tomorrow, although he just made his last start on Monday, so he won’t be activated until his turn in the rotation comes up.
In 15 starts for Bradenton this season, Keller pitched to a 3.14 ERA in 77.1 IP. After a tough return from his June back injury, Keller has been pitching great recently. In his last three starts combined, he has allowed three runs over 19 innings, and he hasn’t walked a batter in either of his last two starts. Keller recently hit 100 MPH in a start and has been hitting 99 MPH often in each of his last three outings. He is the top ranked prospect in the system.
UPDATE 12:34 AM:
The organization has not confirmed the promotion; however, Curve manager Michael Ryan gave his thoughts on Keller.
“I saw him for two starts last year, and it’s electric stuff,” Ryan said. “He’s got three quality pitches, his breaking ball is really good, and he throws hard. He’s a bulldog out there. It’s everything you ask for from a starting pitcher.”
I wouldn’t expect official word from the Pirates until closer to when he would make a start for Altoona, which wouldn’t be until this weekend at the earliest. He made his last start for Bradenton on Monday, allowing one earned run and walking none in six innings.