Mitch Keller Named Top Pitching Prospect in the Arizona Fall League

Both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline have released their lists of the top prospects in the Arizona Fall League this year and they both agreed that Mitch Keller was the best pitching prospect in the league.

Pipeline posted their list of the top 25 prospects and had Keller ranked fourth overall behind Ronald Acuna, Victor Robles and Francisco Mejia. Their brief write-up on Keller mentions that he had the best fastball package in the league, while flashing a plus curveball and an effective changeup. Earlier this week, Keller was voted on to the All-AFL team.

JT Brubaker got some recognition from MLB Pipeline as one of ten AFL prospects who stood out. He was praised for his high-90s fastball velocity and his effective slider in the article, but not mentioned is that his changeup has been a strong pitcher for him as well.

Baseball America ranked Keller third overall in the league behind Acuna and Robles. Mejia ranked sixth. They praised all three of his pitches, noting the improvements to his changeup. The only downside they mentioned was occasional shaky command, but that didn’t affect him against teams full of hitting prospects. His 1.52 ERA was best among starters in the league and his 1.01 WHIP was fourth best for starters. He also held batters to a .226 BAA, while issuing just five walks in 23.2 innings, and he posted a 2.25 GO/AO ratio.

BA also mentioned Taylor Hearn in that article as one of ten prospects on the rise. They gave him a plus grade on his fastball and noted his smooth/clean delivery. They called his slider at least average, which is a nice grade considering that he changed his grip on the pitch while in Arizona.

If you missed it from last weekend, here is our AFL season recap with much more on Keller, Hearn and Brubaker.

  • Is there enough pitching in the pipeline for the Pirates to make a deal by trading Glasnow for a young, impact bat? He’s the type of pitcher who will either flip the switch and become a top of the rotation starter or will continue to perform like last year. It appears that Keller is more of a sure thing. It also looks like Hearn and Brubaker will be able to compete for roles in a couple of years.

    • You’re about two and a half years too late with this question. Many thought this should’ve happened at 2015 deadline in attempt to win division.

      Now his value has taken a huge hit. Won’t return an impact bat.

      • Everybody is looking for an ” impact bat ” Scott. Who is going to give that up for a lottery pick prospect, which TG is right now ?

  • I definitely think Keller has the talent to be an impact pitcher and, unlike he who shall not be named, surely seems to have a solid, unshakable demeanor.

    Gotta say, looking at those lists, damn…how about those Yankees. The already have a playoff caliber team loaded with young talent, enough money to buy who they want…and 3/10 prospects on both lists…ouch, If they’re run wisely, they may soon be back on top of the AL for the next decade.

  • If only this were the era of good pitching beats good hitting.

    • Scott, I absolutely agree. Congratulations to this young man
      and may you have a long and successful Pirates career, but
      I’d be even happier if our top prospect could be a 3rd baseman
      who could hit 300 and have 25-35 HR a year.

  • Booyah