The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted right-handed pitcher Ryan Valdes in the 33rd round in the 2017 draft. He was a 23-year-old (turned 24 in August) fifth year college player, who wasn't the typical pitcher you see the Pirates draft. With almost every older player selected, there is a back story of why they got attention later in their career and Valdes fits that mold perfectly.
The first thing that stands out with Valdes is that he doesn't stand out. The Pirates seem to stockpile right-handed pitchers who are somewhere between 6'3" and 6'4" each year in the draft. In the land of tall pitchers, Valdes is just 5'11", 185 pounds, which is small by baseball standards. You will find the occasional pitch under 6'0" in the system, including another late round draft pick who is a favorite for many...
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