Pirates Sign Pitcher John O’Reilly as a Non-Drafted Free Agent

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed right-handed pitcher John O’Reilly out of Rutgers on Wednesday morning. He’s 22 years old and stands 6’5″, 205 pounds.

O’Reilly was a four-year starter at Rutgers, getting eight starts as a freshman before taking the role over full-time. He’s been fairly consistent over the years, with a 5.24 ERA in 299.2 innings, with 110 walks, 174 strikeouts and a 1.55 WHIP. His WHIP has been between 1.51 and 1.59 every season and he’s never averaged more than 6.30 strikeouts per nine innings. His 4.35 ERA as a freshman was his best.

This is an interesting signing because O’Reilly had some trouble in his past. A 2014 incident at Rutgers was well publicized a year or so later when a lawsuit was brought against him. You can read the details here. The Pirates are obviously hoping that was an isolated incident in the past. He seems to have turned things around afterwards.

O’Reilly is down at Pirate City and will get an assignment in the near future.

UPDATE: Got a little help from my cousin-in-law, who played baseball at Rutgers and was able to get this scouting report on O’Reilly:

“Pitched at 88-90 tops out at 92. Has great movement on his fastball. Is a ground ball pitcher. Changeup next best pitch, with a 12-to-6 curve. Bulldog type mentality. Will come right after guys and challenge with his fastball. When he’s down he is tough to hit.”