Pirates Prospects has learned that 26-year-old first baseman Albert Baur has retired. He was likely slated to begin the season at Altoona after hitting .266/.327/.411 in 117 games for the Bradenton Marauders in 2018.
Baur was drafted by the Pirates in the 28th round in 2015 out of Newberry College. He spent his first two seasons playing in Morgantown, before moving up to West Virginia in 2017. During that third season of pro ball, he posted an .805 OPS over 106 games.
After a solid season in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, it seemed like he could take over at first base in Altoona with Will Craig moving up to Indianapolis. That was especially true after Jordan George was lost in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft. It was still a tough spot to be in with a young first baseman in the majors and a first round pick ahead of him at the same spot.
Baur is the second player this spring to retire, with both looking like they would be with Altoona in 2019. Outfielder Tyler Gaffney retired last week.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.