Eighth Round: Pirates Select Right-Handed Pitcher Austin Roberts

With their eighth round pick in the 2019 MLB draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected right-handed pitcher Austin Roberts out of Sacramento State. He’s 20 years old and stands in at 6’0″, 219 pounds. Baseball America has him ranked 269th in this draft class.

BA says that he gets his fastball up to 94 MPH and possesses a plus slider with bite. The fastball plays up due to lots of sinking action. He has split his time between starting and relieving during his three years of college, but his stuff plays up in shorter roles, so he’s likely destined for a bullpen spot. This season he had a 3.18 ERA in 73.2 innings, with 84 strikeouts and 30 walks. While the strikeout rate was higher this year, he performed better last season when he was used almost exclusively in relief.

His draft spot comes with a $168,500 bonus slot.

Here’s his player page.