The Pittsburgh Pirates signed 17-year-old right-handed pitcher Luis Joseph from the Dominican Republic on Wednesday afternoon. He’s the 30th international player signed by the Pirates since the start of the 2019-20 international signing period on July 2nd.
Joseph turned 17 back on June 15th. He stands in at 6’3″, 180 pounds, with an extra large frame, lean physique and broad shoulders. There’s a bit of athleticism here and tons of projection. He has solid arm speed that currently produces a fastball that sits 87-91 MPH, but there is future arm strength and projection here that will produce more velocity in the future. His curveball has steep depth and will get anywhere from 67 to 75 MPH. His changeup also has a wide range at this point, sitting anywhere from 80 to 86 MPH. Both pitches project to be solid/average secondary offerings. He has the traits of a future starter.
The Pirates have been going after pitching in this signing class, getting four players on day one that they are very high on, including top signing ($850,000) Cristopher Cruz. While he got the biggest bonus and was the second best pitcher in this signing class according to MLB Pipeline, some with the Pirates were just as high on Venezuelan pitcher Gilberto Alcala ($450,000). The Pirates also gave a big bonus to left-hander Yojeiry Osoria ($600,000) and righty Roelmy Garcia ($350,000) who each have a chance to be special pitchers down the line.
With their bonus pool down to around $750,000, look for more projectable pitchers like Joseph from here on out, hoping to catch a young arm before he gets priced out of their remaining range. That’s especially true later in the signing period, unless they acquire more bonus pool space.
Here’s our updated tracker.
UPDATE: I got one video to upload out of the two I received. This one is from just over a month ago