The Pittsburgh Pirates signed 18-year-old right-handed pitcher Brandan Bidois out of Australia. He recently competed in the U18 World Cup tournament that we talked about here after Pirates prospect Tsung-Che Cheng captained his team to the title.
Bidois played in the Australian Baseball League this winter, where he was actually an infielder and played briefly, getting into six games, two as a starter at third base. He stands in at 6’0″, 160 pounds and he turned 18 in June.
He pitched this summer in a lower level league in Australia, where he had a 6.83 ERA in 29 innings over 14 appearances. He also saw time at the plate, batting .271 during the season. During the U18 tournament, he allowed two runs over 13 innings and picked up nine strikeouts. He was hitting 90 MPH at the tournament.
He was scheduled to play college ball in the U.S., so the Pirates signed him away from the coincidentally named Three Rivers Community College, which is in Connecticut. Bidois has already headed to Pirate City, where he is now taking part in the Fall Instructional League. He’s the first amateur player signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates out of Australia since 2012. At one time they had seven players signed from Australia, but none of them made it to Low-A.
Here’s a highlight video from the U18 World Cup. He is #35 on the green team.
I’ll note the the first name here is usually shown as “Brandon” but I got the spelling from Bidois on social media, so I believe “Brandan” is correct.
UPDATE: Here’s the full scouting report on Bidois, who has been pitching for just six months. His fastball was 88-93 in his last start before signing, sitting at 91 MPH. His slider was 75-80, mostly at 78 MPH. His changeup is 79-82, showing about ten MPH separation from his fastball. He’s a terrific athlete, with plus arm speed, which should lead to more velocity as he fills out and gets older. The slider has a lot of potential, showing a feel for spin, along with getting tighter as he added power to the pitch. It’s already improved tremendously over a short time.