The Pittsburgh Pirates signed 17-year-old Australian right-handed pitcher Jackson Grounds over the weekend. He’s their 26th signing during this current international signing period, which began on January 15th and runs through December 15th.
Grounds is a converted catcher, who just started pitching regularly last year. He’s labeled as a strong kid with a power arm, who currently sits 90-92 MPH. He’s shown a good feel to spin his breaking ball and he’s working on developing his changeup. He’s a projectable arm, who should add velocity as he continues to concentrate on pitching full-time.
Grounds will be finishing school first before joining the Pirates full-time, but he will be training with the team during his school break, and he’s going to be in Bradenton this year with Team Australia during the U18 tournament. He’s also a member of the Brisbane Bandits in the Australian winter league, so if he’s allowed to pitch by the Pirates, he could be part of our winter league coverage this year.