Eric Stout

Born: March 27, 1993
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 205
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 13th Round, 393rd Overall, 2014 (Royals)
How Acquired: Trade (with Cubs)
College: Butler University
Agent: Nello Gamberdino
Kansas City drafted Stout in the 13th round in 2014.  He made good progress through their system, including his first AAA season in 2017, which got him added to the 40-man roster.  Since then, he generally hasn’t pitched well.  He used to throw a 91 mph fastball, along with a sinker, change and slider.  By 2022, his fastball was up to 93 and he’d largely eliminated the other pitches, except the slider, which he was throwing over half the time.  The result was a sharply increased K rate, but also increased control problems.  Since reaching the upper minors, Stout has had large platoon splits.  The Pirates acquired him for cash in June 2022.

R+:  5-2-1, 3.58 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 32.2 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 7.4 K/9

Aside from one start, Stout pitched in relief in advanced rookie ball.  He put up solid numbers across the board.

R:  0-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 4.2 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 5.8 K/9
R+:  0-0-0, 3.38 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 2.2 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 16.9 K/9
A:  0-0-3, 3.26 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 30.1 IP, 1.8 BB/9, 4.5 K/9
AA:  0-1-0, 7.71 ERA, 2.57 WHIP, 2.1 IP, 3.9 BB/9, 7.7 K/9

The Royals sent Stout to low class A for most of his first full season, although he made only 16 relief appearances there and three, plus one start, at other levels.  He was effective in low A, except he had a very low K rate.

AA:  6-4-2, 3.86 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 72.1 IP, 3.1 BB/9, 8.6 K/9

In AA, Stout continued pitching in relief, often in two- or three-inning stints.  He again got solid results, including only three gopher balls in 72.1 IP.  He had a big platoon split, with left-handed batters putting up only a .490 OPS against him, while right-handed hitters had a .766 OPS.

AAA:  5-2-5, 2.99 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 69.1 IP, 3.8 BB/9, 7.3 K/9

In AAA, Stout had a good season.  His walk and K rates weren’t overwhelming, but opponents batted only .228 against him, with little power.  He held left-handed batters to a .193 average.  Kansas City added him to the 40-man roster after the season.

AAA:  3-3-4, 4.75 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 55.0 IP, 2.1 BB/9, 7.2 K/9
MLB:  0-0-0, 23.14 ERA, 3.86 WHIP, 2.1 IP, 7.7 BB/9, 7.7 K/9

Stout opened the season in AAA.  The Royals called him up briefly in April and he made two appearances, then one more in May, but otherwise he stayed in AAA.  He obviously had a rough time in his brief major league trial and he also was much less effective in AAA than he was in 2017.  He again had a large platoon split.  In September the Royals released him.

AA:  0-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 2.0 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 9.0 K/9
AAA:  2-2-0, 6.27 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, 60.1 IP, 5.5 BB/9, 7.8 K/9
IND:  1-1-0, 3.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 9.0 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 13.0 K/9

In January, Stout signed a minor league deal with San Diego, but the Padres released him late in spring training.  He caught on with the Reds and spent most of the season in AAA.  The Reds tried him as a starter; out of 20 AAA games he made nine starts.  He struggled badly in both roles and had a big problem with gopher balls, allowing one every four innings.  Stout became a free agent after the season.

IND:  1-1-0, 9.45 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 3.4 BB/9, 5.4 K/9

Stout didn’t sign in organized ball and, during the pandemic year, made three starts for Chicago of the independent American Association.

AAA:  0-2-0, 10.19 ERA, 2.09 WHIP, 17.2 IP, 9.2 BB/9, 10.7 K/9
IND:  2-1-0, 1.96 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 23.0 IP, 2.0 BB/9, 11.7 K/9

Stout returned to the American Association, this time with Kansas City.  He pitched very well in four starts, including a much higher K rate than in the past.  Miami signed him to a minor league deal in June, but he struggled in AAA, including even worse gopher ball problems.  The Marlins released him in August.

AAA (ChC):  2-2-2, 3.94 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 29.2 IP, 6.7 BB/9, 14.6 K/9
AAA:  1-0-3, 0.68 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 4.7 BB/9, 10.1 K/9
MLB (ChC):  0-0-0, 4.91 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 3.2 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 14.7 K/9
MLB:  0-0-1, 5.79 ERA, 1.98 WHIP, 18.2 IP, 7.2 BB/9, 9.2 K/9

The Cubs signed Stout to a minor league deal about the time the lockout ended.  He moved back to the bullpen, except for one start, and started missing a lot of bats, although he also had a very high walk rate.  He continued to have a large platoon split.  The Cubs called Stout up in June and he pitched respectably in two appearances, with six strikeouts in 3.2 IP.  Three days after calling him up, Chicago designated him for assignment.  The Pirates acquired him a few days later for cash.  He appeared in 18 games for them and 11 for Indianapolis, pitching fairly well for the latter and very badly for the Pirates.  Right-handed batters bombed him for an OPS of 1.100 in the majors for the year.

The Pirates optioned Stout to AAA when they acquired him, leaving him now with one option left.  Even with his good 2017 season, he hasn’t done well in AAA, with a career 4.70 ERA and 1.51 WHIP there.  He did, however, show some signs of improvement in 2022, including the much higher K rate.  He’s always struggled with right-handed hitters, so he’d have to be used carefully if he ever reaches the majors.  Stout seems to be another in an unending line of pointless Ben Cherington acquisitions:  a late-20s reliever who’s had no success in the majors, and often (including Stout) little to none in AAA, who’s acquired after being dfa’d and then does poorly.  On any other team, Stout would be removed from the 40-man roster after the season, but with the Pirates there’s always doubt.

2023: Major league minimum
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2014
MLB Debut: 4/25/2018
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2028
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2017
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2018, 2022)
MLB Service Time: 0.070
June 7, 2014: Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 13th round, 393rd overall pick; signed on June 9.
November 20, 2017: Contract purchased by the Kansas City Royals.
September 5, 2018: Designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals; released on September 10.
January 13, 2019: Signed as a minor league free agent by the San Diego Padres.
March 27, 2019: Released by the San Diego Padres.
May 31, 2019: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Cincinnati Reds.
November 4, 2019: Became a free agent.
June 9, 2021: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Miami Marlins.
August 13, 2021: Released by the Miami Marlins.
March 9, 2022: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Chicago Cubs.
June 13, 2022: Called up by the Chicago Cubs.
June 16, 2022: Designated for assignment by the Chicago Cubs.
June 21, 2022: Traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations.