MASON WARD, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: July 5, 1995
Drafted: 34th Round, 1,018th Overall, 2017
How Acquired: Draft
College: Kennesaw State
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Ward was just the second left-handed pitcher the Pirates took in the 2017 draft and the first since the eighth round. Ward pitched briefly as a freshman in 2014, then struggled, still in limited bullpen action, in 2015, with an 8.66 ERA. He improved in 2016, splitting the year between starting and the bullpen, cutting his ERA to 4.34 and showing excellent control, albeit with a low strikeout rate. He was the second best pitcher for Kennesaw as a senior in 2017, posting a 3.26 ERA in 49.2 innings, with 40 strikeouts and 14 walks.
Pitching in relief, Ward was one of the more effective pitchers on a very bad Bristol staff. He probably pitched better than his ERA, as he was hurt by a low 64.2% strand rate. He had very good walk and K rates, and held opponents to a .644 OPS. He got more effective as the season went along; he had an ERA of 6.43 in his first six games and 2.70 in his last 11. He had a minimal platoon split.
Ward had Tommy John surgery, costing him the entire season.
If he’s healthy in 2019, Ward could be a candidate to go to Greensboro.
|2018: Minor league contract
MiLB FA Eligible: 2023
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2020
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 14, 2017: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 34th round, 1,108th overall pick; signed on June 23.|