The Pittsburgh Pirates have drafted Tyler Eppler, a right handed pitcher from Sam Houston State, in the sixth round. Eppler sits in the 88-93 MPH range with his fastball, and can touch up to 95 MPH. He doesn’t have much life to the fastball, but projects to have average control. He needs some work with his secondary stuff. He throws an 11-to-5 curveball, a mid-80s cutter, and a changeup which gets mixed reviews, but which some call his best off-speed pitch.
Eppler had a 3.20 ERA in 109.2 innings at Sam Houston State this year, with a 67:30 K/BB ratio. He’s got a big frame, at 6′ 6″, 220 pounds, so there could be some more projection and room for him to add velocity going forward. He’s going to need to work on adding a strikeout pitch and improving the secondary stuff. This seems like a typical pick from the Pirates, taking a highly projectable guy with a good fastball, and hoping to develop everything else to get a good starter.
This is the second year in a row that the Pirates have taken a pitcher from Sam Houston State. They took Cody Dickson in the fourth round last year.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
Should be another easy sign. 150K. I hope they are just waiting for round 11 to start taking good, high-upside players. Hopefully enough are still around there
Most of the draft so far seems to be about choosing players they can save money on. I sure hope they put it to good use at some point.
Maybe the Pirates can save enough money in all the rounds to offer $2M to Bukauskas.