The Pittsburgh Pirates have purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Matt Nevarez from the Wichita Wingnuts, an independent team out of the American Association. The 27-year-old has pitched in pro ball since 2005 after being drafted by the Texas Rangers in the tenth round that year.
Nevarez has pitched in the closer role this season, posting a 1.59 ERA in 34 innings over 35 appearances. He has 23 saves in 24 chances, to go along with a 42:12 K/BB ratio and a 1.12 WHIP. He has pitched as high as AA, last with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013, before an arm injury ended his season early. Over his minor league career, he has a 3.20 ERA in 281.2 innings, with 345 strikeouts. Almost all of his work as a pro has come in relief, with his last start occurring six years ago.
According to a press release from Wichita, he will be assigned to the Altoona Curve.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.