Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 Top Prospects: #15 – Trey Supak

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To recap the countdown so far:

20. Luis Heredia, RHP
19. JaCoby Jones, SS
18. Willy Garcia, OF
17. Clay Holmes, RHP
16. Gage Hinsz, RHP

We continue the countdown with the number 15 prospect, Trey Supak.

15. Trey Supak, RHP

Trey Supak signed for $1 M.
Trey Supak signed for $1 M.

The Pirates took two over-slot prep pitchers in the second round, selecting Mitch Keller with their actual second round pick, and Trey Supak with their supplemental draft pick a few spots later. Both pitchers received a $1 M signing bonus, although there was a clear difference between the two.

Supak possesses a lot of the traits that make Keller a top prospect. He’s a tall, projectable right-hander who can already hit 94 MPH, with the potential for two average off-speed pitches. Supak has more projection in his frame than Keller, but falls behind Keller at the moment with his present velocity.

While Supak can hit 94 MPH, he mostly works in the 88-92 range. He sits 90-91 early in the game, but loses his velocity as the game goes on. As he fills out his frame and adds strength, he could maintain his velocity in the later innings. Until then, his upside is going to involve a bit more projection than Keller.

Supak’s fastball command was inconsistent in his pro debut, leading to poor results. He had issues leaving his fastball up in the zone at times, which led to him getting hit hard. He can locate the ball down in the zone at times, but needs to learn how to do that on a more consistent basis.

The off-speed stuff could also show improvements. His current projection limits his upside to a number three or four starter. If he can develop an above-average off-speed pitch, and fill out his frame to get more consistent velocity, then he could improve his upside, becoming a solid middle of the rotation starter or better.

The Pirates have sent their prep pitchers to Bristol or returned them to the GCL in the last few years, taking a more conservative approach than a few years ago when it would be automatic that their top prep pitchers would go to the New York-Penn League during their first full season. Supak’s bonus suggests that he could get that aggressive push to Morgantown, but his current stuff would probably be better off with a more conservative push to Bristol. That could change if he sees a lot of strong developments during extended Spring Training, especially with the quality of his changeup and the command of his fastball.

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  • John, would you say at 18 both of these guys are ahead of Heredia when he was 18?

    • I don’t think so. Heredia was impressing scouts at 18 in the NYPL and getting fantastic reports from the ones I talk to. He just hasn’t gone anywhere in the last two years

  • You can see a couple GCL videos of Supak(and Mitch Keller) here http://18.206.184.11/2014/07/two-million-dollar-arms-make-their-debut-for-the-gcl-pirates.html

    • John: Supak was a very young HS Senior. In fact, the Pirates seem to look at that as much as talent. Meadows and McGuire were young HS Seniors last year, and Tucker, Supak, Hinsz, and Keller were all young HS Seniors in their draft year. With parents starting to hold back their male children, we have seen a lot of HS Seniors that were already 19 before the draft. Means the Bucs get that extra year of professional development.

      • Nick Buckner was also young for his class last year, though Trae Arbet was old for his class and they seemed to miss on him. Arbet was drafted in 2013 and is already five months away from his 21st bday.

        • Arbet was one of those guys that when they get drafted they are already in their age 19 season. This is one of the guys I could not understand, along with Connor Joe in 2014, who although being drafted as a Junior out of college in 2014, will already be in his age 23 season in 2015, and he has not hit a lick since signing his name. I know he is listed as our #29 Prospect, and we gave him $1.25 mil to sign, but this kid has to be a starter on the MLB All-Phantom Team.

  • There it is! I missed this. Last week was a long week without the rankings. Also what’s the difference between Jamestown and Bristol as far as development?

    • Bristol is a level below Jamestown/Morgantown, younger, less experienced players. It’s an advanced rookie league. Average age in the NYPL was 21.3 in 2014, the Appalachian League was 20.4

      • Very detailed as always. Are the GC, Jamestown and Bristol are short seasons? Is there that big a difference in whether Supak for example goes to Jamestown over Bristol?

        • They are all short-season teams. If he went to Bristol, he would be seeing more 2nd year HS kids, lower talent college players and players in their 1-2 years out of the Dominican Summer League. In Morgantown(Pirates moved for 2015) he would be seeing better college players. It is definitely a step up in talent.

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