The 2011 draft is shaping up to be a great class for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They picked first overall that year, so naturally you’d expect good things from first round pick Gerrit Cole. They also went way over-slot to sign second round pick Josh Bell with a $5 M bonus, which set a record for any bonus after the first round. They set another record when they signed Clay Holmes, with his $1.2 M being the biggest bonus for a ninth round pick. Holmes is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery, and will make the jump to Bradenton this year.
Of course, the biggest story of that draft was the breakout of Tyler Glasnow. He was a fifth round pick, signing for $600,000, and at the time there was very little known about him, other than the fact that he was an extremely tall and skinny pitcher who could throw 88-91 MPH. Three and a half years later, he’s now the top prospect in the system, and one of the top prospects in baseball.
If that’s all the Pirates got from their draft, it would be more than enough. Two potential top of the rotation guys, the first baseman of the future, and a potential middle of the rotation guy. But there’s another pitcher who gets over-shadowed by this group, and that pitcher is eighth round pick Jason Creasy.
Creasy was another projectable prep pitcher when he signed, receiving $250,000 to break a commitment to NC State. He threw in the upper 80s at the time, touching 90 MPH. In 2014, his four-seam fastball was sitting 90-93 MPH, touching 95. He also boasts some of the best control in the system, seeing his walk rate drop from an 11.1 BB% in 2011, to 8.1%, 5.2%, and 3.5% in the next three years, respectively. While the walk rate has been impressive, the strikeouts have never been high, with a 15.9% strikeout rate last year.
He’s got the upside to be a back of the rotation starter, or a strong reliever. That doesn’t sound like much in comparison to the upsides of some of the other 2011 picks, but any team would take that from any eighth round pick.
The 2015 season will see Creasy make the jump to Altoona. His focus right now is improving his breaking ball to have a better out pitch, and pitching down in the zone. I talked to him in the video below about this focus, along with recapping how his Spring Training has gone so far.
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.
Creasy looks poised to have an AA season similar to Adrian Sampson’s 2014. I know Clay Holmes and Heredia are still regarded as having higher upsides and prospect statuses but Creasy definitely has a higher floor and a better shot at the major league level.
He does not look like the typical Pirate pitcher, kind of small.
Did you Root sports where they mic’d up Spanky? Seeing him in the middle of all the pitchers, was LOL funny. Like a bush among red woods
That 2011 draft; prettay, prettay good.
I have yet to see this kid pitch – hope to change that this Summer….
You also never know when one of these sinker ball pitchers turns into the next Charlie Morton
Or Roy Halladay.
You can never have too much pitching.