The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run came on a walk, two stolen bases, and scored on a ground out.
What the stats don’t tell you is that Glasnow was wild. His first inning was efficient, needing only seven pitches to get through the frame. The next two weren’t so efficient, and he finished with 44 pitches on the day, and 24 strikes.
Glasnow is in the minors right now to fix his command. Some days his pitches are on, and he’s absolutely dominant. Other days his fastball can get a bit wild and…we’ll, he’s still really dominant, as you can see by the stats above. But that’s only against minor leaguers. That won’t play in the majors, and he’ll run into a lot of trouble with the same issues.
The video below looks at almost every pitch Glasnow threw (with the exception of his two pitch groundout to start the game). He was sitting 93-94 MPH with his fastball, and touched as high as 98. His changeup was 85-86 MPH. As I noted above, the first inning looked good, but the next two got a little wild. Glasnow talked after the game about what he was working on during the start, with the interview featured in the video.
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.
Two thoughts: First, he really makes the catchers mitt pop with his fastball. Second, don’t expect him to ever be one of those Pitchers who gets hitters out in 3 pitches or less.
Let’s not forget that guys like Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson had significant control issues early in their careers.
Lets not compare a kid that has never pitched above A ball, with 2 of the best pitchers EVER!
There was no comparison made. You’re seeing that on your own. My point is simply that because he still has control issues at this age doesn’t really mean much of anything other than maybe he doesn’t get promoted as fast as everyone would like.
Who was catching? A BB and TWO stolen bases!?!?!?!? Sounds like Barajas in 2012.
Jhang. I’d put the stolen bases on Glasnow. That was an issue for him last year.
The throw still wasn’t great. Glasnow’s slow to the plate, and his move didn’t look very good, but the throw still has to be better than that.
The more I read and hear about Glasnow, he’s AJ Burnett 2.0. Tim, you see him being better than AJ?
Burnett with the Marlins had a 3.73 ERA in 853.2 innings over 7 seasons (with some injuries). This also came during the height of the steroid era in baseball, so keep that in mind to put those numbers in perspective. If Glasnow can perform at that level, without the injuries and opposing hitters on steroids, I think you’d take it.
Absolutely right, Tim.
Pitchers have off days. This was one for Glasnow. He is always having to work on command but I’ve seen him a lot better than this. He’s been a lot better than this this spring. Next time out if time gets more footage he will be better
I saw him a lot last year, and this isn’t just one start. It’s not all the time either. And some games it’s limited to just one inning. But it’s just showing what he has to work on, and what is hidden behind the box scores.
Not comparing the quality of the pitches, but this is what Kingham was looking like in AA last season also. Stat lines that looked better than he actually did at times.
LOL fantastic . Not sure everyone appreciates how lucky we are to get this kind of access. The footage is amazing.
Chris: I watched 5 or 6 pitches and this kid is absolutely lights-out. Like all pitchers and hitters in MLB, everybody has an off-day – how you work with it and adapt is the key to competing at that level. The first batter was comical. I remember 2013 when the Pirates had the Cardinals in a season-ending swoon, and then they brought Michael Wacha up from AAA and it all turned around. This kid has that type of persona.
This is the reason Glasnow is far from a sure thing even though he has ace stuff. In the thread about the dream rotation some were listing percentages on Glasnow reaching his ceiling (which is quite high obviously). Baseball HQ gives him a 50% chance of reaching his ceiling which I think is very fair. The command still has a long way to go.
Glasnow says he still continues to grow into his size. I am hoping that this is the year he puts it all together and feels comfortable with his height as a pitcher.