With their fourth round pick (108th overall) in the 2020 MLB draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected right-handed pitcher Jack Hartman from Appalachian State.
Hartman began his college career at Tallahassee Community College as a position player, then moved to Central Florida (JUCO), where he pitched and hit in 2018. He moved to Appalachian State in 2019 and posted a 4.98 ERA in 21.2 innings, with 26 strikeouts. This season he had a 3.00 ERA in 12 innings, with 22 strikeouts, before the season was shut down.
He’s a college senior who turns 22 years old next month, so you would expect him to sign well under slot ($538,200) which might need to go to another earlier pick, or possibly a big signing in the fifth round. This would be considered a reach pick according to the main draft sources, with Baseball America ranking him 286th and MLB Pipeline doesn’t have him in their top 200. That being said, he still has some potential as a big league reliever, but that’s his ceiling.
Hartman sits 94-97 MPH in relief, with a slider that looks like a plus pitch at times. BA notes that he can be very inconsistent, which could be due to his limited work (55.2 career innings). He can have control issues at times and days where his fastball is his only pitch that works. With that in mind, he’s unlikely to move fast through the system. He’s 6’3″, 212 pounds.
Here’s Hartman’s last pitching performance of the season
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.