Jack Hartman: Return From Tommy John Beginning In Bradenton

It would be easy to take a quick look at Jack Hartman, the Pittsburgh Pirates fourth round pick from 2020, and assume he was just another college senior signed to help save signing bonus money towards other players.

As he works his way back from Tommy John surgery, it is starting to look like there may be more to him than that.

Hartman didn’t have the most pitching experience, despite being a college senior. He didn’t switch to the mound and focus on pitching until later in his college career and only logged 33 2/3 innings during his time at Appalachian State.

He put up some good strikeout numbers there, with a 12.83 K/9 mark, but also really struggled with his control. Hartman walk 6.95 batters-per-nine-innings in college, a number he’s going to have to improve at the pro level.

After missing the 2021 season after Tommy John surgery, Hartman has started to be worked back into the mix with the Bradenton Marauders, and while it’s early, has shown some of that stuff that allowed him to rack up 48 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings in college.

Now making his way back with Bradenton in 2022, Hartman has been eased back in, pitching in four games so far and logging 3 2/3 innings.

His fastball has sat anywhere between 93-98 mph and has averaged 96.07 in his outings. He’s relied heavily on the pitch, throwing it 64.5% of the time. On a previous update, you got a sense he relied on analytics, and it shows, as only three pitchers in the majors average more spin on their fastball than Hartman does.

Another pitch that has been sprinkled in is a cutter (according to Baseball Savant), in which he has thrown a total of four times, but each time has been very noticeable.

The first three pitches of this video are all cutters, and you can see all have considerable break on them. In fact, the ones shown average 30.6-inches of vertical break and nine inches of horizontal. They also averaged 2626-rpm and one even hit 94-mph.

Hartman also throws a curveball and slider that he is just starting to incorporate into his repertoire, especially the later. The curve he’s thrown 20% of the time, has gotten a whiff rate of 50% and an average spin rate of 2583.5-rpm.

You can see the effectiveness of the pitch in this video here.

The Pirates will obviously be cautious with Hartman in his first season back, but he has the upper 90s fastball, and a mix of secondary pitches that could allow him to move fast once unleashed. It will come down to staying healthy and improving on his control.

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Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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Thanks for the video’s. The breaking stuff is filthy and possibly figure he can pick up a tick or two of velocity as he throws more. A $60K investment in a kid with one above average/plus pitch already and the physical frame to develop a second above average/plus pitch? That’s a very nice investment/good business.

Negative is that he will turn 24 soon, but age is secondary if they are seeing him as a late inning/Closer with two solid pitches. And, TJ is in the rear view mirror. It will be interesting to follow him this year. Can he get to A+ and then possibly the AFL?


And with pitchers age isn’t quite as important. Everyone’s reaction time starts degrading in their teens, but that matters more for hitters.


All right! Those are insanely unhittable.


He’s got some absolutely filthy shit. That cutter breaks more than major league sliders and the curve just tumbles. I’m already dreaming on him as a late inning reliever arriving 2024. Think he’s going to need a couple years of reps to tighten up his mix, but the pieces are already there.


He has first-rate stuff, no doubt


Spinning a pitch seems to be hard to teach. Better control and more velo, apparently much easier. Hartman seems to have the spinning part down.


I Like his stuff. give him time to develop it and they might just have something.


Talk about nasty…that cutter is nothing short of pure evil if you’re a hitter.

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