Are We Allowed to Talk About Shane Baz on a Pirates Site?

SAINT PETERSBURG – Five years ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted right-handed pitcher Shane Baz with the 12th overall pick in the 2017 MLB draft.

Four years ago, the Pirates traded Baz to the Rays — along with Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows — for Chris Archer.

As a result, I’m not entirely sure that I’m allowed to talk about Shane Baz on this site.

That said, I did catch up with Baz a few weeks ago when covering the Pirates against the Rays. The Tampa starter just went on the 15-day IL with a right elbow strain yesterday, and will be down for a month before being re-evaluated.

Most of what we discussed involved the journey to the majors for the 23-year-old starter, because Baz spent the majority of his time developing in another system. Despite the different systems, there wasn’t a lot of difference in what got Baz to the highest level, compared to what he might have experienced with the Pirates.

“It’s a long process,” Baz said of the journey. “There’s a lot of stuff you have to learn, and a lot of it you have to learn by experience. Pick and choose what you’re going to work on that day, or that week or month. It’s up to the player a lot, too.”

Baz said that figuring out his body, filling up the strike zone, and challenging hitters with every at-bat helped to propel his career forward. That’s not much different from what he would have learned in the Pittsburgh system.

With the 2022 MLB draft approaching this weekend, Baz is a reminder of both the upside and the uncertainty in this game — even from first rounders. We can project tools all day long, but at the end of the day, it’s up to the player to develop those tools. It’s not always easy for the player.

“When you come out of high school, you’re thinking I’ve got to do extra or I’m at such a higher level than where I was at,” said Baz. “In reality, there’s a reason why you’re there, and you’ve got to keep doing your thing and trust it.”

Baz didn’t spend much time developing inside the Pirates’ system. He only played in the rookie leagues, and was only in the system for a year. Still, he had praise for his time with the Pirates.

“I loved it,” Baz said of his brief time with the Pirates. “I’m obviously very grateful for not only them giving me an opportunity to get into pro ball, but just to be able to grow and work and teach me everything they can. Definitely a lot of really valuable stuff that they taught me and that I still take today. I had some unbelievable coaches there that really cared about me, and tried to do their best to help me. I’m forever in debt for them just drafting me, too.”

Regarding the coaches, the pitching coach for Baz in the GCL was Drew Benes, who is currently the pitching coach in Altoona.

The approach the Pirates had at the time was more top-down development, and wasn’t for every player. The new development system is pushing a more individual approach that gives the players more control of their careers.

Baz always struck me as the type of person who wouldn’t have been negatively impacted by the old approach. That’s especially true since he credits his eventual arrival in the majors to a lot of things that the old system pushed.

Whether he could have reached the majors as quickly as he did with Tampa, while immediately showing flashes of being one of the better pitchers in the game? That’s debatable and something we’ll never really know for sure. I do feel the current development approach is more in line with the Rays, so the question might be irrelevant for future prospects.

Hopefully Baz recovers quickly from his recently elbow injury, and can get back to starting in the majors. I have a feeling he’s going to be the longest reminder of what could be described as the worst trade in Pirates history during all of our lifetimes, even if he does have a setback in the short-term.

This weekend, with so many high schoolers at the top of the draft board, Baz also serves as a reminder that top prep draft prospects still have to put in the work to make the journey to the majors — and the risks don’t end once you’ve arrived.


Pittsburgh Pirates 2022 MLB Draft Primer

Prospect Roundtable: Who Should the Pirates Draft in the First Round?

Williams: Looking at How the Previous Pirates Draft Picks are Performing

Are We Allowed to Talk About Shane Baz on a Pirates Site?

Nick Garcia: Two-Seam Fastball Paves Way To Career Strikeout Game

Cristian Charle: Success Comes From Untraditional Usage Of Pitch

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Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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Far from the worst trade in Pirates history. How’s it working out for them now?


Like Tim said, I hope that his injury is minor and he can get back at it soon. Has to be scary because he supposedly did it playing catch on the side. If God forbid it turns out to be serious, that would mean that all 4 guys involved in the trade ended up with serious injuries after the trade.
Archer had Thoracic Outlet surgery shortly after the trade.
Glasnow TJ surgery
Meadows dueling Achilles’ tendon injuries. How does that happen?
Baz to be determined.


I still can’t read the premium articles


I sometimes have to log in again even though I had already logged in. I dunno….


same goes here


The frustrating thing is that there doesn’t appear to be a way to check on one’s subscription and whether the problem is with this site or with the account (e.g., old card on file). You can email Tim but the other day he acknowledged that it was difficult to keep up with all the emails (and I had asked about my card a while back to see if the current one was on file and never heard back).


Neither can I. Odd that we can still comment on them.


lol that’s cool you got to see him & catch up. Just curious, how do most players react when you approach them a year+ since you last talked with them? Do most remember you & your name, or do you have to reintroduce yourself?

Wilbur Miller



Do any of the players start to try to get the attention of security? “Hey guys! Scary guy over here! “

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