Pirates Sign Pitcher out of Australia

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed 17-year-old Australian right-handed pitcher Jackson Grounds over the weekend. He’s their 26th signing during this current international signing period, which began on January 15th and runs through December 15th.

Grounds is a converted catcher, who just started pitching regularly last year. He’s labeled as a strong kid with a power arm, who currently sits 90-92 MPH. He’s shown a good feel to spin his breaking ball and he’s working on developing his changeup. He’s a projectable arm, who should add velocity as he continues to concentrate on pitching full-time.

Grounds will be finishing school first before joining the Pirates full-time, but he will be training with the team during his school break, and he’s going to be in Bradenton this year with Team Australia during the U18 tournament. He’s also a member of the Brisbane Bandits in the Australian winter league, so if he’s allowed to pitch by the Pirates, he could be part of our winter league coverage this year.

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.

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john_fluharty

Whatever happened to our last Aussie? Wasn’t he a shortstop or something?

john_fluharty

It was Solomon Maguire I was thinking of, tho he’s an outfielder not a shortstop LOL.

john_fluharty

I forgot about him

robertkasperski

My first thought it was Robbie Glenndinning that you had in mind. He is now in the Royals organization.

john_fluharty

Do you come from the land down under? Do you throw that ball with the clap of thunder? Does it blow does it blow that bat assunder? 😆

robertkasperski

Since he is only 17 I guess we will wait until next spring to start pounding the table for him to be in the FCL 🙂

mpejkrm

Antwone Kelly last year as well. Although Arubans speak so many languages he probably can speak decent Spanish

robertkasperski

I thought that maybe he would be in the Australian Summer league for another season. Glad to hear that he most likely head to the FCL. Guess we will have to be pounding the table for A- ball then 🙂 Thanks for all the info. I love following the kids from afar. New guys soon to be added 🙂

Last edited 6 months ago by robertkasperski

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