P2Daily: Sean Sullivan Seeing Velocity Uptick As Season Continues

When the Pirates took Sullivan in the eighth round last year, a lot of draft outlets loved the value of the pick, as the righty offered a solid four-pitch mix and was relatively young for a college arm.

He’s had his up and downs this season, even missing time with an injury, but overall has put in a strong first year as a professional. Sullivan is another pitcher whose overall numbers has suffered at the hands of playing in Greensboro, but has posted a sub-3.00 ERA on the road this year.

Not having broadcasted games steadily, it’s hard to track his progress, but one thing did stick out with Sullivan’s most recent outing on Sunday.

The only other start that Sullivan has had that was broadcasted, and had a velocity tracker, was on May 1 against Rome. There he hit as high as 93 mph on his fastball, but just a couple of times. Outside of that he went anywhere from 89-93 but mostly sat at 91-92 mph.

This Sunday Sullivan hit 95 mph on his fastball in the first inning, and hit 94 multiple of times, including getting a swing and miss strike three to end the opening frame. He sat safely around 92-93, not a huge consistent increase, but progress and he’s topping out harder than he did earlier in the season.

Of course it’s hard to narrow down when exactly the uptick started, but the important thing is that it’s happening and

Indianapolis Patience At The Plate

Maybe the most interesting number of Sunday, was the 12 walks that the Indianapolis Indians were able to draw. We know that the system has had somewhat of a strikeout problem this season, so it’s good to see this kind of results, even if it’s just one game.

Especially when you consider Mason Martin is one of two to record multiple walks in the game with three. Martin has struggled this season, but is showing signs of life early in August. Adjusting his approach at the plate would go a long ways in getting him back on the right path towards making his way to the majors.

More Players That Could Be Pushed

The Pirates haven’t been shy about giving players an aggressive placement to start the season, when it comes to this year or the previous. Once the season gets under way though, it does feel like they can be a little hesitant about moving players around.

There’s only so much developing that you can do at a level you’ve kind of solved, and sometimes it’s better to struggle against superior competition than it is to dominant where you are at. I mentioned a couple names on Altoona that could get pushed, but they aren’t alone in that.

Speaking of Altoona, still not sure what kind of prospect Aaron Shackelford is, if he is even one at all, but he’s one away from back-to-back 20 home run seasons, and is in a three-way tie in the category with Andres Alvarez and Dariel Lopez (not counting Matt Gorski, who is out for the season).

Endy Rodriguez is another obvious name, who has looked liked he has solved High-A pitching as well as you can, and is ever improving behind the plate. Jase Bowen has made progress in the strikeout category (down to 26.3%) and is again one of the best offensive run producers in Single-A.

Even if they struggle to end the season, it pushed their skill limits, which is something that doesn’t seem to be happening where they are at and gives them a little taste of what to prepare for next year.

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Sullivan hit 96 and was sitting 94-95 for the first two innings on June 18th in Greensboro


I first noticed Endy Rodriguez when he was doing well in the Mets org, but patiently waiting for his chance behind Francisco Alvarez. He is now in the Pirates org still waiting for his chance. At Bradenton in ’21 he had a slash of 294/380/512/892 OPS with 25 doubles, 5 triples, 15 HR, 73 RBI, 50 BB, 77 K. This year at A+ he is 302/392/544/936 OPS with 23 doubles, 3 triples, 16 HR, 55 RBI, 42 BB, 77 K.

Why is this talented kid not at AA?

Nice angle on the hesitancy to promote once the minor league season begins. We took Malcom Nunez from the Cardinals because he is a 21 year old at AA and doing well – his value was enhanced by his aggressive placement by the Cardinals. We saw the same type of enhanced value with Tucupita Marcano last year.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)


Im a simple guy, I see a Ted Lasso gif, I like a Ted Lasso gif


# FreeEndy


Really liking what that means for sean sullivan and also what it means as an org. Seems like maybe theres a shift of philosophy from targeting guys that throw 98 to guys that have strong pitchability or command that the org believes can work to elevate their stuff (which would explain our draft). George kirby of seattle is a prime example as he was either record setting or near record setting for low walks at Elon and in seattle’s system they got him to hit 97 from sitting 90-92 before


cleveland has also had success with that philosophy.

definitely will be interesting to see if the pirates fully follow suit, and what results they can get


As a well known pitching factory, not a bad org to model after…


PUSH ’em! Got to clear up some log jams. The Peter Principle applies to baseball players (well, sort of…)

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