The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed right-handed pitcher Jake Stevenson to a minor league deal. The news was announced by Stevenson on Twitter.
Excited to be apart of @Pirates org! Big thanks to @ArowThrows and @TreadAthletics for the off-season work. Just getting started @npgsports ! Fired up for the season! Let’s go Bucs 🏴☠️🏴☠️🏴☠️ pic.twitter.com/LCmwR89Y4e
— Jake Stevenson (@JakeStevenson38) February 9, 2023
Stevenson was a tenth round draft pick in 2019 out of the University of Minnesota. He had a 3.10 ERA and 31 strikeouts for Billings of the short-season Pioneer League during that 2019 season. He sat out the 2020 canceled season, then was limited to two innings during the 2021 season due to early and mid-season injuries.
Stevenson had some major control issues this past season in Low-A, which led to him being released in mid-August. He had a 10.13 ERA, a 2.44 WHIP and 36 walks in 26.1 innings. He finished the season in independent ball, where he gave up three earned runs over 9.2 innings, with three walks and 13 strikeouts. Stevenson will be 26 years old just before Opening Day.
According to scouting reports from this off-season, he has been throwing 95-97 MPH, with a cutter, slider and a changeup. His velocity has spiked after making some adjustments this winter. His Twitter timeline shows his fastball peaking at 93.2 one session (which was said to be an improvement), followed by 94.1 the next, then 95.5 after that in mid-December. The most recent jump saw him up to 97 within the last few weeks.
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.
I just hope his arm doesn’t explode at that rate of velocity increase. Messy!
The velo increase just jumping up like that would seem to be a feature article in itself. Maybe Tread Athletics is doing good work. Maybe they know how to get a pitcher physically out of his own way. Would be a good story.
Just like that his velo increased? Hmmm . . . .
Trend projection … 104.2 by opening day
Couple of options why…….maybe Tread Athletics hired the Vandy equipment operator….?
Seems like a good signing given the velocity increase, and also the type of signing that is necessary after losing so many pitchers in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft.
Losing those 9 pitchers definitely hurts the MiLB depth the most. Joelvis, Trey McGough, Joe Jacques, Domingo Gonzalez, Cristian Charle, Austin Roberts, Wilkin Ramos, Enmanuel Mejia and Peter Solomon all provided good MiLB depth at the least.
And watching all those pitchers get signed on Twitter from Tread Athletics I was wondering why the Pirates didn’t sign any. Especially with the big Pirates players and prospects presence there. They seem like a good flyer; all with good velo and some with ridiculous data on their secondaries.
We can only hope. That dude was electric for about 2 months. Then just like a puff of smoke, he was gone.
Was trying to remember that dudes’ name!
I’d take that result
Just without any of John’s injury issues 😁