BEAU SULSER, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: May 5, 1994
Drafted: 10th Round, 298th Overall, 2017
How Acquired: Draft
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Sulser was taken in the tenth round as a college senior. Taking college seniors toward the latter part of the first ten rounds has often been a pattern for the Pirates, particularly when they draft prep players who are likely to require above-slot bonuses in the early rounds. They took five prep picks in the first six rounds in 2017 and, in fact, gave Sulser just a token bonus of $5000. The slot amount was $134,200. Sulser is a right-handed starter who was at Dartmouth for five seasons, missing the entire 2015 season due to Tommy John surgery the previous fall. He was the Ivy League Pitcher of the Year in 2017, although he turned 23 in May, which is old for a draftee. He made seven starts that season, posting a 1.40 ERA in 45 innings, with five walks, 52 strikeouts and a .201 BAA. Sulser wasn’t in Baseball America’s top 500 draft prospects, but he did rank 12th in an average year for the New England area. He throws an 88-92 mph fastball and has a good change.
Sulser served in a swing role at Morgantown. He wasn’t especially effective in either role and his K rate dropped sharply as a starter. He had a reverse platoon split.
Sulser spent the season in the West Virginia bullpen, where he shared closer duties with Matt Seelinger (who was traded for Adeiny Hechavarria). Sulser put up impressive numbers, with great walk and K rates. Opponents had just a 205/228/286 line against him. He held left-handed batters to a measly .388 OPS. He was 24 most of the season, which is old for the level.
It’s a little interesting that the Pirates didn’t promote Sulser at any point in 2018, given how good his numbers were, all the more so because Bradenton’s bullpen was awful. In 2019, though, they jumped him up to Altoona, where he pitched in a swing role. He got very good results despite a very low K rate. He was much more effective as a reliever, holding opponents to a .618 OPS compared to .741 as a starter. He gave up only four home runs and had a minimal platoon split.
Sulser pitches with little margin for error, but so far he’s done very well in relief. The sharp drop in his K rate, though, shows the difference in how finesse pitchers’ stuff plays between the low and upper minors.
|2020: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $5,000
MiLB Debut: 2017
MiLB FA Eligible: 2023
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2020
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 13, 2017: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 10th round, 298th overall pick; signed on June 20.|