BILLY ROTH, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: June 5, 1995
Drafted: 16th Round, 479th Overall, 2013
How Acquired: Draft
High School: Vista, CA
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Roth was drafted as a pitcher, but he also shows some promise with the bat. His junior season on the mound was much better across the board than his senior year, in which he showed some command issues and got less work. He has had his fastball up to 92 mph, sitting in the upper-80s most of the time. He has a low-effort delivery and plenty of room to add muscle, so there is a good chance for more velocity as he gets older. Roth throws a curve that is solid already and he also has a change that needs work. On the offense side, he has above average raw power and his arm plays well in right field. His future, though, is as a pitcher according to most scouts. He had a commitment to Arizona, but the Pirates were able to reach agreement with him three weeks after the draft, for a slightly over-slot bonus.
Roth had a brief, solid debut in the GCL. He didn’t allow many hits, but he struck out only one more than he walked.
The Pirates often in the past moved HS pitchers up to the New York-Penn League for their first full season. Now, though, they have an affiliate at advanced rookie Bristol, which is where they assigned Roth. His first full season was a rough one, mainly due to control problems and gopher balls (he allowed seven). He pitched mostly as a starter.
Roth went back to Bristol and made significant progress, although he still had control problems at times. His stuff took a step forward, as he threw in the mid-90s and occasionally a little higher. He had a reverse platoon split, with right-handed batters posting an OPS against him about 200 points higher than left-handed batters.
The Pirates sent Roth to West Virginia in early May and it didn’t go well as he couldn’t throw strikes. He struggled for a month, ending with an appearance in which he walked all four batters he faced. The team sent him to Morgantown after that and he improved only a little. On the season, hitters had a .411 OBP against him and hit him fairly hard as well.
Roth took a big step backward in 2016. His stuff is good enough, but he’s going to have to find the plate much more consistently.
|2017: Minor league contract|
|Signing Bonus: $190,000
MiLB Debut: 2013
MiLB FA Eligible: 2019
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2017
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 8, 2013: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 16th round, 479th overall pick; signed on June 29.|