BRAXTON ASHCRAFT, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: October 5, 1999
Height: 6′ 5″
Drafted: 2nd Round, 51st Overall, 2018
How Acquired: Draft
High School: Robinson HS
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Ashcraft is very athletic for a pitcher; he also played wide receiver, catching 37 touchdowns and 204 passes for over 2,090 yards his junior year. His stock rose in 2018, as he saw a velocity increase that led to him sitting at 89-93 MPH, touching as high as 95. The velocity wasn’t consistent, dropping down to the upper 80s later in his starts. He did see more velocity late in the season. His fastball has movement and sinking action, due to the high angle from his tall frame. He has enough projection that he could add velocity and maintain consistency as he fills out.
Ashcraft’s secondary stuff lags behind right now. He throws a slider that sits upper 70s and has good spin and angle, but could be more effective with more power. As is often the case with prep pitchers, he doesn’t have much of a changeup, but has a feel for the pitch. MLB Pipeline gives him the upside of a mid-rotation starter with two plus pitches and plus control, but that depends on him adding strength. Baseball America said he could be a steal in this draft due to his athleticism and upside on the mound. He’ll be an interesting project for the Pirates. He had a commitment to Baylor but signed two and a half weeks after the draft. He got $1.825M, well above the slot amount of $1,382,400.
The Pirates activated Ashcraft in time to make five GCL starts, working his way up to five innings in his last start. He pitched better than his ERA indicates.
The usual course would be for Ashcraft to go to Bristol next year. With Cody Bolton, though, the Pirates showed a willingness to move a prep pitcher up to low A partway into the season if he pitches very well in extended spring training. Judging by the bonus they paid him, the Pirates clearly are very high on Ashcraft.
|2019: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $1,825,000
MiLB Debut: 2018
MiLB FA Eligible: 2024
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2022
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 4, 2018: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2nd round, 51st overall pick; signed on June 22.|