Born: September 3, 1997
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 220
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 10th Round, 304th Overall, 2019
How Acquired: Draft
College: Notre Dame University
Agent: N/A


A big right-hander, Junker struggled with his control in his sophomore year at Notre Dame (he pitched less than an inning as a freshman), but made considerable strides as a full-time starter in his junior year.  He cut his BB/9 from 6.4 to 4.1, while his ERA dropped from 8.74 to 4.19.  He had a respectable strikeout rate, with 73 in 77.1 IP.  Junker throws 90-95 mph with a slider that could be an average pitch.  According to scouting reports, his change isn’t good and he probably projects as a reliever.  He has a v-e-r-y l-o-n-g p-a-u-s-e in his delivery that might add to his effectiveness in short stints.  Baseball America ranked him 391st among draft prospects and 6th in Indiana in a weak year for the state.  He signed for slightly under the slot value of $143,900.

A-:  5-0-5, 1.29 ERA, 0.86 ERA, 28.0 IP, 3.5 BB/9, 14.5 K/9

Junker pitched in short relief for West Virginia and dominated.  He had a very high K rate and opponents managed just a 143/233/198 line against him.  Right-handed batters had a pitiful .283 OPS against him, but left-handed batters did fine, putting up a .712 figure.

Some caution is in order despite Junker’s great debut.  Logan Stoelke had just as dominant a debut in short relief in 2018, but struggled in full season ball in 2019.  One tipoff might be whether the Pirates send Junker to Greensboro or Bradenton.

2020: Minor league contract
Signing Bonus: $125,000
MiLB Debut: 2019
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible: 2025
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2022
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
June 4, 2019: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 10th round, 304th overall pick; signed on June 11.