MITCHELL TOLMAN, SECOND BASEMAN
|Born: June 8, 1994
Drafted: 7th Round, 217th Overall, 2015
How Acquired: Draft
College: University of Oregon
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Baseball America called Tolman the most consistent hitter on Oregon’s team for three straight seasons. He was a third baseman who was expected to be able to stay at the position, but the Pirates have moved him to second. He has a strong arm and solid glove. Tolman batted .325/.457/.468 as a junior and improved his BB/SO ratio, posting a 44:40 mark after a 31:54 ratio as a sophomore. He hit 20 doubles in 2015, but he doesn’t have a lot of over the fence power. His speed is average at best. Baseball America had him ranked 463rd on their top 500 list. Tolman signed shortly after the draft.
Tolman was the starting third baseman for Morgantown until Ke’Bryan Hayes arrived, and then he moved to second. After a slow start, Tolman came on strongly, as his monthly OPS shows:
June (9 games): .542
Tolman struggled with LHPs, posting a .554 OPS against them and .889 against RHPs.
With Hayes also there, Tolman played second for West Virginia. He played extremely well on defense, showing very good range and committing only nine errors, a low total given the realities of the low minors. He had a solid, but not quite good, season at the plate. His strength was drawing walks, which is common for college hitters playing in low A; it’s not a skill that always translates to higher levels. Tolman’s hitting didn’t vary a great deal throughout the year. He had one very good month (June — .902 OPS) and one bad one (July — .600 OPS). He had only a minimal platoon split.
Ideally, Tolman would have moved up to Bradenton at some point in 2016, but he had Kevin Kramer ahead of him. He went there instead in 2017 and played second all year, apart from a few games at third. At the end of the year the Pirates moved Tolman up to Altoona to fill an opening. He played very well in the playoffs. On the year he hit about the same as the previous year, with continued good plate discipline and a little more power. In reality, it was probably a larger improvement due to the power-stifling environment of the Florida State League. Tolman’s .393 slugging average ranked 15th in the league. His hitting, especially the power, improved gradually throughout the year. He hit LHPs better than RHPs.
Tolman’s season got off to a late start, as he was suspended for the first 50 games due to a second positive test for a drug of abuse. Once he was eligible to play, the Pirates sent him to Bradenton and he stayed there all year. Some of that was probably the presence of Stephen Alemais at Altoona, but not necessarily all of it. Tolman’s hitting was very similar to the previous year, except his power dropped off.
Tolman was the regular second baseman at Altoona for most of the year. His hitting fell off just slightly from the previous year. The Pirates moved him up to Indianapolis in mid-August to fill an opening. On the year he had a moderate platoon split.
Tolman will turn 26 in the middle of the 2020 season. It’s hard to see him as a prospect at this stage, but he’ll likely play a lot in the infield in AAA and/or AA.
|2020: Minor League Contract
|Signing Bonus: $150,000
MiLB Debut: 2015
MiLB FA Eligible: 2021
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2018
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 9, 2015: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 7th round, 217th overall pick; signed on June 18.|