ROBERT GLENDINNING, SHORTSTOP
|Born: October 6, 1995
Height: 6′ 2″
Drafted: 21st Round, 628th Overall, 2017
How Acquired: Draft
College: University of Missouri
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Glendinning started a string of four straight college shortstops for the Pirates, all drafted as juniors. Surprisingly, the team signed all of them. Glendinning didn’t make Baseball America’s top 500 draft prospect list, but he was rated 8th overall in their draft rankings for Missouri, which received a five-star grade for its draft class. He hit for a 274/386/463 line in 201 at-bats in 2017, with seven homers. It was his first season in Division I baseball, as he’d previously played for Northern Iowa Community College before transferring to Missouri. He hails from much further away, as he’s from Scarborough, Australia. Glendinning saw an increase in power in 2017 after putting on some weight over the offseason. He’s shown a strong arm on the field, with the ability to hit 90 MPH off the mound. That arm strength and his athleticism could allow him to stay on the left side of the infield.
Glendinning didn’t join Morgantown until mid-July. He split time after that between short, third and DH, with half his games coming at short. He didn’t do much at the plate beyond drawing walks and he struck out in over a third of his plate appearances.
Glendinning made good progress with his hitting. The Pirates initially sent him back to Morgantown and he struggled in June, but in July he started hitting and, at mid-month, the Pirates promoted him to West Virginia. He continued hitting well there. Overall, he made better contact and showed some power. He hit well against LHPs, with an .822 OPS. He split his time between second and short at Morgantown, then at West Virginia played more at second and third.
Glendinning seemed to have settled in as an organizational utility player, but he suddenly started to hit, a lot, at Bradenton. He actually started the season at Altoona due to an opening there, but once he got to Bradenton he hit his way into the lineup at shortstop (with Oneil Cruz hurt). He put up huge numbers for the pitching-dominated Florida State League; in fact, he was the best hitter in the league, although he was a little old for the level. Had he qualified, he’d have led the league in average, slugging and OPS, the last two by wide margins. The Pirates promoted Glendinning to Altoona in mid-June. He initially played short there, then third when Cruz was promoted, until he missed the last three weeks with an injury. He continued mashing the ball at first, with a .999 OPS in 15 June games, but he hit a bad slump in July, with just a .530 OPS. He seemed to be coming around in August when he went out with an ankle injury. Overall, Glendinning hammered LHPs for a .958 OPS, compared to .820 against RHPs. His defense at short and third was probably more passable than anything, although his range isn’t bad.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Pirates have with Glendinning. He’ll be 24 at the start of 2020, but considering that he’s from Australia, it’s plausible that he just needed more time to catch up to the competition he’s faced. He’s not even eligible for the Rule 5 draft for another year.
|2020: Minor league contract
MiLB FA Eligible: 2023
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2020
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 14, 2017: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 21st round, 628th overall pick; signed on June 21.|