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Mitch Keller - SP PIT

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After some early-season struggles, Mitch Keller is developing a pitch that may just make him unhittable.  

 

Relying on his changeup, the Pirates' third-ranked prospect struck out nine over seven innings in his second straight scoreless start as Class A Advanced Bradenton defeated Dunedin, 4-0, on Friday at LECOM Park.

 

"I was just getting ahead with the fastball and mixing in curveballs and changeups," Keller said. "My changeup is a big thing I'm working on this year. Just really throwing that for strikes helped a lot. I was getting a lot of swings and misses on it."

 

"You always want to go back out there for as many [innings] as you can go," Keller said, "but they told me I was done and I was happy with how I did, so I can't really complain too much."

 

Keller's two solid starts have reduced his ERA by nearly two runs per game to 2.88, and he's looking for ways to improve the newest pitch in his repertoire.  

 

"I'm just working on being able to throw it for strikes and using it as a putaway pitch," he said. "Just working on good counts to throw it in and relying on my off-speed for strikes earlier in the count."

 

 

https://www.milb.com/milb/news/pittsburgh-pirates-prospect-mitch-keller-posts-seven-more-zeros/c-228527494/t-185364810

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I was wondering why Keller got pulled so early from his start yesterday. Turns out, well, the jokes write themselves:

 

https://www.milb.com/milb/news/pittsburgh-pirates-mitch-keller-gets-stung-on-mound/c-229536832/t-185364810

 

Quote

 

There was a buzz surrounding Mitch Keller on Wednesday. And not just because he recently became the Pirates' top pitching prospect.  

 

"I stepped back on the mound and came set to pitch and I got stung by a bee," he said with a laugh.  

 

Keller was stung on his forearm after allowing one hit over 4 2/3 scoreless innings in Class A Advanced Bradenton's 5-1 win at Jupiter. He struck out four and walked two.

 

The 21-year-old, of course, was wearing the trademark black-and-yellow colors of the Marauders ... and of the bee. Keller admitted he might have preferred that sting to an unexpected snake appearance .

 

Prior to that, Keller retired the first nine batters he faced with ease. After a leadoff walk to Kyle Barrett in the fourth, MLB.com's No. 41 overall prospect induced two big groundouts, including a double play to get out of the inning. He generated eight groundouts.

 

Keller lowered his ERA to 2.54 in 39 innings across seven starts this season. The 2014 second-round pick has spun 18 2/3 straight scoreless innings with 22 strikeouts over his last three outings.

 

 

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He's back from the DL. Pitched 2 innings in SS ball, gave up 1 hit and struck out 4. 

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How far away is this kid from being called up? Starts after Super-2 in 2018?

Edited by Dark Kn19ht

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Back up at A+ tonight:

 

5IP, 4H, 1ER, 1BB, 5Ks

 

good to see him return strong from injury. 

Edited by 12to6

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What level do you guys see him at by the end of the year? I was thinking AAA if everything goes well and he avoids injury.

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10 hours ago, Gauthmann44 said:

What level do you guys see him at by the end of the year? I was thinking AAA if everything goes well and he avoids injury.

 

I doubt it, honestly. He's been at High A all year so far. AA is his next step and it's a big one. The Pirates have no need to rush him, so he'll be at AA all year and if he does well, will probably start at AAA next year with a shot to make the bigs.

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So only about 4 more years until the Pirates call him up to the majors...  (A knock on the Pirates, not anyone here)

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15 hours ago, KilloWertz said:

So only about 4 more years until the Pirates call him up to the majors...  (A knock on the Pirates, not anyone here)

I own him and I don't expect to see him in the MLB until 2019 at the earliest. He has thrown 81 innings so far. His K rate isn't great. He has a ton of things to work on. He needs to build up his stamina so he can hold up over 180+ innings a year. He didn't light up A ball with his 3+ era. He is promising, but I need to see a lot more development before I expect the Pirates to push him through the minors. 

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A nice outing today: 6IP, 4H, 2ER, 2BB, 8Ks

 

I might go see him pitch next week.

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Beast mode last night. A bunch of good outings in AA now. 

 

6IP, 3H, 0ER, 1BB, 11Ks

 

 

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He was good all year but has been excellent since getting to AA (11.7 K/9 with a 6.5 H/9 and 2.9 BB/9). BP in their minor league update today said he has a case for best pitching prospect in baseball.

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Should be interesting to see what he can do if they decide to call him up even late next season.

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AA Start today

 

6 IP, 8 K, 2 BB, 2 H, 0 ER

 

77 Pitches, 49 Strikes

 

Ended last season very strong, good to see him carry the momentum into the new year. 

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Most underrated SP prospect in baseball?  I wouldn't be surprised to see him in Pittsburgh by mid-July.

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On 4/9/2018 at 1:45 PM, tommyGunZ said:

Most underrated SP prospect in baseball?  I wouldn't be surprised to see him in Pittsburgh by mid-July.

 

Ranked as the 15th best prospect in baseball by MLB.com so I'm not sure you can say he's underrated.

 

http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2018

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Another great outing last night:

 

6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

 

That brings his season to:

 

47.2IP, 3.02 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 44Ks

 

Stats are ruined by a May 9 start in which he went 4.1IP, giving up 6R, 4ER, walking 3 and striking out only one.

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Brault and Kuhl are both filler material in the Buc rotation.  So bare minimum there's space open in their rotation for an elite pitching prospect sometime in the second half.

 

 

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Anyone have some insight into when he should be called up?  He’s pitching well this year, although nothing mind blowing.  I just feel like he has nothing left to prove in the minors.

 

Also he has dropped in some rankings list and wondering where people think he belongs along side some of the breakouts this year like luzardo, paddock and Suarez.

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Fangraphs has him at #18 in their midseason prospect rankings, right behind Kopech and Gore. So the hype is still there for the kid. 

I still expect him to be up in the bigs this year, and the Bucs rotation is far from settled right now. 

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