That’s right, another prospect call up for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and another pitcher. Top prospect, and right handed throwing Chad Kuhl will be making his Major League debut tonight against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw on ESPN.
Chad Kuhl is a 23 year old righty who was drafted out of the 9th round of the 2013 MLB Draft. And while he may not be one of the Pirates top 10 prospects like Tyler Glasnow; this 9th rounder pitches well in just about any start. In Triple-A Indianapolis, Chad posted a 2.58 ERA in 76 and 2/3 innings pitched for the Indians.
The scouting report on Chad Kuhl ia an above-average fastball just based on velocity (he sits in the low 90s), but what makes it a plus pitch is that there’s a tremendous amount of sink to it. He’s got the stuff to be a groundball machine, and the power of his fastball/sinker allows it to miss bats.
Chad Kuhl is not one of the pitchers that you may striking out about 10 batters a game. Chad relies on groundballs and weak contact for most of his outs. While his command isn’t the best, Chad usually stays in the strikezone with just about any pitch.
Kuhl also throws a slider and a change, and while those pitches lag behind the sinking fastball by a considerable margin, they’re both usable. The slider is another groundball pitch with late tilt, but doesn’t have depth and isn’t going to be a swing-and-miss offering at the big-league level. The change offers a bit of tumble, but it lacks firmness and there’s a slight difference in arm speed when throws it. They’re both competent pitches, but neither pitch would get an above-average grade, unless you’re a very lenient grader.
The Pirates are hoping that Chad can make a good first impression. As the Pirates are gonna need it because the very dominant Clayton Kershaw will be leading the way for the Dodgers tonight. First pitch is 8:08 PM EST. The game will be airing on ESPN for Sunday Night Baseball.
– Jerrod McGann
Writer for LockerTalkSports