One step closer to the bigs for Pruitt. He’ll be at spring training for them and can be brought up to the big club without making 40-man changes during the season. Looks like he might make his MLB debut next season.
Austin Pruitt, 27, went 8-11 with a 3.76 ERA (162.2-IP, 68-ER) in 28 starts for Durham in 2016 and won the team’s Most Valuable Player honors, ranking among International League leaders in starts (tied for first), innings (fourth), WHIP (1.19, fourth) and strikeouts (149, second). He was an IL midseason All-Star and his 149 strikeouts ranked third among Rays minor leaguers. Following the season, he was tabbed by Baseball America as having the Best Control in the International League. He was selected by the Rays in the ninth round of the 2013 June Draft and is 27-28 with a 3.33 ERA (519.2-IP, 192-ER) over parts of four minor league seasons.
Great to see this. I enjoyed watching Austin pitch for us. Great competitor.
This is fan freaking tastic.
I really enjoyed watching Austin pitch in Cougar Red and ecstatic to see him make it to the Big Leagues.
For those who do not know, unless something magical happened, he is not a flamethrower. He was 88 mph or so with the fastball. In today’s age, the scouts don’t hardly pay attention to a pitcher unless he is 92 or above with the fastball. Its all about how hard you can throw. Same with the Big League teams.
Austin is a testament to a true pitcher, not a thrower. That was why I enjoyed watching him pitch. He truly pitched. Not that he will have the career but he reminded me of Greg Maddox, the Atlanta Brave pitcher who was almost un-hittable. For those who remember him, he did not throw 90 mph. But he could paint the black add day long and keep hitters off balance. That is who Austin reminded me of.
Good luck Austin!!
Pruitt was drafted by the Rays in the ninth round in 2013 from the University of Houston. He’s been a solid performer at every level, posting a 3.09 ERA with a 122/38 K/BB in 160 innings in Double-A in 2015, then a 3.76 ERA in 163 innings with a 149/27 K/BB in Triple-A in 2016. He continued performing well this spring, pitching 16.2 innings for the Rays with an 18/2 K/BB.
Pruitt is undersized for a right-hander at 5-11, 170, part of the reason he hasn’t ranked highly on prospect lists despite his track record. He does have decent stuff, with a fastball in the 89-93 range and a quality curveball, the entire package playing up due to his ability to locate his pitches. He has proven very durable, holding up under a heavy minor league workload, and has simple, repeatable mechanics.
Never saw him hit 90 in all the games I saw him pitch at UH.
The 5-foot-11 righthander and former ninth-round draft pick has mostly struggled in the early going - he’s allowed 10 earned runs in nine innings over his seven appearances - but Wednesday earned his first win by pitching 3 1/3 scoreless frames against the Tigers. He gave up only one hit, did not issue a walk and struck out five in the outing.
“It’s been a rollercoaster, man,” he said. “The first few appearances just obviously didn’t really go the way I wanted to. And then the last one that I just had, it all worked out.”
Pruitt was on the receiving end of a beer shower from his teammates after Wednesday’s come-from-behind, 8-7 Rays’ win.
“Afterward, I couldn’t stop smiling,” he said. “It was really cool.”
I did mention that it’s still early to truly see what Pruitt’s plans on the mound will be, but we’re getting a very good idea. However, the idea of working backwards and maintaining that mindset through games will provide with him plenty of success. He’s not going out there and dropping down to a 3/4 delivery halfway across his body, but he has the gift of spinning baseball’s in a way that is incredibly beneficial to him. Command of those secondaries also gives him a considerable bump in terms of playing up his pitches.
I think it’s safe to say that he won’t give up 20 hits in 5 innings ever again. It was a matter of Pruitt adjusting to his new surroundings in the bigs, luck, and patience. I am a firm believer that Pruitt can give the pen multiple innings. I also believe with the movement he can get, and his impeccable command, it could lead to higher leverage roles deeper in the season after he fully shakes off the struggles he showed before Wednesday’s game. Consistency will be play a major role here as we head into May.
Speaking of Pruitt, he’s pitching for the Rays vs. the Astros right now.
Edit: He ends up retiring 7 in a row with 2 K’s and is in line for the win.
Edit again: Pruitt gets his 2nd win