By Jason Shetler
Earlier today, Baseball America released their list of the Top 20 prospects in the Gulf Coast League for this season. Two Pirates prospects made the list with shortstop Cole Tucker ranked at #11 and pitcher Mitch Keller coming in at #13.
Tucker was taken in the first round (24th overall) by the Pirates in this year’s draft, and signed with them for $1.8 million, which was below slot money. Prior to signing, he had committed to play for Arizona. In 48 games played for the GCL Pirates, Tucker batted .267 with a .724 OPS and stole 13 bases. He also did a good job of drawing walks at a 12% mark.
Keller was drafted by the Pirates in the second round this year. He had a commitment to pitch at North Carolina, but like Tucker, decided to sign with the Pirates instead. His signing bonus was for $1 million, above slot money. Keller pitched in nine games (eight starts) for the GCL Pirates where he posted a 1.98 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and a .196 batting average against. He put up a solid 9.6 K/9, however his BB/9 was on the high side at 4.3.
Both Tucker and Keller are likely to start next season for the West Virginia Power.