Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect Nick Kingham pitched a good game for the Triple-A Indianapolis yesterday: six shutout innings, two hits, one walk, four strikeouts against Columbus. He's made six starts since being promoted from Double-A Altoona and has adapted very quickly to the International League, pitching a total of 39 innings with a 1.62 ERA, 2.36 FIP and a 30/6 K/BB with 27 hits allowed. Interestingly, this is better than what he was doing at Altoona: he had a 3.04 ERA, 3.61 FIP with a 54/25 K/BB in 71 inning before moving up.
He's given up a total of eight runs and six of them were in his one bad start, a rough outing back on July 5th. His other five outings have been very strong.
Kingman is a 6-5, 225 pound right-hander born November 8, 1991. He was a fourth round draft pick in 2010 from high school in Las Vegas, although the Pirates had to go well over slot to sign him away from the University of Oregon. He was solid in the New York-Penn League in 2011, then posted a 4.39 ERA in 12 innings for Low-A West Virginia in 2012, although with a nice 117/36 K/BB ratio and an improved strikeout rate. He rang up a 2.89 ERA between High-A Bradenton and Altoona last year with a 144/44 K/BB.
Kingham threw 89-92 when drafted but is up to 92-95 these days, reportedly hitting 96-97 at times. He owns a good changeup, has greatly improved his curveball, throws strikes, stays healthy, and projects as an above-average workhorse starter. We could see him late in the season and most certainly in 2015.