Last month, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays pulled off a deadline blockbuster, sending former All-Star pitcher Chris Archer to the Pirates in exchange for former top prospects Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, and a player-to-be-named-later.
That third player was revealed on Tuesday to be pitching prospect Shane Baz.
#Pittsburgh @Pirates prospect, @BriBucs RHP Shane Baz @thewizardofbaz twirled 5 scoreless innings in the former first-round pick’s 2018 debut. Fastball up to 9️⃣6️⃣, worked low 90s after first 2 frames. #Pirates No. 3 talent in system w/both @BaseballAmerica & @MLBPipeline. pic.twitter.com/3RAPJvo9lh— Danny Parker (@TheDannyParker) June 21, 2018
Baz is the Pirates fourth-ranked prospect, and the 95th-ranked prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com.
Baz was selected 12th-overall in the 2017 draft out of Concordia Lutheran High School in Texas. Viewed at by many as one of, if not the top prep arm in the draft behind Hunter Greene, Baz was the second high school arm selected, despite falling to 12 due to signability concerns.
The Pirates have been slow in bringing Baz along, as the 19-year old has spent all of 2018 in Rookie Ball. In ten starts, Baz has recorded a 4-3 record with a 3.97 ERA, striking out 54 and allowing just two home runs in 45.1 innings pitched.
John ranked Baz as the Pirates fifth-best prospect back in January, and had this to say about the young righty:
Two weeks ago, I wrote about three players who could potentially be the player-to-be-named-later in the deal. Baz was one of the three, and the one that I labeled as the most likely to be the final piece of the deal.
Its easy to understand the Rays interest in Baz. At the young age of 19, the Rays will be able to slowly progress Baz through their stacked system. Baz’ ability to throw three above-average pitches in addition to two average pitches illustrate his advanced ability for his age.
The Rays cap off an overall impressive haul for Archer, receiving three players whom have all been Top-100 prospects at some point. Even more so, the amount of pure potential and upside coming to Tampa Bay is hard to ig