The Diamondbacks are going to promote pitching prospect Brandon Pfaadt to make his major league debut tomorrow, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The right-hander isn’t currently on the club’s 40-man roster, meaning they will need to open a spot for him between now and then.
Pfaadt, 24, was a fifth round pick of the club in the 2020 draft. The minor leagues were canceled by the pandemic that year, but Pfaadt emerged with a strong showing in 2021. He rose through three levels of the minors, going from Single-A to High-A and Double-A that year, tossing 131 2/3 innings total with a combined 3.21 ERA. He struck out 30.2% of batters faced while walking just 5.3%. After that strong showing, he was ranked the club’s #10 prospect by Baseball America going into 2022.
Last year, Pfaadt would continue to impress, throwing 167 innings between Double-A and Triple-A with a 3.83 ERA, 31.6% strikeout rate and 4.6% walk rate. Going into this season, he was ranked the club’s #5 prospect by BA but amazingly was #26 in the entire league, highlighting a strong and top-heavy system loaded with premier prospects. Their report highlights his fastball, which averages around 93-94mph and has natural cutting action. His slider is his putaway pitch but he also has a changeup and a curveball. He is listed as the #51 prospect in the league at MLB Pipeline, #16 at FanGraphs, #32 at ESPN and was ranked #38 by Keith Law of The Athletic.
The righty was sent to Triple-A to start this year, where he’s posted a 3.91 ERA through five starts, striking out 28.6% of opponents while walking just 5.7%. As he’s been doing that, the Diamondbacks have been playing well, 16-13 record, despite an inconsistent rotation. Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly have been their typically excellent selves so far this year, but the rest of the group hasn’t been nearly as strong. Madison Bumgarner got released after posting a 10.26 ERA in his first four starts. Ryne Nelson has a 6.39 ERA after six outings while Tommy Henry has a 6.52 after a pair. Zach Davies is on the injured list with an oblique strain while Drey Jameson was optioned out after some struggles.
Amid all of that uncertainty, the club will give Pfaadt a shot and see how he fares against big league hitters. Since the season is over a month old already, he won’t be able to earn a full year of service time, at least not the traditional way. The latest collective bargaining agreement has a couple of measures to discourage teams from trying to manipulate a player’s service time and delay their free agency. One of those measures is that a player can still get a full service year even if they didn’t spend the requisite 172 days in the majors. Any player with less than 60 days’ service time at the start of a season who is on two of the top 100 prospect lists at Baseball America, ESPN or MLB Pipeline can still get a full year if they finish in the top two of Rookie of the Year voting. Both Adley Rutschman and Michael Harris II managed to get a full year of service this way last year.
Pfaadt is on all three lists and could follow that path, though it will be a bit of a challenge. He will have to chase down other rookies who have already spent a month accruing stats, such as James Outman or his teammate Corbin Carroll. But for the Diamondbacks, it’s an exciting time as Pfaadt joins Carroll, Gabriel Moreno and other exciting young players on the roster, with prospects like Jordan Lawlar and Druw Jones set to join them in the upstart D’Backs in the years to come.
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.
Fever Pitch Guy
Pfft, that didn’t take long.
Vince Ferragamo's Dog
1st 2 comments: According to BREF page…he pronounces his surname as “fought”
Sure. Because with a name like Pfaadt, he ‘fought’ his way through elementary, junior high, and high school. Tough kid.
It’s pronounced with a silent F. Pronounced Smith.
“…and the law won:
That means Carroll is probably worse off than initially estimated, so if he has to hit the 15-day there’s the Active Roster spot
The only way I can see them avoiding dropping a 40-man player is if 5hey retroactively add Carson Kelly to the 60-day; otherwise clearest candidates for removing are Beer and Solomon.
Beer, please. Or maybe both.
There’s going to be another drop within the month to fit Robinson on the 40-man, so you may get your wish lol
I’m beginning to question whether they’re even going to bother adding Melancon and Sulser back to the 40-man
I wish people would quit wining about Beer.
I want the Beer meme to work as much as the next guy, but he’s 1B/DH limited and not hitting right now; margins of error are small for those profiles.
As bad as he’s doing currently, he might even sneak by unclaimed.
I believe he hit a game winning bomb on National Beer Day a couple years back. I’m in AZ, amd it was quite a big deal.
Suggestion to Brandon: P-Fat is a better pronunciation. The chicks will love it.
Dbacks hoping to find the right combination of pitchers to fill 3 rotation spots behind Gallen and Kelly. There are 6 primary options: Brandon Pfaadt, Ryne Nelson, Tommy Henry, Drey Jameson, Zach Davies and Blake Walston. Dbacks need 3 of these 6 to establish themselves as consistent, dependable, quality starters this year.
Who do they need to replace/pitch better than?
Madison Bumgarner 10.54 ERA this year
Dallas Keuchel 9.64 ERA
Luke Weaver 7.71 ERA
Humberto Castellanos 5.68 ERA
Tyler Gilbert 5.24 ERA
So they have some wiggle room for rookie pitchers to take some time to get their feet under them.
That’s why I’m not stressing too hard; Nelson looked more than okay in his start against COL in my opinion, his problem was Emmel’s multiple inaccurate ball calls that extended multiple innings (and the number of called strikes 6″ off the edge against the offense was astounding; the Umpire Scorecard was quality comedy, but in a tragic sort of way).
It’s hard to get 3 outs without giving up a run in Denver, it’s even harder to get 4 outs without giving up a run (especially for a rookie with a tweaked pitch mix).
Davies is a known commodity for the most part, but he should be effective enough at keeping the team in the game. Pfaadt is a complete wild card; could be a low end #2 (like his projections suggest), or could have the normal struggles expected of a rookie. The reality is likely somewhere in between.
Jameson needs to focus on starting and should work things out in AAA until he shows a useful level of command; that hasn’t happened yet this season, sadly. Henry’s offspeed command has looked pretty good in his showings this season, but he almost has to pinpoint his fastball to succeed; he hasn’t been able to do that reliably yet either.
Walston is a bit farther out, and probably doesn’t see too much time unless everybody above him is struggling (and Pilkington was added above him). Not everybody will pan out, but (like you noted) not everybody has to pan out.
This is all also assuming that there are no mid-season additions, and Hazen has a history of making “unconventional” talent acquisitions; about the only clear places I see for upgrades are the back of the rotation, the front of the bullpen, and long relief (which can all also be improved by getting higher quality arms to push in-house options into lower leverage roles).
There are all kinds of roads Hazen can choose to take; I like knowing where we’re heading, but ultimately I’m just here to enjoy the ride.
What’s going on with Kyle Lewis, can’t find any updates about him since Spring Training where he was raking the ball. I assume he’s just hurt again; which is usually a perpetual condition for him.
It was only referred to as an illness for his IL placement, and the fact that it’s taken this long to come back leads me to believe that it’s more of a mental health issue at this point.
The organization has taken that end a bit more seriously since the Robinson incident during the Pandemic; glad to see he’s finally back also.
The P is silent – at least that’s what Kerry Wood says.
P is silent, as in swimming.
Let’s go Brandon!
Wondering how long until I start seeing the handle: PfaadtBrandon
Dumpster Divin Theo
Pfaadt drunk and stupid is no way to go through a lineup son
Worked for David Wells on more than one occasion.
*dangles pencils out of nostrils*
Well, it is Pfaadt turn, good luck kid. I hope they give him at least 3 starts, not just one and done. Diamondbacks told the fans that this is what they were waiting for this group of young pitchers to get to the show. Well let’s give them the ball and let the chips fall where they may. what I don’t want is for management to give up on these young pitchers and trade them for a 30 plus starter that is on his last leg as a Major Leaguer. No more Baumgarner’s.
He Pfaadt long and hard to reach this point.
Looking into his stats – am not certain he is ready as hitters are still batting .240-251 against him while that does not say he cannot do well but when I have seen other pitchers come up with hitting against over .215 they tend not to work out and even with great control start walking more batters.
He gives up long ball more than I would think he should – I just do not see why the hype here – not yet.
Look at the run environment for the AAA PCL, where the average ERA is 5.50+; is the hype a little more understandable?
Reno is at 4500 feet and the PCL is a hitters paradise.
The slashline for the Aces as a whole is .317/.407/.514/.921. Yes, the team batting average is .317 this season. The slashline for the PCL as a whole is .269/.373/.455/.828. So a 3.00 ERA and holding batters to a .232 BA in 15 starts over parts of 2 seasons in that environment is exceptional.
Really hoping you are right, because after watching him pitch against the Bees last season and the River Cats this season I don’t want to see him pitching against the Padres.
Well he got clocked gave up a bunch of HRs like I thought.
Front office is continuing to surprize me. I did not think they had the guts to DFA MadBum, and they did.
I also felt that they would give Pfaadt the Piepot treatment this year where he would go up and down all season long, and yet retain rookie eligibility (could still happen, but I doubt it as the Dbacks need quality starts).
My guess is that with the addition of Pilkinton, Soloman probably is the guy that gets DFA’d to open a spot for Pfaadt, and maybe Pilkinton is the long reliever. Later this month when Robinson comes by, probably Beer gets the axe.
Madbum had NOTHING left, if he didn’t blow first inning he would not be able to get past 4th on most days. Anyone could see that — My guess they may asked him to do BP and he went Mason Saunders on them.
Does this jersey make me look Pfaadt?
Got to see him pitch in Reno. Unfortunately, I think the Diamondbacks have a good one in him.
When you look at stats for Reno, think Coors Field. They are at 4500 feet there.
Saw a man pitch in Reno, just to watch him die.
Made me hang my head and cry.