1. Rays

Rays get RHP Shane Baz as player to be named from Pirates in Chris Archer deal

Chris Archer worked into the fifth in his first start for the Pirates on Friday. [AP]
Chris Archer worked into the fifth in his first start for the Pirates on Friday. [AP]
Published Aug. 14, 2018

RHP Shane Baz, the No. 12 pick in the 2017 draft, will join the Rays from the Pirates as the player to be named in the Chris Archer trade.

That makes the Rays' complete haul in the deal RHP Tyler Glasnow, OF Austin Meadows and Baz.

Baz, 19, has been pitching at the Pirates Bristol team in the rookie-level Appalachian League, going 4-3, 3.97 in 10 starts. (BTW, Bas rhynes with Oz). He is expected to join the Rays Princeton (W. Va.) team in the same league.

He is a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder from Texas who was most recently ranked the No. 4 prospect in the Pirates organization by mlb.pipeline.com, which posted this scouting report:

Baz was a two-way standout at Concordia Lutheran High School in Texas who jumped into top 10 pick conversations for his pitching ability. The Pirates nabbed him at 12 and gave him $4.1 million, a bit over pick value, to sign him away from TCU, joining fellow Concordia product Ke'Bryan Hayes in the organization and making his brief pro debut in the Gulf Coast League.

Baz has a combination of deep repertoire and projection that gives him a very high ceiling. His fastball velocity picked up in his senior year. He'll sit at 92-96 mph and can reach back for 98 mph, with the ability to run and sink it while not losing velocity deep into his starts. He can miss bats with a plus cutter that he can turn into a true slider, and he also spins a distinctly different curveball. His changeup gives him another potential Major League average pitch. A solid athlete, Baz should be able to find the strike zone consistently as he refines his delivery.

Patience will be key for Baz, and the Pirates know a thing or two about developing young pitching. With room to add strength to his athletic frame, Baz could slowly move up the right-handed pitching prospect ranks as he settles in to his pro career.


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