Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pirates Sign Pitcher Nick Hutchings

The Pirates continue to mine the Land Down Under for baseball talent, signing pitcher Nick Hutchings.  Hutchings - who turned 16 years old in October - had been playing for the Southern Districts baseball team.  He recently joined the Adelaide Bite of the Australian Baseball League.  He appeared four times for the Bite, all in relief.  He pitched 4.1 innings, giving up 1 hit and 2 walks.  Hutchings struck out 8 batters.

Hutchings stands at 6'2 and weighs 165 pounds, a projectable body.  Currently, he throws a fastball that can reach the high-80's.  Hutchings compliments his heater with a slider and changeup.  Allegedly, the Australian teen turned down offers from four other teams - the Padres, Reds, Phillies, and Astros - to sign with the Pirates.  Part of the reason may be the other Australians currently in the Pirates organization.  Hutchings will room with Dylan Child, Wilson Lee, and Jackson Lodge in Bradenton this coming April, when he will attend extended spring training.  Another factor is that the manager of the Bite is the Pirates scout - Tony Harris - who signed Hutchings.  No word yet on a bonus amount, but Hutching's present velocity, projectability, and three-pitching mix will give him the opportunity to be a legitimate prospect as he continues his baseball career.