COLTON CAIN
LEFT HANDED PITCHER
Born: February 5, 1991
Height: 6′ 3″
Weight: 225
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 8th Round, 235th Overall, 2009
How Acquired: Draft
High School: Waxahachie HS (Waxahachie, TX)
Agent: Franklin-Frye Sports

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Cain was one of the Pirates’ above-slot picks in 2009. Rated #109 overall by Baseball America, he was also a prospect as a power-hitting firstbaseman, but the Pirates drafted him as a pitcher. According to BA, he drew mixed opinions from scouts. He threw hard for a lefty, in the low-90s, and has a potentially good curve and change. Looking at his HS stats, it’s surprising he gave up as many runs as he did considering how few baserunners he allowed. Cain had a scholarship from Texas, but the Pirates managed to sign him about a week and a half from the deadline for a reported $1.125M. He didn’t appear in the GCL after signing. He also was unavailable at the start of 2010 after having had back surgery over the winter, although he’d been cleared for workouts by March.

2010
R:  0-1-0, 3.77 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 3.1 BB/9, 9.4 K/9
A-:  1-1-0, 5.03 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 34 IP, 3.7 BB/9, 8.5 K/9

Debuted in GCL only a little late and moved up to State College after four outings.  He generally pitched very well there, much better than his ERA of 5.03 indicates.  Two-thirds of the runs he allowed for the Spikes came in two terrible outings.  Otherwise, he often dominated, allowing opponents to hit only .189 against him and striking out nearly a batter an inning.  He struggled with control at times, but his debut was good enough for Baseball America to rate him the 10th best prospect in the NYPL.

2011
A:  6-8-0, 3.64 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 106.1 IP, 2.6 BB/9, 6.9 K/9

Cain had an uneven season at West Virginia.  His velocity was only in the upper 80s much of the time and his mechanics were inconsistent, although he still was very effective for most of the year.  He pitched out of the bullpen in his last five games as the Pirates were trying to limit his innings, but he started struggling at that point.  As a starter, he had an ERA of 3.13 and opponents’ average of .211.  In those five relief outings the numbers were 7.94 and .404.  He went on the DL in mid-August, although there’s been no indication it was anything serious.  Cain didn’t dominate, as his K rate was on the low side.  His control was a little better than expected, although he did have the occasional control breakdown.  He did have a very strong stretch in June in which he fanned 28 in 32.1 innings and had a groundout to air out ratio of nearly 2-to-1.

Cain remains one of the higher-ceiling pitchers in the system, but obviously needs to become more consistent.  He’ll be in the Bradenton rotation in 2012.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com

High School
W-L-Sv
G
IP
H
BB
K
BB/9
K/9
WHIP
ERA
2009
6-2-0
10
58.0
22
18
118
2.8
18.3
0.69
2.17
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2012: Minor League Contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $1,125,000
MiLB Debut: 6/23/2010
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2015
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2013
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
June 10, 2009: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 8th round, 235th overall pick; signed on August 7.