AUSTIN McCLUNE
CENTER FIELDER
Age: 22
Born: November 15, 1987
Height: 6′ 2″
Weight: 175
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 7th Round, 200th Overall, 2006
How Acquired: Draft
High School: Edmond Santa Fe (Edmond, OK)
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

The Pirates drafted McClune as a raw player with speed, whom they believed had some power potential. He had signed with a junior college, Seminole State College in Oklahoma, and he also had football scholarship offers. He’s never learned to use his speed much on the bases, but he has good range in the outfield and one of the best arms in the organization. He’s always had very high assist totals; in 2010, for instance, he had 17 in only 97 outfield games. He’s played more in right than center, often because better prospects were in center. Unfortunately, he’s never hit much and has had the usual struggles with offspeed stuff.2006-07: Did well enough in GCL and was hitting over .300 after a couple months at State College the following year, but slumped in last month.

2008-09: Never really started hitting again. Showed a little improvement in second year in low A, after missing the start of the season with mononucleosis, and has shown gradual improvement in his plate discipline the last three years.

2010: Opened as backup at Bradenton, but Starling Marte’s hamate surgery led to him starting much of year. Played majority of time in right, but also played a lot in center, alternating between the two with Robbie Grossman. Aside from posting reasonably good walk/strikeout ratio, he regressed with the bat.

Although it sometimes seems like he’s been around forever, McClune played all of 2010 at age 22, which isn’t an inappropriate age for high A. He won’t be eligible for minor league free agency for two more years, so he may return in 2011. Unlike their predecessors, the Pirates’ current management follows something of an “up or out” philosophy, rather than keeping players at the same level year after year. They may give McClune a chance in AA in the hopes that he could have an Alex Presley-like breakout. Otherwise, he’ll either return as a backup at Bradenton or be gone.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2011: Minor League Contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $140,000
MiLB Debut: 2006
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2012
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3 (As of start of 2010 season)
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
June 7, 2006: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 7th round, 200th overall pick.
June 11, 2006: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates to a minor league contract with a $140,000 bonus.