BRIAN LEACH
RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
Born: April 14, 1986
Height: 6′ 3″
Weight: 195
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 25th Round, 744th Overall, 2008
How Acquired: Draft
College: Southern Mississippi
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Leach pitched for Northwest Mississippi CC in 2007, then went to Southern Mississippi.  His stats were awful, but Baseball America ranked him, without explanation, as the 19th best prospect in Mississippi.  The Royals had drafted Leach the year before in the 38th round.  Leach throws hard, sitting in the low-90s and reaching 95.  He also throws a slider and change.

2008
A-:  1-3-0, 3.98 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 54.1 IP, 3.3 BB/9, 6.0 K/9

Was arguably the best pitcher on a horrific staff State College staff, working as a starter and reliever.  His ERA was a little better than his peripheral numbers.

2009
A:  7-4-0, 2.96 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 109.1 IP, 3.2 BB/9, 7.2 K/9

Spent the season at West Virginia, initially pitching in relief and then starting for most of second half.  Leach performed well in both roles.  His BB and K rates were much higher as a reliever; he fanned just under a batter an inning in relief and only about six per nine innings as starter.  He had a slight reverse platoon split.

2010
A+:  9-9-0, 3.85 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 138 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 6.4 K/9

Leach moved up to Bradenton and spent the year the in rotation.  He got off to bad start, with an ERA of 5.56 in April and May, some of it due to control problems.  He turned things around after that, with an ERA of 3.05 over his last 17 appearances.  His control was excellent over that stretch, but his other peripherals were just OK, as he still had more hits allowed than innings pitched and fanned only 6.6 batters per nine innings.

2011
A+:  3-4-0, 7.62 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 52 IP, 4.3 BB/9, 5.7 K/9
AA:  0-0-0, 9.00 ERA, 1.93 WHIP, 15 IP, 9.0 BB/9, 4.2 K/9

Leach opened the year in the Altoona bullpen and had a dismal season.  He lasted just ten appearances in AA, walking a batter an inning.  The Pirates demoted him to Bradenton, where he pitched out of the bullpen and also made five spot starts.  He didn’t do a lot better there.  There weren’t any silver linings in his numbers:  .298 opponents’ BA, high walk rate and low K rate.  Batters from both sides of the plate hit him hard.

The Pirates have always like Leach and it seemed, going into 2011, like he could develop into a relief prospect.  Things have come unglued, though, and he’ll probably need to return to high A.  He was eligible for the Rule 5 draft in the off-season, but wasn’t drafted.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com

College
W-L-Sv
G
GS
IP
H
HR
BB
K
BB/9
K/9
WHIP
OAVG
ERA
2007 NJCAA
4-2-0
13
53.1
48
45
55
7.6
9.3
1.74
6.08
2008 NCAA
2-4-0
11
9
43.2
52
3
39
22
8.0
4.5
2.08
.306
7.42
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2012: Minor League Contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2008
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2014
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2011
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
June 8, 2007: Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 38th round, 1137th overall pick.
June 6, 2008: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 25th round, 744th overall pick; signed on June 12.