RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
||Born: November 22, 1991
Height: 6′ 6″
Drafted: 17th Round, 507th Overall, 2010
How Acquired: Draft
High School: Lee’s Summit West HS
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Hafner is all about projection, as he threw in the upper-80s at the time the Pirates drafted him and he needed to work on a breaking ball. It probably didn’t hurt his chances with the Pirates when their scout happened to see him throw a no-hitter. He had a commitment to Missouri State, but signed a week before the deadline. In camp in 2013 he was throwing 89-92 and had added a slider that showed a good deal of promise.
Pitched two innings late in the GCL season.
Spent 2011 in the State College rotation. He had a solid season, with a .229 opponents’ batting average and not many walks. The one negative was a very low K rate. His fastball sat in the 88-90 range. He had a fairly significant platoon split: left-handed batters hit .261 against him and right-handed batters hit .204. He also had nearly twice the ground-out rate against the latter as against the former. This may indicate that his changeup needs work.
Hafner’s 2012 season was delayed by a hamstring problem. He was throwing in the low-90s in camp, once he was able to pitch, and looked ready for a possible breakout. Instead, his season was a disaster as he was unable to throw strikes. He struggled through 14 starts before the team moved him to the bullpen to see whether he could gain better command in shorter stints. The move didn’t work and the Pirates finally sent Hafner down to State College, where he pitched out of the bullpen. He showed some improvement, but not nearly enough.
Pitching in relief at West Virginia, Hafner made significant progress. He still had control issues at times, but nothing like the previous year. Possibly due to his addition of a slider, his K rate increased dramatically. He also held opponents to a .216 average. Again possibly due to his reliance on the slider, he had a large platoon split, holding right-handed hitters to a measly 159/275/256 while left-handed hitters did much better against him at 285/373/368. Hafner’s fastball was in the 91-94 range at least some of the time. Because he generally pitched 2-3 innings at a time, he got in almost as many innings as a starter would have.
Hafner spent the season pitching in relief for Bradenton, mostly in 2-3 inning stints. He had a disappointing season, getting hit harder than the previous year, walking a few more hitters and seeing his K rate plummet. His opponents’ average increased 43 points. Oddly, he held left-handed hitters to an OPS of .648, while right-handed hitters did better against him, with an OPS of .741. Hafner’s numbers were inflated by a terrible start; opponents had an OPS of .964 in April. His worst month after that was .660, but the much lower K rate shows he still wasn’t nearly as effective as in 2013.
Hafner will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft for the second time. He isn’t a candidate to be added to the 40-man roster or selected. The Pirates could try him at Altoona in 2015 or return him to Bradenton.
|2015: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $450,000
MiLB Debut: 2010
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2016
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 8, 2010: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 17th round, 507th overall pick; signed on August 9.|