RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: May 1, 1989
Height: 6′ 2″
Drafted: 5th Round, 147th Overall, 2010
How Acquired: Draft
College: Oregon State
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Waldron had a disappointing collegiate career. He pitched as a freshman for the University of the Pacific, then transferred to Oregon State, but he didn’t perform as well for the latter as expected. He opened the 2010 season as the Friday starter, but finished it in the bullpen. He probably wasn’t helped by the fact that his school was loaded with good arms. Waldron’s fastball sits at 90-92, reaching 95, but has been too hittable. He throws a slider, curve and change, but none has been consistently effective. Baseball America didn’t include him in its top 200 draft prospects, while PGCrosschecker rated him 182nd overall. He figured to be more of a project for the Pirates than the typical early-round college pitcher.
Had respectable debut at State College. Waldron didn’t allow many baserunners, but also didn’t fan many hitters. He had a fairly big platoon split, as left-handed batters hit .306 against him and right-handed batters only .232.
Waldron pitched in the West Virginia rotation until the Pirates promoted him to Bradenton at the beginning of August. He had a high ERA for the Power, with the main culprit being a high HR rate; he allowed 14 in 97 innings. His other numbers were decent, with an opponents’ average of .244. His K rate remained low. For the Marauders, Waldron pitched very well in his first five outings, then got bombed in his last two. In the first five he posted an ERA of 0.77. In his last two games he allowed 13 runs, 12 earned, in 6.1 IP. His K rate dropped even further.
Waldron spent most of the year in the Bradenton rotation. He moved up to Altoona in August and made six starts. He didn’t pitch well at either stop, although he was a little better in AA. Opponents hit .306 against him at Bradenton. In AA he was more effective against left-handed batters; they hit .167 against him while right-handed batters hit .308. He missed few bats at both locations.
The Pirates sent Waldron back to Altoona and he struggled through three starts before going on the disabled list with shoulder problems. He didn’t return until late July, after which he made a few relief appearances for Bradenton and then for Altoona.
Waldron suddenly seemed to make considerable progress in 2014, with the difference possibly being attributable to him adding a cutter. He opened the season in the Bradenton bullpen and was largely unhittable in six outings. He made one, one-inning appearance with Altoona, striking out the side, and then moved up to Indianapolis. In AAA, he made four starts and a dozen relief appearances before going out of the season with a right intercostal strain. Waldron pitched well in AAA until his last two outings, which may have had something to do with the injury.
Waldron may or may not have turned things around in 2014. It’s hard to tell for certain due to the time he missed. He’ll be eligible for the Rule 5 draft, but it’s probably not very likely that anybody would select him. Hopefully, he’ll be back at Indianapolis in 2015 and able to show more definitively whether he’s turned into a prospect.