RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: January 14, 1993
Height: 6′ 3″
Signed: Int. FA, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2009
How Acquired: Int. FA
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|In their continuing quest to unearth baseball talent in the strangest of places, the Pirates signed the 16-year-old Neverauskas out of Lithuania. The signing means that, in less than a year, they signed players from India, South Africa, Taiwan, Australia, the Netherlands and Lithuania, as well as a number of Latin American countries. Neverauskas played in the European Championship Series and was clocked at 88 mph, which is good velocity for a pitcher that young, in a tryout camp conducted in Europe by MLB. He’s added velocity as he’s gotten older, although he tends to get erratic results. Sometimes he’ll hit 95 repeatedly, others he’ll be in the upper-80s or low-90s. His secondary pitches and command are works in progress.
Pitched briefly in GCL at age 17 and held his own. Considering his age and the fact that he had little experience outside Europe, it was an impressive showing.
In spring training, Neverauskas was sitting in the low 90s and reaching 93-94 with his fastball, and that’s despite being pretty thin at that stage. He returned to the GCL, where he missed the early season with an injury but pitched regularly from mid-July on. He managed a good ERA despite issuing 14 walks in 25 innings. Opponents hit .237 against him, right-handed hitters just .215.
Neverauskas returned to the GCL again and didn’t pitch quite as well as in 2011, although his walk and K rates improved. He’s filled out a little, but his fastball velocity was erratic, sometimes dropping to the upper 80s and other times reaching at least 95. He got a late-season promotion to State College, which probably indicates the Pirates think he has some potential, and he pitched very well over four innings.
Neverauskas spent the season in the Jamestown rotation, getting 50% more innings than he had in any previous season. In fact, he led the Jammers in innings. He didn’t strike out many, but improved his command and didn’t get hit hard. He was erratic: he had an ERA of 6.52 in June, 1.67 in July and 6.75 in August. He had a little trouble with gopher balls, allowing eight.
The Pirates sent Neverauskas to West Virginia, where he pitched in the rotation all year. The main positive was that . . . he pitched in the rotation all year. He generally got hit hard, sometimes struggled with his control, and didn’t miss a lot of bats. The results were more or less the same all year, so he didn’t show any improvement. In fact, he had a 6.45 ERA in August. Left-handed batters hit him hard, with an .872 OPS as compared to .775 by right-handed batters.
The fact that they stuck with him as a starter all year in 2014 despite the weak results shows that the Pirates still consider Neverauskas a prospect. He’ll still be only 22 at the start of the 2015 season and it should help him to have gotten so much experience. He’ll go back to West Virginia to open the season.
|2015: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $60,000
MiLB Debut: 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 (USED: N/A)
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|July 11, 2009: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent with a $60,000 bonus.|