JOHN KUCHNO
RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
  Born: May 21, 1991
Height: 6′ 5″
Weight: 210
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 17th Round, 556th Overall, 2012
How Acquired: Draft
College: Ohio State
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Kuchno is a red shirt sophomore from Ohio State.  He joined the Buckeyes after starting his career as a walk-on at Wake Forest.  Prior to that he only played one year of high school baseball.  He throws anywhere from 87-95 MPH, touching the upper end of that range in relief.  He also has a power curveball, and both pitches have the potential to be plus offerings.  Kuchno had a 4.38 ERA in 74 innings in 2012, with a 59:30 K/BB ratio.  He profiles more as a reliever.  He signed on deadline day for a little over slot.

2012
A-:  0-1-0, 9.00 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 5.0 IP, 5.4 BB/9, 10.8 K/9

Kuchno wasn’t able to pitch until late August.  He got into four games and allowed no hits or runs in three of them.  He got torched for five earned runs in the other game.  He showed some ability to miss bats in an extremely small sample size.

2013
A:  9-5-0, 4.01 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 123.1 IP, 3.3 BB/9, 6.5 K/9

Kuchno spent the season in the West Virginia rotation, except for two relief appearances.  He struggled early in the season, but improved steadily.  In fact, his opponents’ OPS dropped each month, starting in April:

.845
.766
.765
.684
.593

His ERA was 5.02 in the first three months and 2.84 in the last two.  His ratio of ground outs to air outs was over 2-1 and he had no platoon split.  His K rate remained low throughout the season.

2014
A+:  8-9-0, 3.56 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 144.0 IP, 3.6 BB/9, 3.9 K/9

Kuchno pitched in the Bradenton rotation all year and got solid results, holding opponents to a 256/339/323 line.  He got large numbers of groundballs, with two and a half times as many ground outs as air outs.  The groundball tendencies no doubt were reflected in the low opponents’ slugging average, as well as an extremely high total of 31 GIDPs.  (Even in the majors, only one pitcher induced more GIDPs than Kuchno and only two induced more than 24.)  He allowed only three HRs.  His K rate, though, was extraordinarily low, barely above his walk rate, which was only a little above league average.  He was very consistent all year, even posting a platoon split that had only a ten-point difference in OPS.

For a later round pick, Kuchno is developing into a solid pitcher.  The very strong groundball tendency is good, but it’s open to question how far he can go with such an exceptionally low, and rapidly dropping, K rate.  He should be in the Altoona rotation in 2015.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com
NCAA
W-L-Sv
G
GS
IP
H
HR
BB
K
WHIP
OAVG
ERA
2011 1-4-0 10 7 31.0 37 4 20 18 1.84 .308 6.68
2012 8-4-0 17 10 74.0 89 2 30 59 1.61 .293 4.38
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2015: Minor league contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $125,000
MiLB Debut: 2012
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible: 2018
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2015
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
June 6, 2012: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 17th round, 556th overall pick; signed on July 13.