MIKE ZAGURSKI
LEFT HANDED PITCHER
Born: January 27, 1983
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 225
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 12th round, 367th overall, 2005 (Phillies)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
College: University of Kansas
Agent: Marc Kligman

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Zagurski didn’t draw a lot of interest from scouts due to a “bad body” and wasn’t drafted until his senior year in college.  He’s been a reliever since his first year in the minors and primarily a lefty specialist in the majors.  His fastball averages about 91-92, topping out at 95.  His main secondary pitch is a slider.  He’s primarily a flyball pitcher and has had trouble with gopher balls, allowing one every seven innings in the majors.  Some of that may have been his home parks in Philadelphia and Arizona, where he’s allowed seven of his ten career HRs.  He’s had an extreme platoon split in the majors, where right-handed hitters have lit him up for a line of 295/401/550.  He hasn’t exactly dominated left-handed hitters, who’ve hit 265/333/372 against him.  He’s always had high K rates, but he’s struggled with his control throughout his time in the majors and upper minors.  The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2013.

2005
A-:  3-4-0, 4.60 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 45.0 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 8.6 K/9

Zagurski started and relieved in his short season debut.

2006
A:  4-4-1, 3.51 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 56.1 IP, 3.5 BB/9, 12.0 K/9

The Phillies left Zagurski in the low A bullpen all year.  He posted a very high K rate.

2007
A+:  0-0-5, 1.10 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 2.2 BB/9, 16.5 K/9
AA:  0-0-0, 1.29 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 7.0 IP, 2.6 BB/9, 10.3 K/9
AAA:  0-0-0, 2.00 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 9.0 IP, 6.0 BB/9, 11.0 K/9
MLB:  1-0-0, 5.91 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, 21.1 IP, 4.6 BB/9, 8.9 K/9 

The Phillies called Zagurski up in late May and he spent two months with them.  They brought him back up in mid-August, but after pitching in two games he suffered a severe groin injury and finished the season on the disabled list.  During the time he was in the minors he dominated at three different levels, although the control problems surfaced in AAA.  He wasn’t effective in the majors.

2008
Did not play

Zagurski missed the entire season due to Tommy John surgery.

2009
A+:  0-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 3.0 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 3.0 K/9
AA:  3-4-8, 3.57 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 53.0 IP, 4.6 BB/9, 10.7 K/9  

Zagurski missed a little time at the beginning of the season as he was recovering from the elbow surgery, then he spent most of the year in AA.  He pitched reasonably well there, striking out a lot of batters but struggling with his control.

2010
AAA:  2-3-3, 3.27 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 52.1 IP, 4.6 BB/9, 12.2 K/9
MLB:  0-0-0, 10.29 ERA, 1.86 WHIP, 7.0 IP, 6.4 BB/9, 14.1 K/9

Zagurski spent most of the season in AAA.  Opponents hit only .228 against him and he had a very high K rate, but he continued to struggle with his control.  The Phillies called him up briefly in late June and again at the end of the season.

2011
AAA:  4-0-11, 2.65 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 54.1 IP, 4.5 BB/9, 10.4 K/9
MLB:  0-0-0, 5.40 ERA, 2.10 WHIP, 3.1 IP, 8.1 BB/9, 10.8 K/9

Other than two very brief callups, Zagurski spent the season at AAA.  He pitched a little better there but still walked a lot.  The Phillies traded him to Arizona near the end of the season, but he never appeared for the Diamondbacks.

2012
AAA:  0-0-0, 2.00 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, 9.0 IP, 2.0 BB/9, 7.0 K/9
MLB:  0-0-0, 5.54 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 37.1 IP, 4.6 BB/9, 8.2 K/9

Zagurski spent most of the season with the D’backs.  They outrighted him to AAA twice, but both times called him back up a short time later.  His main problem continued to be his control.  He struggled against left-handed hitters, who batted .298 against him.

Despite the high K rates, Zagurski hasn’t given much indication that he can be effective at the major league level.  He hasn’t dominated left-handed hitters and right-handed hitters have hammered him.  If he starts throwing more strikes he might be useful as a lefty specialist, but Clint Hurdle has shown in the past that he won’t use veteran lefty relievers as LOOGYs.  Instead, he insisted on using Joe Beimel and Doug Slaten as one-inning pitchers.  It’s unlikely that Hurdle would use Zagurski effectively.  In spring training, Zagurski pitched very well until about halfway through March, after which he pitched very badly.  He’ll open the season in Indianapolis.

UPDATE:  Zagurski dominated even more than usual in AAA.  He was entitled to declare free agency if he wasn’t added to the major league roster by June 1, so the Pirates added him in late May.  He made six appearances and couldn’t get anybody out.  The Pirates designated him for assignment to make room for Brandon Cumpton.  It’s hard to imagine anybody claiming him, but if he clears waivers he could declare free agency.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2008: $392,500
2009:
$400,000
2013:
Major league minimum
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2005
MLB Debut: 5/25/2007
MiLB FA Eligible: 2013
MLB FA Eligible: 2016
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 5/25/07
Options Remaining: 0 (USED:  2009, 2010, 2011)
MLB Service Time: 3.012
TRANSACTIONS
June 7, 2005: Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 12th round, 367th overall pick; signed on June 9.
May 25, 2007: Contract purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies.
September 17, 2011: Designated for assignment by the Philadelphia Phillies.
September 23, 2011: Traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Adam Worthington.
April 4, 2012: Outrighted to AAA by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
April 24, 2012: Called up by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
August 11, 2012: Designated for assignment by the Arizona Diamondbacks; outrighted to AAA on August 13.
August 14, 2012: Called up by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
November 5, 2012: Became a free agent.
December 1, 2012: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
May 27, 2013:
Called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
June 15, 2013:
Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.