JUSTIN TOPA
RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
Born: March 7, 1991
Height: 6′ 4″
Weight: 200
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 17th Round, 509th Overall, 2013
How Acquired: Draft
College: Long Island University
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Topa was drafted by the Reds in 2012 in the 33rd round, but decided to go back for another year at Long Island University.  He redshirted in 2012 after having Tommy John surgery in 2011, so he still had a year of eligibility when the Pirates drafted him.  He’s got a projectable frame with a clean, effortless delivery and throws 91-93, touching 95.  He throws a good changeup, but his breaking ball hasn’t come back since the surgery.  He improved his numbers in 2013 while increasing his innings.  Topa signed right after the draft and reported to Jamestown.

2013
A-:  5-2-0, 2.19 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 37.0 IP, 2.4 BB/9, 8.0 K/9

Topa pitched exclusively out of the Jamestown bullpen and put up solid numbers across the board.  He put up much better numbers against left-handed hitters (.411 OPS) than right-handed hitters (.696 OPS), but that was probably a sample size fluke.  Topa allowed only one HR despite not having a high groundball rate.  His fastball topped out at 95-96.

2014
A:  4-8-1, 6.09 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 81.1 IP, 2.2 BB/9, 5.5 K/9

Topa opened the season in the West Virginia bullpen, but was pressed into starting service after Luis Heredia got hurt.  Apart from a couple of brief disabled list stints, Topa stayed in the rotation until early August, when he moved back to the bullpen following his second DL stint.  He mostly struggled, with opponents posting a line of 330/381/491 against him.  He was actually better as a starter than in relief; opponents hit .395 against him in the latter role.  Both left- and right-handed batters hit him hard.

The 2014 season wasn’t a good one for Topa.  The Pirates will have to decide whether to use him as a starter or reliever in 2015, and whether to move him up to Bradenton.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com

College
W-L-Sv
G
GS
IP
H
HR
BB
K
WHIP
OAVG
ERA
2013 8-6-0 14 14 100.0 94 4 29 81 1.23 .247 4.05
2012 Redshirted
2011 6-7-0 14 11 66.2 68 4 21 53 1.33 .262 4.46
2010 6-6-1 16 12 71.1 78 3 15 66 1.30 .271 4.67
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2015: Minor league contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2013
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible: 2019
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2016
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
June 6, 2012: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 33rd round, 1012th overall pick.
June 8, 2013: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 17th round, 509th overall pick; signed on June 12.