NICK BUCKNER
CENTER FIELDER
Born: August 9, 1995
Height: 6′ 1″
Weight: 205
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 14th Round, 419th Overall, 2013
How Acquired: Draft
High School: North Shore HS (TX)
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Buckner has a lot of raw power and a quick bat.  He has a long, uphill left-handed swing and is a dead pull hitter.  He’s shown the ability to make hard contact thus far, but scouts aren’t sure whether he’ll be able to handle higher quality pitching.  The Pirates announced him as a center fielder, but he profiles better as a corner player due to just adequate speed and arm strength.  There are some concerns about his swing and whether he can make good contact to utilize his power.  He had a commitment to the University of Houston, but Baseball America considered him signable.  He came to a deal with the Pirates at the end of June for a little above the slot amount.

2013
R:  245/290/347, 147 AB, 8 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 8 BB, 41 K, 4-7 SB

Buckner not surprisingly struggled in his pro debut, although he came on strong at the end, batting .400 in his last seven games.  His main problem was LHPs; he posted a .361 OPS against them and .712 against RHPs.  The high K rate obviously is an issue.  Buckner played all but a couple games in right.

2014
R+:  276/350/362, 210 AB, 14 2B, 2 3B, 25 BB, 72 K, 2-2 SB

Buckner served as the primary right fielder at Bristol, although he also was the DH in 21 games.  He made progress at the plate, hitting some doubles and greatly increasing his walk rate, but he struck out at an alarming rate, especially considering that he had no HRs.  He posted a .755 OPS against RHPs, but only .583 against LHPs, mainly due to having no extra base hits against the latter.

The Pirates could try Buckner at West Virginia in 2015, but Morgantown might be more realistic.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2015: Minor league contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $135,000
MiLB Debut: 2013
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible: 2019
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2017
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
June 8, 2013: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 14th round, 419th overall pick; signed on June 29.