RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: October 8, 1985
Drafted: 43rd round, 1293rd overall, 2008 (Rangers)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
College: Virginia Commonwealth Univ.
Agent: Paragon Sports International
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Eppley is a soft-tossing RHP who went from being drafted in the late rounds (the draft doesn’t even go to round 43 any more) to pitching in the post-season for the Yankees. He throws from a submarine angle and relies heavily on a sinker that sits around 86-88 mph. He throws a slider a little over a tenth of the time and also throws a change, although only rarely. He’s an extreme groundball pitcher and also has posted high K rates throughout his time in the minors, although not in the majors. He’s struggled severely with left-handed hitters in AAA and the majors. After a solid season with the Yankees in 2012–he pitched better in New York than he generally has in AAA–the bottom seemingly fell out on him in 2013. The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2014.
Pitching solely in relief, Eppley dominated in his rookie league debut, although for a college draftee that’s not remarkable.
Eppley continued to pitch very well in low A, although at 23 he remained old for the level.
Eppley moved up through three levels of the Rangers’ system. He was nearly untouchable in high A and AA, but had more trouble in AAA. His K rate remained high throughout.
The Rangers sent Eppley back to AAA and he struggled with his control. He got called up for a month when Neftali Feliz got hurt in late April, struggling in ten games.
The Rangers designated Eppley for assignment just before the start of the season and the Yankees claimed him off waivers. New York sent him to AAA several times for a total of about three weeks, but he otherwise spent the season in the majors. He pitched reasonably well, getting his walk rate down and keeping the ball in the park, which isn’t easy to do in the new Yankee Stadium. He got into four post-season games during the Yankees’ playoff sweep at the hands of the Tigers.
Eppley opened the season with the Yankees but, after getting hammered in his second appearance, they sent him to AAA. He struggled badly there, and the Yankees outrighted him after a month and released him after another month. The Twins signed Eppley to a minor league contract and he pitched for their AAA affiliate until late August. He wasn’t as bad there, but still had control issues. The Twins released him near the end of the AAA season and he pitched briefly in independent ball.
Eppley’s groundball tendencies no doubt appeal to the Pirates. He figured to go to Indianapolis and provide bullpen depth, but he wasn’t on any roster at the start of the season.
2014: Minor League Contract
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2008
MLB Debut: 4/23/2011
MiLB FA Eligible: 2014
MLB FA Eligible: 2018
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 4/23/2011
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2011, 2012, 2013)
MLB Service Time: 1.029
|June 6, 2008: Drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 43rd round, 1293rd overall pick; signed on June 10.
April 23, 2011: Contract purchased by the Texas Rangers.
April 4, 2012: Designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers.
April 5, 2012: Claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers by the New York Yankees.
May 3, 2013: Designated for assignment by the New York Yankees; outrighted to AAA on May 5.
June 7, 2013: Released by the New York Yankees.
June 13, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Minnesota Twins.
August 20, 2013: Released by the Minnesota Twins.
November 26, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.