|Report Date:||March 19th, 2018|
Though he earned the loss in Mississippi State’s Southeastern Conference opener against Vanderbilt on Friday, Pilkington was solid, allowing two earned runs on seven hits, while walking one, and striking out eight over six frames. If there was a deficiency in Pilkington’s game last season, it was an inability to throw strikes, as he walked 47 batters in 108 innings, a rate of 3.92 per game. Through five starts this season, Pilkington has shown marked improvement in that department, granting just two free passes over 29 innings while striking out 47.
At 6’3” and 230 pounds, Pilkington has a strong, sturdy, XL frame, with some thickness in his lower half. The left-hander remains balanced through an up-tempo, controlled delivery with a low amount of effort. Though he reportedly pitched in the mid-90s last spring, Pilkington’s fastball sat in the 88-to-90 mph on this cool, rainy Starkville evening. Pilkington shows advanced feel for his changeup, an 80-to-82 mph offering with occasional glove side fade. At 75-to-77 mph with moderate depth, his curveball is a potential average pitch, though it lacks the teeth of some of his collegiate peers.
While it’s doubtful that he can sustain of his absurd 21.5 K:BB rate, Pilkington still projects as a back of the rotation starter who can eat innings and fill the strike zone with three different pitches. While that ceiling is modest, there’s enough value in the profile to envision a day one selection in the MLB Draft.