The Pirates have developed Baz slowly since taking him 12th overall in the 2017 Draft. I saw him in Extended Spring Training before he moved up to the Appy League once Short-Season ball got underway. Baz has the ingredients of a high-ceiling prospect, and we ranked him the #86 prospect in baseball in 2080’s Midseason Top 125 Prospect List.
At 19 years old, Baz throws four pitches with the fastball leading the way. It has the makings of a plus-to-double-plus offering, sitting 93-to-94 mph (T96), and theirs potential for a couple extra ticks on the velo given his age and lean body. The slider also projects as plus, coming in from 82-to-85 mph, and manipulating to a more firm 86-to-88 mph version with a cutter-like dart. The changeup shows potential as well, coming in with his fastball arm speed, but lacking in movement and flat at present in the 86-to-88 mph range. With increased usage it should reach at least average given his athleticism and present feel. The issue at present is his consistency. In my looks in extended spring training, I often saw a pitcher that would fatigue early and struggle to control his breaking stuff. The effort of his delivery, with a violent finish and slight head whack, are the main culprits of his control issues, but with his athleticism and added strength in his lower half, he should be able to make the necessary adjustments to improve his repeatability going forward.
A pitcher with the stuff that Baz possesses can move quickly through the minor leagues, but with just 64 pro innings under his belt, he needs added reps to develop more consistently repeatable mechanics deeper into outings. With added strength expected to come to aid his durability should also come improvements in the control profile. He’s got time to develop at a fresh 19 years old – the end result could be a future #3 starter for the Bucs.