Pirates Sign Right-Handed Pitcher Chase De Jong to Minor League Deal

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 27-year-old right-handed pitcher Chase De Jong to a minor league contract. He has pitched in the majors briefly during each of the last four seasons, spending time with the 2017 Seattle Mariners, 2018-19 Minnesota Twins and 2020 Houston Astros. He has a career 7.12 ERA/6.00 FIP, 1.66 WHIP and a 35:26 SO/BB ratio over 54.1 innings in ten starts and five relief appearances. Between his stint with the Twins and Astros, he pitched two partial seasons in independent ball for the Sugar Land Skeeters.

De Jong was a second round draft pick out of high school by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012. He has been traded three times during his career, once for Zach Duke, and twice while in the minors, also spending time with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Baseball America rated him as a top 25 organizational prospect for six straight years (2013-18), topping out at #11 for the Blue Jays in 2014. His last scouting report from BA has him possessing an average fastball/curve combo, with a workable slider and changeup due to his above average control. His minor league walk rate of 2.5 per nine innings is much better than his 4.3 mark in the majors. He showed better velocity in 2020, going from a fastball that sat 90-91 MPH, to a 93.1 average velocity.

That velocity didn’t help, as he allowed 12 runs over 7.1 innings with the Astros. His big league time in 2019 was limited to one poor outing, with four runs over one inning. That was after posting a 3.57 ERA in four starts in 2018.