AARON SHORTRIDGE, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: May 29, 1997
Height: 6′ 3″
Drafted: 4th Round, 114th Overall, 2018
How Acquired: Draft
College: University of California
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Shortridge started his college career in the bullpen, but after a strong sophomore season he moved to the rotation in 2018. He had a 2.77 ERA in 91 innings, with a 74:14 K:BB ratio while making 12 starts in 17 appearances, with three complete games and two saves. Baseball America had him as the number 365 prospect, moving up about 80 spots in their final rankings.
When he was drafted, Shortridge had some projection in his frame, with a 93 MPH fastball. As a pro he was mostly in the upper-80s, but in mid-2019 he started getting up to 93-94 again. He also throws a slider at 78-81 MPH, which BA called fringe-average. His third pitch is a changeup. He throws strikes, and BA gives him the chance to be a back of the rotation starter in the majors. He signed quickly for slightly below the slot value of $488,200.
Shortridge started with Morgantown in mid-June. He was limited in his first few starts, then moved up to five innings, but was shut down after eight starts due to soreness. There was no specific injury. He pitched very well, with excellent walk and K rates. Opponents managed just a .574 OPS against him.
The Pirates pushed Shortridge up to Bradenton, where he spent the entire season in the rotation. His season proceeded in three parts: He had an ERA of 1.17 in his first four starts, 5.08 in the next ten, and 1.77 in his last ten. He had a much lower K rate than the previous year, but walked very few batters. He had a little trouble with left-handed batters and gopher balls, allowing an OPS of .729 to lefties and giving up 0.9 HRs per nine innings. The league average OPS was .666 and the HR/9 was 0.6.
Shortridge isn’t overpowering, but he’s mostly been very effective so far. The Pirates felt he made progress at the alternate training site in 2020.
Shortridge should have been in AA in 2021, but unfortunately he had Tommy John surgery in January 2021 and missed the season.
Shortridge returned in June and, after three rehab starts for Bradenton, made 14 starts for Altoona. He mostly struggled, but it was his TJ recovery season so it’s hard to know whether that says much. He did finish strongly, allowing just one earned run over 20 innings in his last four starts. In fact, in his last start, Shortridge worked seven three-hit, shutout innings.
The Pirates were hopeful about Shortridge before he got hurt. He should be with Indianapolis in 2023 and it’ll be interesting to see how he does once he’s that far removed from the surgery.
|2023: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $475,000
MiLB Debut: 2018
MiLB FA Eligible: 2024
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2021
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 5, 2018: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 4th round, 114th overall pick; signed on June 11.|