AUSTIN COLEY, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
Born: July 14, 1992
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 200
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 8th Round, 251st Overall, 2014
How Acquired: Draft
College: Belmont University
Agent: N/A

WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE

When the Pirates drafted him, the scouting reports on Coley said he throws a 92-93 mph fastball, a change that serves as his out pitch, and a curve that needs work.  He had mono before the 2014 season and it affected his velocity, but that was back up to the low-90s by the end of the season.  The illness may also have affected his control, which was good during his first two seasons but slipped quite a bit in his junior year.  He had good K rates in college.  Although his change was his best pitch in college, the Pirates believed it needed work.  Baseball America did not rank Coley among its top 500 draft prospects, but did rank him 15th among the top 40 prospects in Tennessee.  The Mets selected Coley as a draft-eligible sophomore in 2013, but he did not sign.  He signed with the Pirates shortly after the draft for a bonus of $125,000, a little under the slot value of $153,900.

2014
A-:  0-2-0, 5.23 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, 20.2 IP, 3.9 BB/9, 7.8 K/9

Coley opened in the rotation at Jamestown, but went out with a shoulder strain after two starts.  He gave up six runs in an inning and two-thirds in his first one, which inflated his numbers some.  He returned at the end of July, but didn’t pitch all that well the rest of the way, with opponents hitting .308 against him.  He had a big platoon split, with left-handed batters posting a .943 OPS against him, versus .779 by right-handed batters.

2015
A:  16-6-0, 3.66 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 147.2 IP, 1.5 BB/9, 6.8 K/9

Coley stayed healthy and in the West Virginia rotation all season.  He led the South Atlantic League in wins — no other pitcher had more than 12.  He didn’t dominate, though, succeeding mainly by walking very few hitters.  Opponents hit 260/302/439 against him and he gave up a lot of HRs (18) and doubles (40).  He appears to be a flyball pitcher.  He had a milder platoon split, with a .785 OPS by left-handed hitters and .706 by right-handed hitters.

2016
A+:  12-10-0, 4.65 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 139.1 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 5.8 K/9

Coley spent the season in the Bradenton rotation and had largely the same season as the year before, except most things got a little worse.  He walked more and struck out fewer.  He continued to allow hitters to drive the ball; his opponents’ slugging average of .410 and HR/9 of 1.0 were both well above the league averages of .356 and 0.6.  Coley mostly struggled through the last several months of the season, with an ERA of 6.03 from June 26 through the end of the season.  He again had a modest platoon split.

2017
AA:  6-4-0, 3.01 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 143.2 IP, 1.9 BB/9, 7.1 K/9

The Pirates originally intended Coley to pitch out of the Altoona bullpen, but due to various circumstances he ended up in the rotation for most of the season.  He continued to be somewhat hittable; opponents batted .261 against him, compared to .262 the year before.  He reduced his opponents’ slugging average and HR/9, though, to .372 and 0.6, both of which were better than the league averages of .397 and 0.9.  This probably resulted from an increase in his groundball rate, from 40.0% in 2016 to 48.9%.  Coley was a little more effective against left-handed than right-handed hitters.

2018
AA:  2-0-0, 3.57 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 22.2 IP, 3.2 BB/9, 5.6 K/9
AAA:  1-3-0, 9.64 ERA, 2.11 WHIP, 28.1 IP, 4.2 BB/9, 4.8 K/9

Coley made good progress in 2017.  When the Pirates’ decision to employ Tyler Glasnow and Steven Brault as relievers in the majors opened up some spots in the AAA rotation, one went to Coley.  Unfortunately, he was overmatched at Indianapolis and the Pirates moved him down to Altoona at the end of May.  After one start there, he went on the disabled list with a shoulder strain.  He returned in mid-July, but went out again with the same shoulder problem in early August.

Coley was hurt at the start of the 2019 season.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2019: Minor league contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $125,000
MiLB Debut: 2014
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible: 2020
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2017
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
June 8, 2013: Drafted by the New York Mets in the 27th round, 806th overall pick.
June 6, 2014:
Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 8th round, 251st overall pick; signed on June 12.

  • Sorry to disagee with you Tim but this team is not a contender and 10 more wins are going to be really hard to come by.
    .
    They got swept by the Brewers lost the first game to the Astros and won the next two only because the Astros played like the Keystone Kops. No other team the rest of the way is going to give up runs the way the Astros did and without that help the Bucs are going to find it hard to win 10 games.
    .
    If they are going to improve next year they will have to get the same type of years out of JMac and Burnett for the whole year and find two more pitchers that can compete on their level and make alot of changes to the lineup,bench and find a closer and other help for the BP. I don’t think that Hungton can accomplish all that in the off season with out massive spending and you know that isn’t going to happen.

  • But now they are contendera
    ——————————————
    Said that many times early in the year, but on deaf ears. Until you are out of a race you are always a contender.
    I
    don’t put a lot into Cole and Tallion arriving to save the day, it
    might take them a couple years to adjust, they could be so-so when they
    get here.
    I think looking at future players like Polanco, Bell, Dickerson and Hanson arriving are just as important.
    Huntington
    showed this year he has a new toy to work with and I would not grade
    him out well on how he used the new toy, the toy being players ready to
    play from AAA.

  • I still want 82 wins first! I want the monkey off of our backs. THEN, once we get there (after our amazing 12 game win streak we’re currently on….lol) I want playoffs. Let’s just go back to doing what we were doing earlier and win series. Ten more wins!!! The sooner the better!

  • I think this year IS the big chance UNTILL Cole and Tallion arrive.
    Next year the Brewers are presumably better, but most importantly the Astros are gone.
    Those 10+ relatively easy wins or so can’t be easy to replace.

    • The Brewers are not going to be better next year. I see them re-trenching for 1-2 years on payroll and attempting to build up their moribund farm system. Something for everyone to remember about the Astros leaving — The Reds, Cards, and Brewers also don’t get to fatten up on them, either.

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