CAM VIEAUX, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: December 5, 1993
Drafted: 6th Round, 195th Overall, 2016
How Acquired: Draft
College: Michigan State University
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Vieaux is a finesse lefty who lacks a swing-and-miss pitch, but succeeds with good command. His fastball sits in the upper-80s to low-90s. His secondary stuff is average and includes a solid change, along with a slider. He red-shirted one year, so although he was drafted as a senior he had a year of eligibility remaining. Vieaux pitched well his first two years at Michigan State, then elevated his game his last year. He had a 2.28 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, and 8.0 K/9. He’s a flyball pitcher and in the minors has had very limited platoon splits. Baseball America rated him the 245th best draft prospect. Vieaux signed a few days after the draft for a bonus that was $63,600 below the slot amount.
Vieaux’s debut season went about as expected. He made 14 starts for Morgantown, generally showing good control and turning in consistently solid performances. His K rate was on the low side, but that’s not a big surprise, either. He had only a mild platoon split and, a little surprisingly, was primarily a flyball pitcher.
The Pirates have generally sent pitchers from major college programs who were drafted in the first 6-8 rounds or so to Bradenton for their first full seasons. That didn’t happen with Vieaux, though, due to a logjam of starters at Bradenton. Opening the season in the West Virginia rotation, Vieaux had little trouble without dominating, as his very low K rate shows. The advanced metrics were less favorable than his ERA, as he had an xFIP of 4.48. Vieaux got promoted after 11 starts and made his final 13 at Bradenton. He had a lot more trouble there. His opponents’ average only increased from .272 with the Power to .286, but he allowed eight longballs at Bradenton compared to one before the promotion, in only a few more innings. He had no platoon split at all.
Vieaux started off in the Bradenton rotation, then moved up to Altoona after ten starts. He actually pitched slightly better at the higher level. He didn’t allow many baserunners, but when he got hit he tended to get hit hard. He had some trouble with gopher balls, giving up 19 total, and his opponents’ slugging average of .430 was well above the norm at both levels. He had a moderate platoon split.
Vieaux started the season at Altoona and pitched well in most of his games. The Pirates moved him up to Indianapolis in late May. He got hit harder there, including significant gopher ball problems; he gave up a homer every four innings. He also had more trouble with walks, probably because the higher level hitters were less likely to chase borderline pitches. The Pirates sent Vieaux back to Altoona in mid-August, mainly due to a numbers crunch in AAA, and he pitched shutout ball in three of his four starts.
A little surprisingly, the Pirates didn’t include Vieaux in the pool at their alternate training site.
This time around, Vieaux started off in the Altoona bullpen. He pitched pretty much the same as at AA in 2019; his 2021 ERA was higher mainly due to a higher BABIP and lower strand rate. He made one spot start for the Curve early in the season, then went to Indianapolis for one spot start at the end of June. When he returned to Altoona, he made four starts and pitched very well. Then he went back to Indy, which was running out of starters, and made seven more starts. He had a 3.13 ERA as a starter in AA and a 4.29 ERA as a reliever. His starts in AAA went badly, as he ran into the same problems he’d had there in 2019: walks and home runs. And he just generally got hit hard, with opponents batting .322 against him.
Vieaux has done reasonably well in AA, but seems to hit a wall in AAA.
UPDATE: Pitching in relief for Indianapolis, Vieaux had a strong first half and the Pirates called him up in mid-June. He pitched well in his first few games, but in his last outing Derek Shelton left him in to throw the nearly unheard-of total of 56 pitches in one horrific inning, in which Vieaux gave up eight runs. The Pirates optioned Vieaux to AAA shortly after that. About a week later they designated him for assignment to make room for Jake Marisnick. He cleared waivers and was assigned to Indianapolis. In late August the Pirates called him back up again, then outrighted him again in September.
|2022: Minor league salary
|Signing Bonus: $175,000
MiLB Debut: 2016
MLB Debut: 6/17/2022
MiLB FA Eligible: 2022
MLB FA Eligible: 2028
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 6/17/2022 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.043
|June 10, 2015: Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 19th round, 580th overall pick.
June 10, 2016: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 6th round, 195th overall pick; signed on June 14.
June 17, 2022: Contract purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
July 11, 2002: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates; outrighted to AAA on July 14.
August 21, 2022: Called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
September 7, 2022: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates; outrighted to AAA on September 10.