Born: February 17, 1992
Height: 6′ 1″
Weight: 210
Bats: Both
Throws: Right
Drafted: 14th Round, 431st Overall, 2014
How Acquired: Draft
College: Wichita State
Agent: N/A


Simpson moved around a lot in his college career and, despite being drafted as a senior, doesn’t have that much of a track record.  He started as a freshman at Weatherford College.  He then moved to Oklahoma, where he didn’t get much playing time in 2012.  Simpson transferred to Wichita State in 2013 and spent the season as a redshirt.  He played on the same team as top prospect Casey Gillaspie this year and was described as having power from each side of the plate, although it didn’t show up in games.  Baseball America didn’t have him in its top 500, but he was ranked one of the top ten prospects for the 2014 draft out of Missouri Valley heading into the season.  Simpson was ranked right behind Cy Sneed, who went in the third round.  He signed a week after the draft.

A-:  286/369/481, 189 AB, 14 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 26 BB, 40 K, 0-1 SB

Simpson was the primary third baseman at Jamestown and had a strong debut, hitting for average and power.  Unlike some of the Jammers’ hitters, who started off hot and then slumped after June, Simpson started well, cooled off a little, and finished strongly.  His OPS was .916 in June, .747 in July and .909 in August.  He had only a mild platoon split, with an OPS of .913 against LHPs and .834 against RHPs.

A:  247/352/404, 389 AB, 20 2B, 4 3B, 11 HR, 63 BB, 112 K, 7-8 SB

Despite his good debut, Simpson faced a tough situation in 2015.  In spring training the Pirates worked out a number of players, mostly outfielders who were headed to low A, at third and ultimately decided to move Jordan Luplow there.  They also had Connor Joe playing first regularly at West Virginia once he was ready to go.  Enough time opened up due to injuries, though, that Simpson was able to play on a regular basis, with his time divided evenly amongst first, third and DH.  Simpson got off to a good start, posting a .987 OPS in April, but he tailed off after that and hit a slump in June, with a .596 OPS.  His OPS in every other month was between .719 and .766.  He drew a lot of walks, but his K rate increased sharply from the previous year and he hit with less power.  Simpson hit far better from the left side (.857 OPS) than the right (.561).

A+:  235/329/407, 302 AB, 18 2B, 5 3B, 8 HR, 38 BB, 76 K, 3-4 SB

With Joe and later Wyatt Mathisen at third and Jerrick Suiter at first, Simpson again had to get playing time where he could.  At the plate, he had largely the same year as the year before.  The most noticeable change was a lower OBP, resulting from a lower walk rate.  He did also lower his K rate as well, from one every three and a half ABs to one every four.  He hit slightly better from the right side this time.  Simpson got the bulk of his time at first and as DH, but also started 16 games at third.

Simpson has had the misfortune of being in the same group as several other college corner-playing draftees who were selected in higher rounds.  That’s left him without a clear role, even though he’s been a reasonably productive hitter.  It’s not hard to see why he rates behind Joe and Luplow for playing time, but why he’s stuck behind Suiter, who was drafted much later, is tougher to fathom.  Simpson hit about the same as Suiter in 2015 and easily outhit him in 2016.  Simpson will move up to Altoona in 2017 and will probably fill the same role.

2016: Minor League Contract
Signing Bonus: N/A
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
June 7, 2014: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 14th round, 431st overall pick; signed on June 14.