Born: October 7, 1994
Height: 6′ 6″
Weight: 220
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Signed: Contract purchased from independent league team, 2016
How Acquired: From independent league team
College: Hillsdale College (Mich)
Agent: N/A


The Pirates purchased McDonald’s contract from the East Side Diamond Hoppers of the United Shore Professional Baseball League. McDonald had just recently signed in indy ball after playing at Hillsdale in 2016. He pitched mainly in relief, posting a 4.39 ERA for a team that had an ERA of 6.73, with their opponents putting up a 7.21 mark, so the environment obviously favored hitters strongly.  McDonald walked nine and fanned 31 in 41 innings.  He also hit well, but the Pirates apparently wanted him as a pitcher.  His fastball averages about 88 and reaches 93, and he relies heavily on a change.  In 2017 he started throwing from a low sidearm angle, as can be seen above.

R:  3-1-0, 3.55 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 25.1 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 5.3 K/9

The Pirates sent McDonald to the GCL, where he pitched in long relief.  He was fairly hittable.

R+:  0-2-0, 3.79 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 38.0 IP, 4.7 BB/9, 7.1 K/9
A-:  0-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 1.0 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 0.0 K/9

The Pirates sent McDonald to Morgantown initially, where he made one appearance.  Once the 2017 draftees started arriving, he headed to Bristol, where he was employed frequently in long relief roles when the team needed innings.  He gave up a lot of hits — opponents hit .291 against him —  and he also had some control issues.  On the other hand, he was an extreme groundball pitcher, possibly due to the sidearm motion, and gave up very few extra base hits and no HRs.  He may have been hurt even more than the team’s other pitchers by the Bristol defense, which was extremely bad.  A lot of the damage against McDonald came in his last three outings

McDonald should continue to act as depth in the lower minors.

2018: Minor League Contract
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2016
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible: 2022
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2019
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
July 4, 2016: Contract purchased from independent league team by the Pittsburgh Pirates.