GAVIN WALLACE, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: November 14, 1995
Height: 6′ 5″
Drafted: 15th Round, 448th Overall, 2017
How Acquired: Draft
College: Fairfield University
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Gavin Wallace is the younger brother of Mike Wallace, whom the Pirates drafted in the 30th round of the 2015 draft, also out of Fairfield. While his older brother relies on mixing pitches and using his off-speed stuff more often, Gavin profiles a bit more as a power pitcher. He sits at 90-94 MPH with his fastball and has a wipeout slider. He holds that velocity deep into games, hitting 93 MPH in the seventh inning. This made him the second best prospect in the MAAC in 2017, according to D1Baseball. Wallace had a strong season, putting up a 3.08 ERA in 90.2 innings, with a 76:13 K/BB ratio. That was a big improvement over 2016, when he had a 5.13 ERA in 87.2 innings, with a 59:20 K/BB. He’s got a big frame, at 6′ 5″, 210 pounds, and could still have some projection.
Wallace pitched out of the Morgantown rotation and had a good season. He succeeded mainly by walking almost nobody. He also didn’t allow a HR. His K rate was very low, so one question going forward may be whether he can develop more of an out pitch.
Wallace started the season in the West Virginia rotation, then moved up to Bradenton after 14 starts. Wallace got good results with the Power, but he did it while missing very few bats. A lot of his success turned on an unsustainable .230 batting average on balls in play, along with the fact that he walked almost nobody. He had some trouble with gopher balls, allowing 11. At Bradenton, the BABIP reversed itself, rising to .373. The result was a lot of very rough starts. He also gave up another ten longballs. On the season, Wallace allowed a slugging average of .466, which was well above the norm in either league.
Wallace returned to Bradenton and served in something of a utility role. Initially he pitched in both short and long relief, sometimes when the starter left early. In late June, he moved to the rotation and stayed there. Once he joined the rotation, he mostly pitched well. He had three bad starts with a 9.92 ERA, but in his other nine starts at the end of the season his ERA was 1.99. He had a better ERA and much better WHIP (1.28 to 1.46) as a starter than as a reliever. Overall he improved his K rate, but he remained gopher-prone, with a 1.2 HR/9 that was twice the league average. Wallace had a lot of trouble with right-handed hitters, allowing them a 329/355/498 line. He held left-handed hitters to 229/270/367.
Wallace could see time at either or both Bradenton and Altoona in 2020.
|2020: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $80,000
MiLB Debut: 2017
MiLB FA Eligible: 2023
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2020
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 14, 2017: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 15th round, 448th overall pick; signed on June 20.|