IKE SCHLABACH, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: December 27, 1996
Drafted: 19th Round, 577th Overall, 2015
How Acquired: Draft
High School: Timber Creek HS (TX)
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Schlabach is a tall, lanky left-hander and the first high school player the Pirates took in the 2015 draft after taking Ke’Bryan Hayes 32nd overall. He has a fastball that sits high 80’s and touches low-90’s. He has room to fill out, so he could see an increase in velocity. Schlabach gets high marks for his makeup, work ethic and competitiveness. He wasn’t among the top 99 players in Texas according to Baseball America, in what they considered an average year for the state. He had a commitment to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, but signed a month after the draft.
Having signed a little late, Schlabach didn’t get into a game until August 11. He made four starts in all and mostly struggled, largely due to control issues.
As they generally do with prep pitching draftees, the Pirates sent Schlabach to Bristol for his first full season. He pitched out of the rotation, having only limited success. Opponents put up a 289/362/427 line against him, which compares to a league average of 256/331/381. He also missed very few bats. Schlabach actually pitched very well in five July starts, posting a 3.16 ERA and holding opponents to a .640 OPS. Things went south in his six August starts, as he gave up an OPS of .924 and had a 6.92 ERA. He held left-handed hitters to an OPS of .583, while right-handed hitters had an .836 mark.
The Pirates evidently weren’t deterred by Schlabach’s struggles in 2016, as they moved him up to Morgantown and had him pitch in the rotation all season. He came through with an excellent season, improving everything across the board. In five of his 14 starts, he threw scoreless ball for five or more innings. Opponents batted just 205/280/302 against him and he was equally effective against right- and left-handed hitters.
Schlabach opened 2018 in the West Virginia bullpen, although he ultimately made ten starts. He didn’t pitch well and didn’t improve over the course of the season. Opponents batted .282 against him, although he was effective against left-handed batters, holding them to a .665 OPS.
Schlabach spent the season with Bradenton, although he missed about five weeks starting in late May. He pitched in relief, sometimes in 3-4 inning stints, and also made three spot starts. He still didn’t miss many bats, but he walked very few and kept the ball in the park, allowing only two HRs. He was very tough on left-handed batters, allowing them just a .507 OPS compared to .612 by right-handed batters.
Schlabach should get a chance in AA in 2021. He’s eligible for the Rule 5 draft for the second time.
|2021: Minor League Contract
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2015
MiLB FA Eligible: 2021
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2019
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 10, 2015: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 19th round, 577th overall pick; signed on July 10.|