JAKE GOEBBERT, CORNER OUTFIELDER
|Born: September 24, 1987
Drafted: 13th Round, 401st Overall, 2009 (Astros)
How Acquired: Free agent
High School: Northwestern University
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Goebbert is a corner player with a solid, left-handed bat, good plate discipline and modest power. He’s very similar to Jaff Decker, whom the Pirates let go shortly after acquiring Goebbert, but he may offer a little more power and probably not as much defense. He’s generally had moderate to large platoon splits. Goebbert had a big sophomore year at Northwestern, with an OPS of 1.123, but didn’t put up the same numbers in his freshman (.859) or junior (.898) years. After the Astros drafted him in 2009, he made it to AAA quickly, only to be sent back to AA the next two years. Despite good numbers most of the time, he’s never made any Baseball America prospect list, possibly due to the fact that he didn’t show much over-the-fence power until 2013. He’s spent a large majority of his time in the outfield corners, with 35 games in center and 78 (including 25 in the majors) at first. The Pirates have stated they believe he can handle either spot. Goebbert reached the majors with the Padres in 2014, but cleared waivers after the season. He became a minor league free agent after the 2015 season and the Pirates signed him, surprisingly to a major league contract.
Goebbert didn’t hit a great deal in his debut.
In low A, Goebbert put together a season that looks very similar to the one Jordan Luplow had at the same level for the Pirates in 2015, with a lot of doubles, a few HRs, and good plate discipline. Goebbert also drove in 98 runs.
Goebbert advanced through three levels, putting up solid or better numbers at each one.
Despite his success the year before, the Astros sent Goebbert back to AA for most of the season. He probably was hurt by the hiring of new GM Jeff Luhnow, who took the Astros into teardown mode. Luhnow loaded up the AAA roster with former top prospects like Fernando Martinez, Travis Buck, Brett Wallace and Brad Snyder, probably hoping for lightning to strike with somebody. Goebbert hit well in AA, with nearly as many walks as strikeouts.
Just before the season, the Astros traded Goebbert to Oakland. He then got sent back to AA again, as well as being passed over in the Rule 5 draft. He showed considerably more over-the-fence power than he had previously.
Goebbert finally got to open a season in AAA and he hit well there. In mid-May, the A’s sent him to San Diego. He hit even better after the trade and the Padres called him up in mid-June. He didn’t hit much in the majors and the Padres sent him down a month later, only to recall him again two weeks later (and hence not use up an option). After the season, the team outrighted Goebbert to AAA.
Goebbert continued to hit well in AAA, but his power dropped off.
The Pirates’ decision to give Goebbert a major league contract was a little puzzling, considering that neither teams nor prospect mavens had shown much interest in him. They said he’d get a chance to compete for a spot on the team, but the acquisition of Matt Joyce effectively ended his chances. A weak spring training didn’t help, either. Depending on injuries and other developments, Goebbert could still get a chance as a left-handed bench bat. He might (or might not) be better in the role than Decker. His minor league numbers, though, have to be viewed with caution because he played in a lot of good hitting environments.
UPDATE: The signing of Matt Joyce and an unimpressive spring left Goebbert without an obvious role on the team. The Pirates designated him for assignment to clear roster space at the end of spring training. If they retain him, he’ll head to Indianapolis.
|2016: Major League Minimum|
|Signing Bonus: $100,000
MiLB Debut: 2009
MLB Debut: 6/20/2014
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2021
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 6/19/2014
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.101
|June 11, 2009: Drafted by the Houston Astros in the 13th round, 401st overall pick; signed on June 19.
April 4, 2013: Traded by the Houston Astros to the Oakland Athletics for Travis Blackley.
May 15, 2014: Traded by the Oakland Athletics with Ronald Herrera to the San Diego Padres for Kyle Blanks.
June 19, 2014: Contract purchased by the San Diego Padres.
January 7, 2015: Designated for assignment by the San Diego Padres; outrighted to AAA on January 14.
November 6, 2015: Became a free agent.
November 25, 2015: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a free agent.
April 3, 2016: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.