RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
| Born: September 17, 1988
Height: 6′ 3″
Drafted: 31st Round, 927th Overall, 2010
How Acquired: Draft
Agent: Mike Mosa
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|According to Baseball America, Townsend’s velocity got as high as 94 in college, but BA believed that he lacked a feel for pitching or a consistent breaking ball. Apart from the fastball he throws a slider and change. He spent his first two years at Chipola JC. He signed about three weeks after the draft.
Served as the primary closer for State College. Despite a decent ERA, he didn’t pitch well, allowing almost two baserunners per inning. The Pirates were, however, impressed with his stuff, particularly his fastball, which topped out at 97.
Townsend had a good season as the primary closer for West Virginia, although he didn’t show the velocity he did in 2010. He sat in the low 90s in some games, around 93 in others, topping out around 95. His control was much better than in 2010. He K rate was just decent and not what you’d expect from a power arm pitching in short relief.
Townsend spent most of 2012 in the Bradenton bullpen. He had a good ERA and didn’t allow a HR, but the low K rate shows he wasn’t dominant. He didn’t regain the mid-90s velocity and instead mostly sat in the low-90s. The Pirates promoted him to Altoona at the end of the season and he got into three games.
The Pirates sent Townsend back to Altoona and he struggled all year, pitching in relief except for one spot start. He struggled with his control and got hit hard by left- and right-handed hitters. May and June were especially brutal, as he posted a 14.58 ERA and allowed a .400 opponents’ average. He had a 1.69 ERA in July, but still walked more than he struck out.
The wheels came off for Townsend in 2013. He already wasn’t showing the kind of stuff he had when, and briefly after, the Pirates drafted him. He was eligible for the Rule 5 draft but wasn’t selected. He’ll have to try to re-establish himself in 2014, probably at Altoona, but he’ll get a late start to his season. He was discovered to have a small labrum tear during spring training. He wasn’t expected to need surgery and was rehabbing it as of the start of the season.