J.C. FLOWERS, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: May 19, 1998
Drafted: 4th Round, 124th Overall, 2019
How Acquired: Draft
College: Florida State University
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Flowers was a two-way player at Florida State, playing center field and showing good speed and power, with a lot of swing and miss. He was a football star in high school, so he’s very athletic. The Pirates drafted him as a pitcher and plan to employ him as a starter. He throws both a two-seam and four-seam fastball, reaching the mid-90s but sitting in the low-90s. His out pitch is a slider that produces a lot of swings and misses, and he also throws a change. He had very limited experience on the mound in college, not pitching until he served as closer in his junior year. The Pirates are hoping he’ll benefit from focusing on the mound. In that junior year, Flowers had a 1.52 ERA and .188 opponents’ batting average. In 23.2 IP, he struck out 22 and walked ten in 23.2 IP. Baseball America ranked Flowers 205th among draft prospects, so his selection continued a trend of the Pirates overdrafting players in the early rounds. He signed four weeks after the draft, as his team was in the College World Series. His bonus was $40,000 above the slot amount.
Flowers pitched as a starter with West Virginia, apart from one relief appearance. The Pirates increased his inning total slowly and he reached five only in his last start. He was erratic, partly due to command issues. Opponents hit 282/351/470 against him in a league where the average was 232/313/337.
Flowers opened the season at Bradenton, making two starts and four relief appearances. He dominated there and the Pirates moved him up to Greensboro. He pitched in 15 games there, 11 of them starts, and the results were more uneven. He had four bad games in a five-game stretch around the middle of his time there in which he allowed 20 of the 29 runs he allowed at the level. He finished the season well. Flowers had much more success on the road than at home, so the Greensboro ballpark probably played a role. He had a reverse platoon split.
Flowers had a good year for Altoona, holding opponents to a 227/303/331 line. He was extremely consistent; after putting up a 4.05 ERA in April, his monthly ERA varied just from 2.31 to 3.00 every month. His K rate was well down from the previous year, but he finished strongly in that regard. In the last two months of the season, Flowers had a 2.42 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and 10.0 K/9. He had only a minor platoon split. Flowers pitched in a variety of roles, frequently working 2-3 innings, but sometimes just pitching in late-inning roles. He’s evolved into a strong groundball pitcher.
Flowers put together an extremely consistent season in 2022. He should have a chance to reach the majors in 2023, but first the Pirates will have to avoid losing him in the Rule 5 draft.
|2023: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $500,000
MiLB Debut: 2019
MiLB FA Eligible: 2025
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2022
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 11, 2016: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 18th round, 528th overall pick.
June 4, 2019: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 4th round, 74th overall pick; signed on July 1.