JOSH STINSON
RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
Born: March 14, 1988
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 210
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 37th round, 1114nd overall, 2006 (Mets)
How Acquired: Minor league free agent
High School: Northwood (LA) HS
Agent: Moye Sports Associates

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Stinson was drafted out of high school on the strength of a low-90s fastball with good sink.  In the majors, the pitch has averaged 92-93 mph, topping out at 95.  He also throws a slider, curve and change.  He’s a mild groundball pitcher, with a career groundball rate of 47% (average is about 45%).  In the minors, Stinson’s platoon splits haven’t followed any consistent pattern.  In the majors he’s had an extreme reverse split, allowing a OPS of .855 to right-handed batters and .602 to left-handed batters, although that’s probably a small sample size fluke.  Stinson made halting progress through the minors, consistently doing much better, but not always well, as a reliever.  His ups and downs are evident from the fact that he made his organization’s top 30 Baseball America prospect list in 2006 and 2009 (Mets), and 2013 (Orioles).

2006

R:  1-2-0, 2.00 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 27.0 IP, 1.7 BB/9, 4.7 K/9
A:  0-1-0, 1.35 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 3.4 K/9

Stinson pitched well in his rookie league debut, although he didn’t strike out many.  The Mets used him as a starter and reliever.  They promoted him to full season ball for three starts at the end of the year and he continued to pitch well.

2007
A:  3-11-0, 4.86 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 109.1 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 4.3 K/9

Stinson returned to low A and struggled there as a starter.

2008
A:  3-6-3, 3.52 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 71.2 IP, 4.0 BB/9, 5.8 K/9
A+:  0-2-0, 6.14 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 3.1 BB/9, 8.6 K/9

The Mets sent Stinson back to low A and moved him to relief, although he moved back to the rotation after mid-season and also made a couple starts after a late-season promotion to high A.  His ERA was much better as a reliever in low A, but his other numbers didn’t improve.  He had trouble with left-handed batters, allowing them an .866 OPS.

2009
A:  2-2-2, 3.61 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 42.1 IP, 2.1 BB/9, 10.4 K/9
A+:  3-1-6, 1.98 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 36.1 IP, 4.7 BB/9, 8.7 K/9

The Mets made Stinson’s move to the bullpen full-time, except for one spot start that lasted only three innings anyway.  He split the season evenly between low and high A and made real strides, becoming much harder to hit and missing dramatically more bats.  He did have some control problems in high A, something he hadn’t encountered before.  He did not have a platoon split.

2010
AA:  9-3-1, 4.24 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 110.1 IP, 4.1 BB/9, 5.5 K/9
AAA:  2-2-0, 2.57 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 28.0 IP, 2.6 BB/9, 6.8 K/9

The Mets moved Stinson up to AA, initially as a reliever but eventually in the rotation for 14 starts.  He pitched better as a reliever and overall had mediocre numbers in AA.  At the end of the season, though, he pitched very well in four starts after a promotion to AAA.  He again did not have a platoon split.  The Mets added Stinson to their 40-man roster after the season.

2011
AA:  4-3-6, 3.99 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 47.1 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 7.4 K/9
AAA:  3-7-0, 7.44 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, 61.2 IP, 4.8 BB/9, 4.7 K/9
MLB:  0-2-1, 6.92 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 4.8 BB/9, 5.5 K/9

Stinson opened the season as a starter, with his first two starts in AA followed by a promotion to AAA.  He struggled badly after the promotion and, in late June, the Mets sent him back to AA and used him solely out of the bullpen.  He didn’t pitch all that well in relief, either, but the Mets called him up in September and he made 14 relief appearances with them.  He mostly struggled in the majors, mainly due to poor control.

2012
AA:  11-9-0, 3.16 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 145.1 IP, 4.4 BB/9, 5.6 K/9
MLB:  0-0-0, 0.96 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 9.1 IP, 4.8 BB/9, 2.9 K/9

The Mets tried to get Stinson through waivers at the beginning of the season, but the Brewers claimed him.  He spent the season with their AA team, mostly as a starter.  He put up a good ERA but poor numbers otherwise.  The Brewers called him up in September and he got into six games, including one start.

2013
A+:  0-0-0, 4.50 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 2.0 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 4.5 K/9
AAA:  7-6-0, 3.78 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 131.0 IP, 3.7 BB/9, 6.0 K/9
MLB:  0-0-0, 3.18 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 17.0 IP, 1.6 BB/9, 6.4 K/9

This time the Brewers tried to slip Stinson through waivers at the end of spring training, but Oakland claimed.  The A’s then tried to get him through waivers just a few days later, only to see him claimed by the Orioles.  Stinson spent most of the season as a starter in AAA, where he pitched decently.  The Orioles called him up for one spot start in late April, which didn’t go well.  He returned for two relief appearances in August and then made eight in September, mostly pitching very well.

2014
AAA:  5-5-1, 5.48 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 85.1 IP, 4.0 BB/9, 8.4 K/9
MLB:  0-0-0, 6.23 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 4.2 BB/9, 4.2 K/9

Stinson opened the season in the Orioles’ bullpen and pitched poorly.  They outrighted him at the beginning of May, brought him back up for one appearance in June, then outrighted him again.  In AAA, Stinson pitched as a swing man, getting poor results as a starter and pitching reasonably well in relief.  When the season ended Stinson elected free agency and the Pirates signed him in late October.

Stinson hasn’t been consistently effective at any point of his minor league career.  His pattern of moving back and forth between starting and relief, despite the fact that he’s clearly better in relief, shows that his teams have regarded him as depth rather than as a prospect with a meaningful chance of a lengthy major league career.  He should spend most or all of the 2015 season in Indianapolis, with his role depending on the AAA team’s needs.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2015: Minor league contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $125,000
MiLB Debut: 2006
MLB Debut: 9/2/2012
MiLB FA Eligible: 2015
MLB FA Eligible: 2020
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 11/19/2010
Options Remaining: 0 (USED:  2011, 2012, 2013)
MLB Service Time: 0.090
TRANSACTIONS
June 7, 2006: Drafted by the New York Mets in the 37th round, 1114th overall pick; signed on June 19.
November 19, 2010:
Contract purchased by the New York Mets.
April 4, 2012: Claimed off waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers from the New York Mets.
March 29, 2013: Claimed off waivers by the Oakland Athletics from the Milwaukee Brewers.
April 3, 2013: Designated for assignment by the Oakland Athletics.
April 4, 2013: Claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles from the Oakland Athletics.
May 1, 2014: Outrighted to AAA by the Baltimore Orioles.
June 9, 2014: Called up by the Baltimore Orioles
June 17, 2014: Designated for assignment by the Baltimore Orioles; outrighted to AAA on June 21.
September 30, 2014: Became a free agent.
October 23, 2014: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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