THOMAS HARLAN, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: March 7, 1990
Drafted: 13th Round, 406th Overall, 2012
How Acquired: Draft
College: Fresno State University
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Harlan had a good 2012 season for Fresno but doesn’t appear to have dominant stuff. His fastball reaches 90, but is more likely to be in the mid- to upper-80s, and he throws a sweeping curve from a 3/4 angle. He wasn’t drafted previously. As a senior he signed quickly.
Harlan struggled pitching out of the State College bullpen. He had good walk and K rates, and also had a high groundball rate, but none of that stopped opponents from batting .306 against him. Left-handed batters hit .372, so moving forward as a left-handed specialist probably isn’t in the cards.
Harlan opened the season in extended spring training. The Pirates sent him to West Virginia in late April and he spent the season in the bullpen there, except for a brief fill-in stint in Bradenton in July. Harlan had an interesting season and got in a good number of innings despite the late start and his bullpen role. He fanned over a batter an inning and opponents hit just .208 against him. Right-handed batters hit just .193, so he seems to have been effective against everybody.
Harlan opened the season in the Bradenton bullpen and continued to pitch well, mainly in long relief. He was more hittable than the previous year, with his K rate dropping and opponents hitting .255 against him. He walked very few, though, and allowed just one HR. In July, the Pirates moved him up to Altoona to make a spot start in a doubleheader. He pitched decently and the Pirates kept him in the AA rotation. He managed a solid WHIP and ERA despite an extremely low K rate, and despite being a flyball pitcher. For the season, he was very tough on left-handed hitters, holding them to a .563 OPS. The Pirates were impressed enough with Harlan that they sent him to the Arizona Fall League.
Harlan spent the season pitching mainly in relief for Altoona. He made five spot starts as well. He put up solid numbers across the board, including a much better K rate than the previous year. He was actually better as a starter, holding opponents to a .542 OPS, compared to .751 as a reliever. He had no meaningful platoon split.
Apart from the improved K rate, Harlan had pretty much the same season in 2015 as in 2014. He’ll probably settle in as an upper-level reliever and hopefully will get a shot at AAA some time in 2016. He’s now eligible for the Rule 5 draft, but isn’t likely to be selected.
|2016: Minor league contract.
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2012
MiLB FA Eligible: 2018
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2015
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 5, 2012: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 13th round, 406th overall pick; signed on June 13.|