Peter Gammons said on MLB Network on Tuesday afternoon that as many as ten teams had been at Victory Field, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates‘ Triple-A team, scouting a pair of Pirates’ pitching prospects. The two prospects, relievers Duke Welker and Victor Black (pictured above), are hard throwing pitchers that can touch 100 mph on their fastballs.
Any pitcher that can reach 100 miles per hour on his fastball will have teams interested in him, so it isn’t a huge shock to hear that opposing teams have been scouting Welker and Black. There are a few things that remain unclear however.
Which teams were in attendance to scout the duo? This is impossible to tell based on the Gammons report, as he didn’t state specifically if he did or did not know the teams in attendance.
Are the Pirates engaging in trade talks with these teams regarding Welker and/or Black? If you asked me, I would say that the Pirates being active in trade discussions in the middle of May is a bit unlikely. However, if teams are scouting these two guys specifically, maybe the Pirates have sent out a memo to other teams that they are willing to part with young relievers for major league talent.
Is it worth trading these guys? Obviously, with any trade, it depends on what the other team is willing to part with. The Pirates have been able to stockpile young relief pitching recently to provide help in the big league bullpen.
How good are Welker and Black
In 2013, Welker has pitched 17 scoreless innings in Triple-A Indianapolis, resulting in a 3-0 record with a 0.00 ERA. In his 17 innings, Welker has allowed nine free passes and has compiled 20 strikeouts. Amazingly, he has only allowed four hits.
Black has pitched 21 innings for Indianapolis, and he has ten saves. In his 21 innings, he has struck out an astounding 31 batters and walked 11. He has pitched to a 2.57 ERA as the closer for the Pirates’ Triple-A team.
While it is unclear what the meaning of these teams scouting the duo of Welker and Black is, it will surely be interesting to see what eventually happens with the two flame-throwing relievers.