Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 11/19/14
KYLE WALDROP RIGHT HANDED PITCHER Born: October 27, 1985 Height: 6’5″ Weight: 220 Bats: Right Throws: Right Drafted: 1st Round, 25th overall pick, 2004 (Twins) How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent High School: Farragut HS (Knoxville, TN) Agent: N/A WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES Waldrop fits the standard Twins’ template for a pitcher:  he’s a big guy who doesn’t throw especially hard, seldom misses bats, and gets a lot of groundballs.  A huge number, in fact, as he’s gotten groundballs over 70% of the time as a major leaguer and generally had groundout to air out ratios exceeding 2-1, sometimes by a large amount, in the minors.  His mostly throws fastballs or sinkers, which average only 88-89 mph.  For much of his career, he threw a big-breaking curve, but according to Pitch FX he switched to a slider in 2012.  His big pitch when he was drafted was a change, but he doesn’t throw it much now.  Waldrop made only slow progress through the Twins’ system and wasn’t added to their 40-man roster until late in his 8th pro season.  He’s had some shoulder and elbow problems.  The Pirates signed him to a minor league contract for 2013. NOTE:  There is another Kyle Waldrop, a left-handed pitcher, in the Reds’ system. 2004 R:  3-2-0, 1.42 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 38.0 IP, 0.9 BB/9, 7.1 K/9 R+:  2-0-0, 3.24 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 25.0 IP, 1.1 BB/9, 9.0 K/9 Waldrop had a good debut across two levels of rookie ball.  For the only time in his career, he had solid K rates. 2005 A:  6-11-0, 4.98 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 151.2 IP, 1.4 BB/9, 6.4 K/9 The Twins moved Waldrop up to full season ball and he got hit hard, but at least held his own.  He had a heavy workload for a pitcher drafted out of high school just a year earlier, making 27 starts and topping 150 innings. 2006 A:  6-3-0, 3.85 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 110.0 IP, 1.4 BB/9, 5.1 K/9 A+:  3-2-0, 3.57 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 45.1 IP, 3.4 BB/9, 5.0 K/9 Waldrop returned to low A for most of the season and pitched much better, although his K rate was just over five per nine innings.  It stayed at roughly that level for the rest of his minor league career.  He posted a good ERA after a late promotion to high A, but allowed a lot more baserunners. 2007 A+:  7-5-0, 3.40 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 92.2 IP, 2.3 BB/9, 5.5 K/9 AA:  3-6-0, 5.34 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 59.0 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 5.0 K/9 As he had the previous year, Waldrop repeated a level and improved markedly, then moved up late in the season and had more trouble, a lot more in this case. 2008 Did not play Waldrop missed the entire season with shoulder problems.  Prior to 2008, he’d relieved in only one game.  Afterward he pitched exclusively in relief. 2009 A+:  3-2-3, 3.09 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 35.0 IP, 1.8 BB/9, 5.1 K/9 AA:  2-3-0, 1.46 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 55.2 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 4.9 K/9 The Twins sent Waldrop back to high A and, although his ERA was good, opponents batted .312 against him.  He was much more effective after moving up to AA. 2010 AAA:  5-3-2, 2.57 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 87.2 IP, 2.1 BB/9, 6.2 K/9 Waldrop spent the season pitching in relief in AAA and posted a good ERA despite having slightly more hits allowed than innings pitched.  He didn’t walk many, though, and allowed only five HRs. 2011 AAA:  5-5-3, 3.87 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 79.0 IP, 2.1 BB/9, 5.0 K/9 MLB:  1-0-0, 5.73 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 4.9 BB/9, 4.1 K/9 Waldrop had largely the same season in AAA, albeit with a much higher ERA, then got a callup in early September.  He got into trouble by nibbling in the majors. 2012 A+:  0-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 4.0 IP, 2.2 BB/9, 11.2 K/9 AAA:  0-0-4, 3.34 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 35.0 IP, 3.3 BB/9, 4.1 K/9 MLB:  0-1-0, 2.53 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 21.1 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 3.0 K/9 Waldrop missed the start of the season with a sore elbow.  He returned in late May, then got a brief callup in late June.  The Twins brought him back up in late August and he stayed in the majors through the end of the season.  His peripherals obviously weren’t nearly as good as his ERA, resulting in an xFIP of 4.39.  The low ERA resulted from an extremely high strand rate of 90.4%. The Pirates gave Waldrop a spring training invite, but hopefully they don’t see him as more than AAA depth.  Apart from the extremely low K rates, the tipoff about his ability is the fact that the Twins got him through the Rule 5 draft several times, then removed him from their 40-man roster after the season despite the fact that they narrowly avoided finishing last in the AL in team ERA. STATS Baseball Reference–Majors Baseball Reference–Minors Fangraphs MLB.com MiLB.com CONTRACT INFORMATION 2012: $480,000 2013: Major League Minimum PLAYER INFORMATION Signing Bonus: $1,000,000 MiLB Debut: 2004 MLB Debut: 9/5/2011 MiLB FA Eligible: 2013 MLB FA Eligible: 2019 Rule 5 Eligible: N/A Added to 40-Man: 9/5/11 Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2012) MLB Service Time: 0.138 TRANSACTIONS June 7, 2004: Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 1st round, 25th overall pick; signed on June 16. September 5, 2011: Contract purchased by the Minnesota Twins. October 24, 2012: Outrighted to AAA by the Minnesota Twins. November 3, 2012: Became a free agent. January 29, 2013: Signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league free agent.
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