Future Watch: Gage Hinsz Rookie Baseball Cards, Pirates

Future Watch: Gage Hinsz Rookie Baseball Cards, PiratesFuture Watch: Gage Hinsz Rookie Baseball Cards, PiratesGage Hinsz was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 11th round of the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft. This Billings, Montana native has had to work very hard to move up in the Pirates organization and he’s doing just that.

In 2014, he pitched eight innings in rookie ball. That was designed to get his feet wet. His real work started in 2015. He played for the Bristol Pirates in the Appalachian League. In 38 innings he had 24 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.66 alongside a 3-4 record.

In 2016, he graduated to Class-A. Playing for West Virginia Power he threw 93 innings, he struck out 67 and he had a 6-8 record. Things were improving.

In 2017, he played for the Bradenton Marauders in the high-A league. He ended the season with a 5-5 record and an ERA that wasn’t great in 5.61. There may be a reason.

In May of 2018 he was diagnosed with a failing aortic valve that restricted blood flow. He had successful open-heart surgery and now he’s recovering. The good news is the team is expecting him to play for them next spring.

According to his MLB.com Draft Profile:

It’s unclear how long he had been dealing with the shoulder injury, which could have impacted his overall performance in Bradenton in 2017. He’s still a bit of a project, but there are the makings of a three-pitch mix in an excellent pitching frame. He’s a physical power pitcher who sits close to the mid-90s with his fastball. When he’s right, he throws with sink to get ground-ball outs. He’s continuing to develop his secondary stuff, with a good feel to spin a power curveball and a changeup that is a work in progress. He throws strikes, but gets too much of the zone at times, leading to elevated hit rates. ETA 2020.

This is a non-baseball injury and he has no health coverage. He’s been trying to raise funds to help him continue to live out his dream. He’s a good pitcher and a player worth keeping an eye on.

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Russ Cohen