Brandon Pfaadt Looks Like A Legit Prospect

The Diamondbacks were quietly and cautiously encouraged by what they saw out of righthander Brandon Pfaadt last fall during instructional league.

A fifth-round pick from Bellarmine in 2020, Pfaadt was strong and physical. He had fastball velocity and the makings of a well-rounded repertoire. And he threw strikes.

It turns out the brief look was a glimpse of things to come. Pfaadt was two months into his first full pro season and had quickly emerged as a pitcher capable of shooting up prospect lists by the end of the year.

“His stuff is really good and his execution is really good,” D-backs assistant general manager Amiel Sawdaye said. “He’s definitely more polished than I was expecting in the fifth round.”

After logging a 3.12 ERA with 57 strikeouts and just seven walks in 40.1 innings for Low-A Visalia, Pfaadt was promoted in mid June to High-A Hillsboro, where he notched quality starts in each of his first two outings.

Pfaadt was averaging a shade over 93 mph with his fastball, a pitch that Visalia pitching coach Barry Enright said has carry when it’s up in the zone and cutting action when he keeps it down.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Pfaadt has other characteristics that separate him, as well. His slider and changeup have the potential to be above-average pitches while his curveball continues to develop.

And not only does he also have good command and an aggressive mentality, he earns praise for his pitchability and willingness to learn. For that, Pfaadt credits the coaches he’s had over the years, including Bellarmine coach Larry Owens, a former pitching coach in the White Sox organization.

The 22-year-old split time in college between starting and relieving, and he points to a successful stint in the Cape Cod League after his sophomore season for helping him realize he could succeed against better competition.

“I think that gave me a little confidence boost at the time,” he said. “That was definitely a turning point for me mentally.” 

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