10. Cody Bolton
Minors (A+, AA): 101.2 innings, 8-6 record, 3.28 ERA, 1.043 WHiP, 30 walks, 102 strikeouts
It took two years, but the Pittsburgh Pirates were finally able to get a glimpse of what they have in Cody Bolton.
Selected in the sixth round of the 2017 MLB Draft, Bolton’s ascension through the minors has been slowed by injury. He has already had shoulder issues and was shut down in 2018 due to forearm tightness, making him a risky proposition. In fact, in his first two years of professional ball, Bolton appeared in a total of 18 games, hardly enough time to make an impression.
2019 was a different story. Healthy once more, he showed the talent that led the Pirates to sign him for an over slot bonus after he was drafted. He has two different fastballs, a four seamer and a two seamer, that sit between 90 and 95 MPH, with the two seamer having solid sink. While both his slider and change need work, he has displayed a feel for those pitches, especially when he began trusting his shoulder again.
Obviously, the biggest issue for Bolton is going to be his health. Those earlier shoulder issues are a major red flag, especially for a pitcher who has just one full season on his professional resume and has a somewhat funky delivery. However, he is considered a hard worker, and will put in the effort necessary to refine his craft. It is just a matter of whether or not his body will allow him to reach his potential.
Cody Bolton could be an interesting arm for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a couple of years, but he needs to prove he can handle the workload of a full season more than once.