NATHAN KIRBY, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: November 23, 1993
Drafted: Supp. 1st Round, 40th Overall, 2015 (Brewers)
How Acquired: Trade (with Brewers)
College: University of Virginia
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Kirby has struggled with injuries for years. He missed most of the 2015 season in college, but still went to Milwaukee in the supplemental first round of the draft. He then missed the 2016-17 season due to Tommy John and ulnar nerve surgeries. He came back for 2018, but missed 2019 due to other medical problems. When he was drafted, he was regarded as having three above-average pitches: a change, a slider and a low-90s fastball. The Pirates acquired him in a trade for Kevin Kramer.
Kirby went to full season ball and pitched briefly, then started experiencing pain and ended up having Tommy John surgery. Baseball America still rated him the Brewers’ 15th best prospect after the season.
The Tommy John surgery eliminated Kirby’s 2016 season. Before he could come back in 2017, he started experiencing elbow pain again and had surgery on his ulnar nerve, costing him another season.
Kirby pitched in 27 games, 11 of them starts. He missed a lot of bats, but had control problems. He was far better in relief than starting, with a 6.39 ERA as a starter and 3.94 as a reliever.
This time, Kirby had thoracic outlet surgery and, before he could return, suffered a fractured rib, so he missed another season.
The pandemic, of course, cost Kirby yet another season.
The Brewers sent Kirby to AA, where he pitched solely in relief. He continued to miss bats, but also missed the strike zone a lot.
Kramer hadn’t done well with the Pirates since 2018, so Kirby is a worthwhile lottery ticket. The Pirates will have to make a decision quickly, though, because he’ll be eligible for minor league free agency after the season.
|2021: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $1,250,000
MiLB Debut: 2015
MiLB FA Eligible: 2021
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 8, 2015: Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the Supplemental 1st round, 40th overall pick; signed on July 17.
July 4, 2021: Traded by the Milwaukee Brewers to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Kevin Kramer.