Mitch Thomas Keller…Wife’s name is Clancy...Is a 2014 graduate of Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids, IA, the same school that produced big-league outfielder Ryan Sweeney… Was ranked as the No. 1 baseball prospect in the entire state of Iowa and ranked No. 31 of all prospects nationally by Perfect Game…Added nearly 10 mph to his fastball between his junior and senior seasons...Was committed to play collegiately at the University of North Carolina, but decided to forgo his scholarship after signing with the Pirates...Helped victims when flooding struck southern West Virginia when he played for the Power in 2016…His older brother, Jon, is a right-handed pitcher who pitched five seasons in the Colorado Rockies organization between 2013-17...Was signed by Pirates scout Matt Bimeal.
Ranked third on the Pirates staff in starts and strikeouts... Posted a 3.57 ERA (40.1ip/16er) in eight starts on the road and a 7.91 ERA (60.1ip/53er) in 15 starts at PNC Park... Did not allow a home run in his final six starts (28.2ip)... His .345 batting average against left-handed hitters was the highest in MLB (min: 200 batters faced)... Made the Opening Day roster for the second straight season... Started the third game of the season on his 25th birthday on 4/4 at Chicago and suffered the loss (3.0ip/3er)...Won his first career game at PNC Park on 4/10 vs. Chicago (NL)... Did not walk a batter (third career time) while giving up two runs in 5.0ip in a no-decision on 4/22 at Detroit... Pitched 5.2 scoreless innings and won his second decision on 5/4 at San Diego... Also singled off Ryan Weathers for his first Major League hit on 5/4 (began his career 0-for-15)... Lost three straight starts from 5/10-22...Pitched 5.0 scoreless innings and collected his second hit of the season while winning his third decision on 5/29 vs. Colorado (game 2)...Left his start on 6/4 vs. Miami after 2.0ip due to heat illness... Suffered his seventh loss on 6/10 vs. Los Angeles-NL (2.2ip/4er)...Was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on 6/12... Struck out two of the three batters he faced while making his Indy debut in relief on 6/16 vs. Memphis... Made first start with Indy on 6/25 at Louisville (3.0ip/3r/2er)... Threw 64 pitches (44 strikes) and gave up one run in 4.0ip on 6/30 vs. Iowa...Pitched 5.0 scoreless innings on 7/6 vs. Columbus...Won his lone game at Indy on 7/13 vs. Omaha (5.1ip/2r/1er)... Was recalled on 7/30...Lost three straight starts from 8/2-14...Tossed 5.0 scoreless innings while winning his fourth decision on 8/20 at St. Louis... Gave up seven runs in 5.1ip (no-decision) on 8/26 vs. St. Louis...Struck out eight batters and did not allow a run or a walk in 6.0ip on 9/2 at Chicago (NL); left the game with a 3-0 lead... The only other Pittsburgh pitcher to have eight or more strikeouts without giving up a walk or a run at Wrigley Field was Bob Friend, who whiffed eight Cubs in a one-hit shutout (2-0) on Sept. 7, 1955... Picked up his final win on 9/21 at Cincinnati... Struck out as a pinch hitter on 9/26 at Philadelphia... Started the final game of the season on 10/3 vs. Cincinnati (3.0ip/1er)... Went 2-4 with a 5.40 ERA (53.1ip/32er) in 11 starts after being recalled on 7/30; went 3-7 with a 7.04 ERA (47.1ip/37er) in his first 12 starts thru 6/10... Went 3-for-28 (.107) with two walks and two sac bunts as a batter with the Bucs.
Entered season ranked by MLB.com as Pittsburgh’s No. 1 prospect and No. 39 overall in MLB...Made the Opening Day roster and started the third game of the season on 7/26 at St. Louis; gave up one run in 5.0ip while picking up the club’s first win of the season...Left his second start on 8/1 at Wrigley Field with left side discomfort...Was placed on the 10-day injured list on 8/2 (left oblique)...Threw 3.0 innings/43 pitches of live BP on 9/9...Was reinstated from the injured list on 9/14 and started game two of the doubleheader that night vs. Cincinnati; gave up two hits, four walks and three runs in 3.0 innings of work...Made his only home start on 9/19 vs. St. Louis and pitched 6.0 hitless innings while striking out a season-high six batters (was on an 85- pitch pitch count)...Made his final start on 9/25 at Cleveland and pitched 5.0 hitless innings, becoming the first National League pitcher to have back-to-back no-hit outings of 5+ innings since Johnny Vander Meer’s back-to-back no-hitters on June 11-15, 1938...His career-high eight walks on 9/25 were a season-high by a Major League pitcher and the most by a Pirates pitcher since Jason Schmidt also walked eight against the Reds on September 18, 1996...Became only the fourth pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to throw at least five no-hit innings in consecutive appearances; the others were Cy Young in 1904 (first in relief, second a no-hitter), Johnny Vander Meer in 1938 (both no-hitters), and Ray Moore of the Orioles in 1956 (both in relief)...Held opposing batters to a .132 (9-for-68) average in his five starts.
Entered season ranked by Baseball America as the Pirates No. 1 prospect for the second straight season...Also listed as having the “Best Fastball” and “Best Curveball” in the system...Was named the Most Valuable Pitcher of the International League...Was also named to the International League mid- and post-season All-Star teams...Began season with Triple-A Indianapolis...Was named International League Pitcher-of-the-Week for the week of 4/15-21 after going 1-0 with a 0.79 ERA (11.1ip/1er) and 13 strikeouts in two starts... Struck out 10 batters while winning his second decision on 4/27 at Charlotte...Was 5-0 with a 3.45 ERA (47.0ip/18er) in nine Triple-A starts when he was recalled by Pittsburgh on 5/27...Made his Major League debut in game two of a doubleheader on 5/27 at Cincinnati; gave up seven runs (all in the first inning) in 4.0 innings and suffered the loss... Returned to Triple-A and suffered first loss with Indy on 6/2 vs. Gwinnett (6.0ip/2er)...Had a career-high 13 strikeouts while pitching 5.0 scoreless innings on 6/7 at Toledo (nodecision)...Was recalled a second time on 6/12; started that night at Atlanta and received a no-decision (3.0ip/6r)... Made his first career start at PNC Park on 6/18 vs. Detroit and received a no-decision (5.0ip/4r/2er)...Was optioned CAREER HIGHLIGHTS to Indianapolis on 6/19...Captured his second International League Player-of-the-Week honors for the week of 7/11-14 after pitching 6.0 scoreless innings and striking out eight batters on 7/11 at Columbus...Made his final Triple-A start on 8/2 vs. Columbus and struck out 12 batters in 6.0ip (his seventh career double-digit strikeout game)...Was leading the league in strikeouts (123) and ranked second in ERA (3.56) when he was recalled a third time on 8/12...Won his first Major League game on 8/12 at Los Angeles (AL): gave up two runs (one earned) in 5.0ip...Was the starter and loser in the third annual Little League Classic on 8/18 vs. Chicago-NL (4.1ip/6er)...Struck out a career-high nine batters in 6.0+ innings on 8/23 vs. Cincinnati...Took a line drive off his right wrist on 9/3 vs. Miami; suffered a wrist contusion but did not miss a start...Gave up one run and struck out seven batters in his final start (5.0ip) on 9/24 vs. Chicago (NL)...Averaged 12.19 strikeouts/per 9.0ip with the Pirates...Went 0-for-10 with one sacrifice bunt at the plate.
Entered season ranked by Baseball America as Pittsburgh’s No. 1 prospect; was also tabbed by the same publication as having the “Best Fastball”, “Best Curveball” and “Best Control” in the Pirates minor league system...Also listed as the organization’s top prospect by MLB.com...Split season between Altoona and Indianapolis...Also made one start with High-A Bradenton on 7/10 while Indianapolis was on its AllStar break...Went 12-4 with a 3.48 ERA (142.1ip/55er) and 135 strikeouts in a career-high 25 starts between the three teams...Also set minor league career highs in wins, innings pitched and walks (55)...Began season with Altoona and won nine of his 14 Double-A starts before being promoted to Triple-A on 6/28...Ranked fourth in the Eastern League in ERA, first in wins, third in innings pitched (86.0) and fourth in batting average against (.208) at the time of his promotion... Went 4-0 with a 0.69 ERA (26.0ip/2er) and a 0.81 WHIP in his final four starts with Altoona between 6/6-25...Gave up a career-high eight runs in 2.2ip while making his Triple-A debut on 6/30 at Columbus (no-decision)...Suffered first loss with Indy in his next start on 7/5 vs. Louisville (6.0ip/5er)... Was transferred to Bradenton during the Triple-A All-Star break and made lone outing with the Marauders on 7/10 (4.0ip/2r/1er)...Started the MLB Futures Game on 7/15 at Nationals Park in Washington and retired all three batters he faced...Earned his first Triple-A win on 8/9 vs. Lehigh Valley.
Entered season ranked by Baseball America as Pittsburgh’s second-best prospect and as having the “Best Curveball” in Pittsburgh’s minor league system...Also listed as the No. 22 prospect in baseball and No. 6 RHP prospect by MLB.com...Went 8-5 with a 3.03 ERA (116.0ip/39er) and 116 strikeouts in 23 total starts at three different levels of the organization...Ranked third among Pirates minor leaguers in ERA and fourth in strikeouts...Began season with Bradenton and was selected to the Florida State League mid-season All-Star team...Was named the Florida State League Pitche-rof-the-Week for the week of 5/1-7...Missed a month of action with a back injury between 5/17 and 6/18...Made two starts with Morgantown-WV on 6/19 (2.0ip/0r) and 6/24 (2.0ip/0r) before returning to Bradenton on 6/29...Was promoted Altoona on 8/5...Made Double-A debut on 8/6 at Trenton and allowed two runs in the fifth inning in no-decision... Recorded 11 strikeouts over 6.0 scoreless innings and won his final regular season start on 9/1 vs. Harrisburg...Threw 90 pitches and faced the minimum in a 9.0-inning shutout over Bowie in Game One of the Western Division Series on 9/7 (gave up one hit and two walks while striking out four)...Pitched championship-clinching Game Three of the Championship Series on 9/14 vs Trenton; allowed two runs (both in the second inning) and four hits in 7.1 innings while striking out eight batters in the 4-2 victory...Was named Eastern League Postseason Most Valuable Player after going 2-0 with a 1.10 ERA in two starts...Was ranked by MLB.com as Pirates’ No. 2 prospect following season...Participated in the Arizona Fall League and went 4-0 with a 1.52 ERA (23.2ip/4er) in six starts with Glendale...Was named to the league’s Fall-Star’s Game and was the starting pitcher for the West team (2.0ip/1h/1r/1er/2bb/0so)...Was named the best starting right-handed pitcher in the Arizona Fall League after leading the league in wins and ranking fifth in ERA...Was one of three starting pitchers named to the Arizona Fall League’s Top Prospects team.
Was named Pittsburgh’s Minor League Pitcher-of-theYear after going 9-5 with a 2.35 ERA (130.1ip/34er) and a career-high 138 strikeouts in 24 starts...Made all but one of his starts with Single-A West Virginia, where he was named to the South Atlantic League mid- and post-season All-Star team...Was also named the South Atlantic League’s Most Outstanding Pitcher and the “Best Right-Handed Pitcher” at the end of the year...Ranked second in the South Atlantic League in ERA and batting average against (.211), first in WHIP (0.92) and fewest baserunners per 9.0 innings among starters (9.05) and third in strikeouts per 9.0 innings among starters (9.48)...Was named the South Atlantic League Pitcher-of-theWeek for the week of 4/7-17...Was named the South Atlantic League Player-of-the-Month for April after going 2-1 with a 0.86 ERA in four starts; also allowed just 12 hits, walked one and struck out 28 batters while posting a .167 batting average against...Was the starter and winner for the North Division in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on 6/21...Finished third in West Virginia single-season history in strikeouts, trailing only Tyler Glasnow (164 in 2013) and Will Inman (134 in 2006)...Ranked second among Pirates minor leaguers in strikeouts and fourth in ERA...Was charged with just three earned runs over his first 41.0 innings of work (0.79 ERA) to start the season…Had a season-high 10 strikeouts twice in 5.0ip each time; 4/11 at Greenville and 4/22 at Lexington... Allowed three earned runs in five starts during the month of August (26.2ip - 1.01 ERA)…Finished his campaign with West Virginia on a 23-inning scoreless streak...Was promoted to Bradenton on 8/30 and pitched 6.0 scoreless innings in his lone start with the Marauders on 8/30 vs. Jupiter...Finished the year with a 29-inning scoreless streak.
Was ranked by Baseball America as Pittsburgh’s ninthbest prospect entering the season...Spent entire season with short-season Bristol…Did not debut until 8/2 because of right forearm tightness…Was charged with more than one earned run just twice in his six starts; gave up two runs on 8/8 and a career-high seven runs in 2.0ip on 8/21 at Princeton..