Last season Steven Brault was the Pirates’ best pitcher. So far in 2021, the Pirates righty has battled injuries but was activated from the disabled list two weeks ago. Brault has built on his success last year and reminded Pittsburgh fans of his value in his limited action. While the Pirates wouldn’t be in the postseason, Brault will be one player to watch over the next month.
In three starts this season, the California native has posted a 1.84 ERA. Since returning to the rotation on August fourth, he has struck out 12 batters in 14.2 innings of work. Although the veteran starter has yet to record a win, he has held opponents to a .208 average. In a Pirates’ rotation that has struggled, Brault has been an exception.
Through three starts, Brault has only allowed three earned runs. He has shown excellent control and only walked two batters. In Brault’s breakout 2020 season, those same characteristics lead to his success. The former eleventh-round pick has been able to limit base runners and only allowed two home runs.
Pitchers with a DHH% under 10%, Blast% under 2%, and Barrel% under 5%:
*Induces a ton of weak contact*
Kwang Hyun Kim
Brault was the only one with under a 1.0% Blast rate. pic.twitter.com/0xSD3gCkMS
— Michael Simione (@SPStreamer) March 8, 2021
With the Pirates’ focus on the future, Brault is an interesting piece. He isn’t a free agent until 2024 but could be a popular trade piece. In the twenty-nine-year-old’s last 32 starts, Brault has posted a 3.97. Over that stretch, he has limited opponents to a 35.9% hard contact rate. While Brault has a career of 4.55 ERA, he has been a different pitcher the last two years.
Final Thoughts on Brault
Over the last two weeks, Brault has been one of the Pirates’ few consistent pieces. He has also pitched longer in each start and held the Dodgers scoreless three nights ago. While the Pirates rotation is full of players still proving themselves, Brault is the exception. While there is still more than a month left in the season, Brault is proving that 2020 was no fluke.
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-Jamie Gatlin( JamieGatlin17 on Twitter)