Baltimore Orioles Interested in Pitcher Drew Hutchison

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 10: Drew Hutchison /

The Baltimore Orioles are interested in 27-year-old right-handed pitcher Drew Hutchison. Hutchison last played for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Baltimore Orioles are interested in 27-year-old right-handed pitcher Drew Hutchison, according to’s Roch Kubatko.

Hutchison, who is currently a free agent, last played for the Pittsburgh Pirates but spent all of 2017 on their Triple-A team and pitched to a 3.56 ERA, 7.00 K/9, and a 1.29 WHIP over 159.1 innings pitched.

Hutchison was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 15th round of the 2009 MLB Draft and worked his way to the MLB in 2012, starting 11 games for the Blue Jays. In 2014 and 2015, he spent a full year in the Blue Jays rotation without much success, pitching to a 4.97 ERA, 8.40 K/9, and 1.36 WHIP over 62 games.

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In August of 2016, Hutchison was traded to the Pirates for Francisco Liriano, Reese McGuire, and Harold Ramirez, and spent his whole time in the Pirates’ minor league system.

Normally this kind of player would make most Baltimore Orioles fans roll their eyes and say “oh well, looks like we’re dumpster diving yet again,” but I don’t think that’s the case here. Hutchison is a free agent, likely cheap, and he has his moments.

Coming into the 2012 season, he was ranked as a top-10 prospect for the Blue Jays, and for good reason, he has a nice repertoire with potential and has had some moments of brilliance.

Hutchison throws four pitches: a four-seam fastball, a sinker, a slider, and a changeup. His fastball and sinker both come in around 93 MPH on average with the ability to reach 96, and they both have slightly above-average movement to them.

His sinker does a decent job of keeping the ball on the ground, generating a 50% ground ball rate in 2016 (the last time he was in the majors), but his fastball tends to get knocked around because he has a lot of trouble controlling it. As such, opposing hitters had a gaudy .525 wOBA and .371 ISO against it in 2016.

Hutchison’s slider is what makes him exciting. The pitch comes in around 85 MPH on average and has some sharp movement to it, as you can see here with this strikeout against Steven Moya:

In 2016, the pitch generated an excellent 20.7% whiff rate and a 46.7% chase rate, while opposing hitters had just a .229 average against the pitch. Hutchison was prone to making some mistakes with it though, as opposing hitters also had a .257 ISO against it.

As for his changeup, he doesn’t throw it much, but it’s a fairly effective pitch, as opposing hitters had just a .160 wOBA against it in 2016. It also generated a solid 13.9% whiff rate in 2016.

Hutchison has a lot of potential, and if the Baltimore Orioles could use anything, it’s pitching, especially inexpensive pitching.

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Hutchison is a pretty low-risk player for them; he either turns into a piece they can use in their rotation, or he’s just another minor league arm/fifth guy in the rotation. Either way, he makes for an interesting acquisition should they choose to sign him.