Brandon Waddell

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Brandon David Waddell

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Biographical Information[edit]

Brandon Waddell has pitched in the majors.

Waddell was 6-3 with a 3.96 ERA as a college freshman; his 84 strikeouts tied for 3rd among college freshman that year while they placed him 8th in the Atlantic Coast Conference, between Daniel Gossett and Trent Thornton. His 15 K in a game were the most by a University of Virginia freshman since Seth Greisinger 19 years prior. [1] As a sophomore, he improved to 10-3, 2.45 and walked only 19 in 114 innings. He was second in the ACC in wins, one behind Mike Shawaryn, and tied for 26th in NCAA Division I. [2] He was 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in the postseason and 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in the 2014 College World Series. [3] He joined teammate Artie Lewicki as the All-Tournament pitchers for the College World Series, while Virginia finished second. [4]

He fell to 5-5, 3.93 as a junior and his walks nearly tripled, to 49. On the other hand, he again was strong in the postseason - 2-0, 2.84 in the 2015 College World Series, beating the University of Florida twice, including in the game that sent Virginia back to the finals and then topping defending champion Vanderbilt University in the finale, allowing two runs in seven. He again made All-CWS, joining Josh Sborz as the hurlers this time. [5] He finished his collegiate career tied for 5th in Virginia history in wins and 7th in strikeouts (246) while first in school history in NCAA tournament wins (6) and whiffs (45). [6] The Pittsburgh Pirates took him in the 5th round of the 2015 amateur draft; the scout was Dan Radcliff. [7] He was picked one round before JT Brubaker, who made the majors shortly a few weeks before he did.

Waddell was 1-1 with a 5.75 ERA for the 2015 West Virginia Black Bears. He split '16 between the Bradenton Marauders (4-0, 0.93 in 5 G; 13 H, 2 BB in 29 IP) and Altoona Curve (7-9, 4.12). He tied Alex McRae for 3rd in the Pirates chain in wins and tied Brubaker for 4th in whiffs (120) but was also 5th with 63 walks. Entering 2017, Baseball America rated him as having the best change-up in the Pirates system. [8]

He bounced around in 2017, pitching for West Virginia (1-0, 1 R in 9 IP), Altoona (3-3, 3.55) and the GCL Pirates (1-0, 0 R in 3 IP). Baseball America again ranked his change-up as the best in the Bucs farm chain. [9] He did well in the playoffs as the Curve won the Eastern League title. [10] He was 1-0 with a save and a 2.57 ERA for the Glendale Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League, fanning 15 in 14 innings. In 2018, he pitched for Altoona (2-1, 2.68 in 9 G) and the Indianapolis Indians (5-8, 4.19). He split 2019 between Altoona (3-1, 2.23 in 7 G) and Indianapolis (3-7, Sv, 8.70) again.

Despite his rough 2019, he was retained by the Bucs. When COVID-19 cancelled the 2020 minor league season, he began the year at the team's alternate training site in Altoona. He was called up when Nick Mears was sent down, replacing a hard thrower with a finesse hurler. In his MLB debut on August 14th, he relieved Chris Stratton in the 7th inning with a 7-1 deficit, one on and two out against the Cincinnati Reds. He struck out Jesse Winker. In the 8th, he retired Nick Senzel and struck out Josh VanMeter. Freddy Galvis and Tucker Barnhart hit back-to-back doubles to make it 8-1. Kyle Farmer then grounded out.


  1. University of Virginia
  2. 2015 Baseball Almanac, pg. 449
  3. University of Virginia; 2015 Baseball Almanac, pg. 440
  4. 2015 Baseball Almanac, pg. 440
  5. 2016 Baseball Almanac, pg. 434-437; University of Virginia
  6. University of Virginia
  7. 2020 Pirates Media Guide, pg. 248
  8. ibid.
  9. ibid.
  10. 2018 Baseball Almanac, pg. 372

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