The Milwaukee Brewers have reportedly dipped their toes back into the pool of independent league ballplayers once again under the David Stearns regime, signing yet another pitcher who drew notice through the @FlatgroundApp Twitter account. According to the transactions page for the American Association, the Brewers have purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Steve Pastora. His AA club tweeted out the news earlier this afternoon:
Pastora, 24, bounced around between five different schools as a collegiate player and spent most of his time as an infielder. After batting better than .350 during both his freshman and sophomore seasons at JUCO-level College of San Mateo, he transferred to Western Michigan University. The jump to Division I ball proved to be too much for Pastora, though, as he hit .216 with a .605 OPS during his lone season for the Broncos. After that was a transfer to Lewis and Clark State College and a move to the mound before finishing as a two-way player for NAIA-level William Jessup University. He posted a 5.73 ERA and 41:22 K/BB ratio in 37.2 innings covering 11 appearances on the mound while also batting .331/.463/.638 with 10 homers in 163 plate appearances as a hitter.
Pastora decided that his best course forward was apparently by continuing to toe the slab, and he debuted in professional baseball last season with as a reliever with the Wichita Wignuts. Pastora notched three scoreless appearances with three punchouts and zero walks. He features a fastball/slider/changeup mix, with his heater topping out around 95 MPH at present. Here is the video of his bullpen that was retweeted by @FlatgroundApp from January:
Pastora is still relatively new to pitching, and with the help of the professional coaching and advanced analytics that the Brewers will be able to expose him to, perhaps there could be some upside potential to untap here. Pastora joins a growing list of former Indy ball pitchers in the org that includes Luke Barker, Chris Dula, Logan Gillaspie, Tyler Gillies, Aaron Kurcz, and Justin Topa, among others.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and The Baseball Cube