Kevin Brandt: Rays’ 18th Rounder Did Nothing But Pitch Well in College

By Robbie Knopf

The Rays are drafting college seniors who will sign easily now, but they’re getting some interesting ones. Kevin Brandt is a 6’1″, 195 lefty coming out of East Carolina University who continually pitched well the past two seasons.

In 2011, Brandt put together a nice season between starting and relieving, going 7-3 with a 2.26 ERA in 11 starts, 8 relief appearances, and 91.2 IP. But after being converted to a starter full-time in 2012 he was even better, going 7-6 with a 2.12 ERA in 16 starts and 106.1 IP. He posted just a 5.8 K/9, but a 2.3 BB/9 and a 0.2 HR/9 in 106.1 IP. Those numbers are pretty impressive- other than the K/9. But Brandt brings solid stuff to the table.

Brandt doesn’t have a very good fastball, hitting the low-90’s with solid control but commanding it pretty terribly, missing way too often up in the zone. But his secondary pitches are intriguing. He throws a slider that actually flashes plus and also a changeup that at times shows some nice sink. It’s really hard to pitch with a severely below-average fastball, but Brandt kept college hitters off-balance and has a chance to do the same as a pro, especially is he’s moved to the bullpen. It could see Brandt working in a situational lefty kind of role and he could pitch well. Brandt happens to share a name with Kevin Brandt, the Twins’ 11th overall pick in 1979. Cool. Brandt is nothing flashy but is a nice 18th round value by the Rays and has a chance to make the majors in a relief role someday.