Tony Watson, Relief Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates, #44
Date of Birth: 5/30/1985
Birthplace: Sioux City, Iowa
College: University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Current Salary: $5,600,000
Tony Watson, relief pitcher/closer for the Pittsburgh Pirates, was first drafted by the Miami Marlins in 2003 but he opted instead to attend the University of Nebraska. Three years later, he again didn't sign when the Baltimore Orioles drafted him. He finally signed with the Pirates in 2007. He pitched as a starting pitcher in the Pirates' minor league system from 2007 through 2009. In 2010, he transitioned to a relief pitcher.
Watson pitched in 43 games with the Pirates in 2011. He finished the season with 2 wins and 2 losses, 37 strikeouts to 20 walks, and a 3.95 ERA in 41.0 innings. The following season, he had a 3.38 ERA in 68 games. He improved in 2013, finishing with a 2.39 ERA in 67 games.
Watson had his best season so far in 2014, when he finished with a career low ERA of 1.63. He had career highs in games played (78), innings pitched (77.1), wins (10 to 2 losses), and strikeouts (81 to 15 walks). He had good numbers again in 2015, finishing with a 1.91 ERA in 77 games.
In 2016, Watson was the Pirates' closer for part of the season. He finished with 2 wins and 5 losses, 15 saves, 58 strikeouts to 20 walks, and a 3.06 ERA.
Career pitching statistics for Watson through 2016 include:
- 403 games played
- 386.1 innings pitched
- 26-13 win-loss record
- 345 strikeouts to 107 walks
- 2.56 ERA