Brandon Tyler Cumpton
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 198 lb.
- School Georgia Tech
- High School Greenbrier High School
- Debut June 15, 2013
Brandon Cumpton was drafted in 2010 and made his major league debut in 2013.
Cumpton won state titles in high school in 2006 and 2007, going 31-3 with a 1.01 ERA in high school while batting .415. He was 2-1 with a 7.19 ERA as a college freshman at Georgia Tech, walking 37 in 46 1/3 IP. In 2009, the sophomore improved to 4-3, 4.76. He was 9-3 but with a 5.50 ERA as a junior. The Pittsburgh Pirates took him in the 9th round of the 2010 amateur draft and signed him for a $124,500 bonus. The scout was Greg Schilz. Cumpton made his pro debut with the State College Spikes, allowing 3 runs in 10 2/3 IP and going 0-1 that summer.
In 2011, Brandon did okay with the West Virginia Power (7-4, 4.30) and Bradenton Marauders (3-3, 3.66), with only 30 walks in 133 1/3 innings. He hit 15 batters, tying Sean Gallagher for the most of a Pirates farmhand. He tied Nate Baker, Aaron Pribanic and Justin Wilson for 4th in the Bucco chain in victories. He remained a workhorse in 2012 for the Altoona Curve, going 12-11 with a 3.84 ERA. He was among the Eastern League leaders in wins (2nd, one behind Brett Marshall), losses (tied for 6th), innings pitched (152 1/3, 8th) and hit batsmen (15, tied for second with teammate Phil Irwin). Among Pirate minor leaguers, he was second in wins (two behind Rick Vanden Hurk), led in innings, tied for second in losses, was second in hits allowed (149, behind Tyler Waldron) and was second in hit batters (one behind Irwin). In the Arizona Fall League, he had a 2.57 ERA in 11 outings.
Cumpton began 2013 with Altoona and made two starts (0-1, 7.45) then got promoted to the Indianapolis Indians. After 11 games at AAA, he was 4-4 with a 3.31 ERA. When A.J. Burnett went on the disabled list (following three other Pirate starters), Brandon got the call to the majors. He was the first member of the Pirates' 2010 draft class to make the big leagues. He got a hot start to his big league career on June 15th against the Los Angeles Dodger, fanning the side in the 1st (Skip Schumaker, Yasiel Puig and Adrián González). In the 2nd, he added two more Ks. He didn't let a batter reache base until he walked opposing hurler Clayton Kershaw in the 3rd. He gave up two singles in the 4th and two more in the 5th for a run. The first three batters connected in the 6th, though, leading to another run, and he was yanked in favor of Bryan Morris, who let an inherited runner score. Cumpton wound up with a no-decision in a 5-3, extra-inning loss to L.A. In total, he made 6 appearances, including 5 starts for Pittsburgh that year, ending up with a record of 2-1, 2.05. With Indianapolis, he was 6-7, 3.32 in 21 games.
Cumpton had a more extended look at the majors in 2014, as he made 10 starts for the Pirates in 16 games pitched. He totaled 70 innings on the mound and put up a record of 3-4, 4.89. His main problem, was that he gave up too many hits - 82 - coupled with 18 walks. he spent the rest of the season back with Indianapolis, where he went 5-4, 3.04. He was battling to claim a spot on the Pirates' pitching staff in spring training in 2015 when health issues got in the way, as elbow problems forced him to undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire season.