Nickname:   N/A Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   PIRATES
Height: 6' 1" Bats:   L
Weight: 205 Throws:   R
DOB: 10/10/1994 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 51  
Birth City: Pittsburgh, PA
Draft: Padres #35 - 2016 - Out of Lafayette College (PA)
2016 NWL TRI-CITY   8 10 7 15 0 0 0 0 2 1 0   0.00
2016 MID FORT WAYNE   15 21 20 25 4 0 0 0 2 3 4   3.43
2017 CAL LAKE ELSINORE   21 27.2 27 31 9 0 0 0 2 0 3   3.58
2017 MWL FORT WAYNE   24 33.2 18 50 11 0 0 0 9 1 1   1.87
2018 CAL LAKE ELSINORE   47 69.1 65 96 29 0 0 0 10 2 4   2.73
2019 TL AMARILLO   44 58 49 86 18 0 0 0 14 2 5   2.95
2019 NL PADRES   13 11 10 14 5 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.25 6.55
2020 NL PADRES $56.00 4 6.1 11 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.367 7.11
2021 NL PIRATES   61 61 40 77 19 0 0 0 3 3 1 0.185 2.23
2022 IL INDIANAPOLIS   3 3 2 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 1   3.00
2022 NL PIRATES   45 51.2 42 69 16 0 0 0 19 3 4 0.218 2.61
2023 NL PIRATES $745.00 66 67.1 53 80 21 0 0 0 39 3 3 0.215 2.00
  • Bednar's hometown is Valencia, Pa. He attended Mars High School, where he became a standout baseball player. He was the team's MVP as a senior and was MVP of the Western Pennsylvania All-Star Game.

  • David attended Lafayette College, where he led the team in ERA, Inning pitched, complete games, Strike out, and batting average against during his junior season.

  • 2017 season: After being drafted, Bednar was sent to play in Single-A Short-Season for the Tri-City Dust Devils where he immediately made a name for himself. In 10 innings pitched, he gave up zero runs and had 15 strikeouts. He was soon sent up to play at Single-A (Full-Season) for the Fort Wayne TinCaps.

    In Fort Wayne, Bednar was 4-5 with a 2.65 ERA and 75 strikeouts. Midway through the 2017 season, Bednar was called up to play at Single-A Advanced for the Lake Elsinore Storm.

    Bednar played with the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League. In eight innings, Bednar posted a 1.13 ERA with seven strikeouts.

  • 2018 season: Bednar played the whole season in Lake Elsinore. In his time with the Storm, Bednar had 12 saves with a 3.16 ERA and 127 strikeouts. 

  • 2019 Season: Bednar played most of the 2019 season at Double-A for the Amarillo Sod Poodles. In 58 innings pitched, he had 14 saves with a 2.95 ERA and 86 strikeouts.

    Bednar had a long journey through the minor leagues that was helpful for him.

    “It was a grind,” Bednar said. “Long bus rides and playing every day, you definitely get used to that lifestyle pretty quick. It was a great experience and I can't complain.”

    On September 1 this past season, Bednar was called up to the Major Leagues.

    “It was one of the best days of my life,” he said. “It was unbelievable and a true dream come true. It’s what you work for everyday and to have the opportunity to play in the big leagues is special.”

    Bednar allowed zero runs in his first four appearances in the big leagues. He finished the season with an 0-2 record with a 6.55 ERA and 14 strikeouts. His ERA really doesn't speak for how he did though. Other than his final appearance, he pitched great and showed that he could battle with good hitters in the league.

    “Just the competition and there's a lot less room for air,” Bednar said when asked about the differences in pitching in the Majors and Minors.

    Bednar has spent some time this offseason with his friends and family. He has been building up his workouts to be ready for Spring Training. He is hoping that he will get call to the Majors again this season. (BH Journalist - SBNation - Nov. 8, 2019)

  • March 3, 2021: David Bednar is Pittsburgh through and through.

    Bednar grew up in Mars, Pa., just outside of Cranberry Township in the North Hills, where he pitched for Mars Area High School. He was undrafted out of high school, and he stayed in Pennsylvania to pitch college ball at Lafayette College and returned to western Pennsylvania to play for the Butler BlueSox in collegiate summer ball. His family still lives in the same place. And his house is in Pittsburgh, too.

    So when he was dealt to the Pirates from the Padres as part of the return for Joe Musgrove, the story didn’t come full circle for Bednar. It just fell right into place. And recently against the Blue Jays, the right-hander made his first appearance in the Bucs’ black and gold, pitching a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. “Just shagging [batting practice] yesterday, I looked around and saw all the Pirates jerseys,” the 26-year-old Bednar said. “It just kind of hit me. It was like, ‘Wow, this is real.’”

    The Bednar family could soon hold claim to two Major League pitchers, too. David’s younger brother, Will, is a standout pitcher at Mississippi State and the No. 41 prospect in this year’s Draft, per MLB Pipeline. But for now, it’s just the older Bednar trying to work his way back into a Major League bullpen mix with the Pirates, and he has a lot of competition in camp.

    “I think right now, I just need to go out and continue to get outs and earn the trust of the coaching staff and continue to prove that I can get outs at the big league level and make the most out of every opportunity I’m given,” Bednar said (J Crouse - MLB.com - March 3, 2021)

  • David retired the only batter he faced in his Pittsburgh home debut.  The crew that Bednar had on hand spanned from Ohio to Philadelphia, with his parents, his cousins, his girlfriend and her family among those in attendance.  They had a vinyl sign made for their man of the day, reading “BEDNAR PROUD #51.”  It’s little surprise he had more than two dozen people in attendance; when the Pirates traveled to Chicago for a near-freezing Opening Day game, his girlfriend and uncle bundled up to make the trip.

    The Bednar jerseys donned by fans walking the concourse would typically be a rare sight for a first-time Pirates reliever who has pitched only 20 2/3 Major League innings. But when the Bucs’ faithful sing “We are family!” each seventh-inning stretch, they mean it. The cheering contingent must have had their eye on the bullpen all game, because before Bednar was even announced, he was getting hearty screams from the third-base line.

    “You really can’t put it into words hearing them go crazy,” Bednar said. “Their section was really cool. I’m just really happy they were able to share it with me.”

    The support surpassed the confines of the Pirates’ home ballpark. The Mars Area School District, in which Bednar played high-school ball, tweeted out photo after photo of their students wearing black and gold in honor of their 2013 alumnus, and even shared a few photos of Bednar in his varsity days.  (Crouse - mlb.com - 4/8/2021)

  • July 23, 2021: David and his younger brother, Will, have taken different paths into professional baseball, but their journeys intersected at Oracle Park.

    Less than two weeks after being drafted #14 overall, Will officially signed with the Giants. With the Pirates in town to kick off a three-game series against the Giants, Will got to share the moment with David, a 35th-round pick of the Padres in 2016, who has taken over as a high-leverage bullpen option for his hometown Pirates.

    “It’s so cool because right after I got drafted, we kind of looked at the schedule and saw that the Giants’ first home game was against the Pirates,” said Will, a right-handed pitcher out of Mississippi State. “It was really cool how the stars aligned there and everything worked out the way it did.”

    Hours before first pitch, Will, 21, and David, 26, took the field together as professional ballplayers for the first time, posing for photos along with their parents, Andy and Sue, and their younger sister, Danielle.

    “You really can’t script it much better than this,” David said. (JD Santos - MLB.com - July 23, 2021)

  • July 2022: Bednar was selected to the MLB All-Star Game. Bednar, a first-time All-Star, was used to pitch the ninth inning in a one-run game. Bednar, who has 16 saves this season in 20 opportunities, pitched a scoreless frame.

  • Pirates closer David Bednar reacted as if he had not quite heard Braves bullpen coach Drew French correctly.

    “Bednar, you’re in the game,” French said after the top of the eighth inning during Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium.

    Bednar, a first-time All-Star at 27, pointed to himself in the National League bullpen, touching his chest, as if to say, “Me?”

    It wasn’t that Bednar was unprepared; he had been ready to pitch the entire game. But after warming up in the fourth, only to sit back down, he thought his moment had passed.

    It might have, if not for Edwin Díaz.

    The Mets closer did not necessarily know every detail of Bednar’s story, how in 2016 the Padres had selected him out of Lafayette College in a round that no longer exists in the amateur draft, the 35th. How the Padres in Jan. 2021 had traded Bednar to the Pirates as part of a three-team deal that sent Joe Musgrove to San Diego. How Bednar, who grew up in Mars, Pa., about 25 miles north of Pittsburgh, had become a fan favorite while emerging as a stalwart for his hometown team.

    Díaz, however, knew this much: He had pitched in an All-Star Game, in 2018 as a member of the Mariners, and Bednar had not. He kept pestering French, telling him Bednar could take his inning. Manager Brian Snitker’s original plan was for Díaz, one of the game’s most dominant relievers, to pitch the ninth if the NL led or the score was tied.

    The game moved into the later innings. The NL continued to trail, 3-2. Díaz, knowing Bednar would relish the experience of pitching on the All-Star stage, again told French, “I don’t have any problem if you want to pitch him.” He had expressed a similar sentiment to French and Braves pitching coach Rick Kranitz before the game, saying he was more than happy to give up his inning or split it with another pitcher to give someone else a chance.

    Snitker, managing an All-Star Game for the first time, was struck by the unselfishness of Díaz and other veteran All-Stars. Albert Pujols was among those who told him: “I’ve done this before. Let the guys who haven’t been here play.” Snitker, mind you, was not about to deprive Pujols of an at-bat in his final All-Star Game. But the manager, after returning to Atlanta on Wednesday, said the willingness of veteran All-Stars to sacrifice playing time for first-timers, “was a really cool part of this whole thing.”

    French joked that the Braves wanted Díaz to pitch, seeing as how he plays for the division rival Mets. But the entire NL bullpen, it seemed, had a soft spot for Bednar.

    “Edwin was the ringleader of it. He really spearheaded the effort,” French said. “But once this was kind of going down, everyone started to get involved emotionally, wanting him to get out there, get him in the game.”

    “I was still holding out hope,” Bednar said. “They were all kind of nudging me, ‘Go tell him you want to throw. Go tell him you want to throw,’” Bednar said. “I was saying, ‘Obviously, I want to throw, but it’s not really my place to make a stand, pound the table, force my way in there.’”

    “Look, Edwin really wants Bednar to have his inning. It’s his first All-Star Game. (No one knows) if he’s ever going to be back,” Braves bullpen catcher Jose Yépez told French.

    As he took the mound Tuesday night, he was not especially nervous. He was just excited.

    “I wanted to go out, just attack, let it rip, try and showcase my stuff, represent the Pirates and the city of Pittsburgh the best I could,” Bednar said.

    Bednar’s fiancé, Casey Merritt, was in attendance, along with his parents, Andrew and Sue; his brother, Will, a right-handed starter who was the 14th-overall pick by the Giants in last year’s draft; and his sister, Danielle, a shortstop who is headed to St. Francis on a softball scholarship. A number of other relatives also made the trip.

    “That made it even cooler, seeing all of their reactions after the game,” Bednar said. “I know I was beyond pumped. To see everybody else being that excited for me was even more special.”

    "It put the cherry on top of this whole experience,” French said. “These guys don’t know each other from Adam, for the most part. You see each other compete. You have mutual respect. But the way they emotionally connected for one or two days, that was something that I was really taken aback by.”

    Bednar, for his part, will never forget Díaz’s gesture.

    “It speaks volumes of who he is as a person and teammate,” Bednar said. “He didn’t have to do that.”

    Perhaps in a future All-Star Game, Bednar will be in position to make the same accommodation for a teammate, and pay it all forward. (Rosenthal-TheAthletic.com-July 21st, 2022)

  • Sept 26, 2022: David Bednar is an All-Star pitcher, but he's apparently skilled at solving brotherly infighting as well. It all started when a couple of young Pirates fans, Wesley and William, attended the game against the Reds at PNC Park.

    Their father caught a foul ball off the bat of Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds in the bottom of the first inning, but Wesley grabbed it from his dad's hands, leaving his brother in tears. During a rain delay, Bednar signed two signed baseballs for the pair to ease tensions. And Bucs left fielder Jack Suwinski also threw a ball to them. Wesley -- whose family is from Mars, Pa., Bednar's hometown -- said he got exactly what he came to the ballpark hoping for.

    "I was hoping for a signed ball," Wesley said, "... from David Bednar."

    "Honestly, I had no idea," Bednar said. "I was doing my normal routine. I was heading out, and [sideline reporter] Robby [Incmikoski] had these two balls. He said, ‘I’m going to go give these to a fan.’ I was like, ‘Do you want me to sign them?’ I just ended up signing them. Come to find out, it was some Mars kid, and they actually ended up coming to [my camp that benefited Mars High School's baseball team], so that makes it even more special. It’s really cool. Watching the live feed and seeing their reactions is really funny and really cool, one of those full-circle-type things. That’s really what it’s all about. I was one of those kids once, and to see how much joy they had. They love coming to PNC Park and watching the Buccos. It was really cool to see how pumped up they were." The brothers watched the rest of the game with four baseballs and smiles on their faces. (D Svoboda - MLB.com - Sept 26, 2022)

  • Oct. 2022: Bednar committed to play for Team USA in the 2023 WBC.

  • Feb 3, 2023: Every seat in Mars Area High School’s basketball gymnasium was occupied. Those who couldn’t find a seat either made themselves comfortable on the hardwood or stood by the doors. There was no shortage of students or faculty members rocking Pirates regalia. 

    On this frostbite-inducing afternoon, one that warranted standing-room-only status, Mars Area High School paid homage to David Bednar, the most prolific flamethrower in school history, by retiring his No. 24, the first time the school has retired a number for an athletic alumnus.

    “I grew up being heavily involved in Mars athletics and always looking up to some of the great athletes that have been through here,” Bednar said. “I’ve seen some of the athletes who have been through here, and they’re incredibly talented and doing big things. So, to be the first one, it’s really an honor. I’m incredibly proud of it. I’m so proud of this high school, so proud to be from Pittsburgh, and I try to do my best to represent the area as well as I can.”

  • The idea of retiring Bednar’s number was pitched last year by Mars' athletic committee to Andy Bednar, David’s father and a coach and teacher at the school for more than two decades. The event didn’t materialize then -- COVID played a part -- but on Friday, David’s digits were officially enshrined.  “The word surreal gets used all the time, but it’s just unbelievable,”  Andy said. “Ten years ago he was in this school, just like the rest of this student body. It’s hard to believe that he’s here now with his number being retired, being a big leaguer for four years with the Padres and Pirates. Just incredible. It’s been incredible.”

    Added Bednar's mother, Sue: “All of his hard work, all of his diligence, all of his efforts, just to see it pay off in such a special way is amazing. I’ve been cheering for that number for years and years and years, so to see it retired is just a little bit overwhelming and just awesome. It’s such a blessing, and he couldn’t be more deserving.”

    Bednar may currently wear No. 51 for the Pirates, but he sported No. 24 for much of his life. His affinity for No. 24 comes from Ken Griffey Jr. 

    “I liked how he did the backwards hat and hit homers,” Bednar said. “I’m obviously not a hitter, but I always thought he was awesome. Unbelievable player; I always wanted to be like him and I liked his number, so I kept it and I’ve always liked it. 51 is all right, though.”

    Bednar’s athletic accomplishments alone made the one-time All-Star a worthy recipient of the honor, but his impact at Mars stretches beyond his acumen as a ballplayer.

  • Bednar, the Pirates’ 2022 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, remains an active member of the community, whether it be helping to donate baseball equipment to his elementary school or hosting baseball camps during the summer.

    Pirates bench coach Don Kelly, who played alongside Andy in high school, spoke to Bednar’s dual impact in Pittsburgh. 

    “We get to see what he does on the field and how great he is … but he means just as much in the community and the way he gives back,” Kelly said. “You look at the things he does in the offseason -- he’s always there. For the Pirates, for Mars, for everybody.” Before Bednar unveiled framed Pirates and Mars jerseys -- “Renegade” by Styx, Bednar’s walk-out song and a Pittsburgh anthem, blared in the background as he did so -- he took the microphone and offered his gratitude. He thanked the community, his family and his teachers, admitting after the fact that he was more nervous in this setting than during a save situation. As he concluded, he left the next generation of students with a bit of wisdom. 

    “Keep your head down, keep working,” he said, “and anything is possible." (JD Santos - MLB.com - Feb 3, 2023)

  • As Opening Day games get underway Thursday, Andy Bednar will be wrapping up the school day and running varsity baseball practice. He wouldn’t trade his setup for anything — one son, David, pitches for the hometown Pirates; the other, Will, is one of the Giants’ top pitching prospects. Their father tries not to let what’s happening on baseball diamonds leak into the classroom, but some days, like Opening Day, he can’t help it. He’ll peek at his phone and feel his heart pound if either son is pitching. Students can surmise why he’s distracted.

    “They can tell something is up,” Bednar says, laughing.

    Back in western Pennsylvania, Bednar, the high school math teacher, has a plan for Opening Day. The Pirates have a 4:10 p.m. first pitch in Cincinnati. He’ll be in the middle of varsity baseball practice at that time. But that’s where being the father of a big-league closer comes in handy; the ninth inning won’t be until at least 6:30 p.m., even with the pitch clock expediting things.

    “We’ll be done by the time he might be coming in,” Bednar says.

    You can sense his relief. Bednar will hop in the car early Saturday morning and make the five-hour drive to Cincinnati. He’ll see a few college friends and watch a Pirates-Reds game in person, then hustle back before the series finale Sunday for another varsity practice. Then the math teacher will try to get some sleep. That alarm clock goes off early again on Monday morning.(Nesbitt - Mar 30, 2023 - The Athletic)

  •  The Pirates have had their ups and downs over the past few years, but one consistent bright spot has been relief pitcher and Mars native David Bednar. 

    Since coming to the Pirates three years ago, Bednar has quietly become one of the best closers in baseball, and his family couldn't be happier to watch it all come together.

    Bednar's meteoric rise has been made even more special because he's doing it in his hometown.

    "It's just been an incredible experience," said David Bednar's father, Andy. "This is his third opening day, and it never gets old. The All-Star Game last year, the World Baseball Classic this year and just closing games for the Pirates, it's been so exciting to see."

    The Bednar family made the trip to see the World Baseball Classic, where his mother, Sue, had one question for him.

     "My wife said, 'Were you afraid to face (Los Angeles Angels star Shohei) Ohtani and he said, 'Why would I be afraid to face him? He should be afraid to face me,'" Andy Bednar said.

    Andy Bednar certainly had something to do with instilling that aggressive mindset in David Bednar and his younger brother, Will, a 2021 first-round draft pick by the San Francisco Giants.

    "The work ethic of both the boys and my daughter, Danielle, has been incredible," Andy Bednar said. "They've been around some really good baseball people."

    One of those "good baseball people" has been Andy Bednar himself. He coached both boys at Mars High School, where he still serves as the team's pitching coach.

     And when asked about his son's future in Pittsburgh, the elder Bednar's response will surely make Pirates fans smile.

    "I think everyone knows, he is the epitome of a Yinzer," Andy Bednar said. "They just bought a house here in the northern suburbs and he loves it here and I know he definitely wants to stay. He loves the Steelers and the Penguins and Iron City beer."

    Andy Bednar and the Fightin' Planets are off to a 5-2 start after winning back-to-back games against West Allegheny this week. (RICH WALSH - April 5, 2023)

  • July 4, 2023: Bednar was picked as an injury replacement for Clayton Kershaw at the All-Star Game.

  • Sept 29, 2023: Pirates closer David Bednar grew up admiring those in the black and gold. Now, the Pittsburgh native is the role model in black and gold whom kids are looking up to today.

    “I just want to give back any chance I get,” Bednar said
    . “I’m so proud to be from Pittsburgh. I was those little kids once and I know how much it would mean to me if somebody from the Pirates, Steelers or Penguins would show up, so just trying to pay it forward and pay it back.

    That giving-back mentality and love for Pittsburgh earned Bednar his second Roberto Clemente Award nomination in as many years
    . This prestigious honor recognizes those who best represent the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions on and off the field. For the Pirates, that is “The Renegade.
    “Growing up here, walking across the Clemente Bridge for a game and seeing the statue, I think you have a greater appreciation for who he is and what he did not only for this city but for everywhere
    . Just to be nominated for that is incredibly humbling,” Bednar said.

    The Mars Area High School graduate’s passion for giving back is a year-round initiative
    . When the baseball season comes to an end, the impact Bednar has on his hometown does not. It doesn’t matter the day of the week, time of day or whether it’s in-season or in the offseason, Pirates Charities and the Pittsburgh community can always count on Bednar. In total, the two-time Major League All-Star committed more than 50 hours of his time across over 70 initiatives in the community in the past year.

  • “The course of a Major League season is a grind,” Derek Shelton told MLB.com’s Justice delos Santos. “There's time where he's pitched the night before, or maybe it's two nights ago, where maybe he pitches and has to grind through it and he's still doing things. … When we talked about the nomination with our group, they told me that he hadn’t said no to [anything] that he had been asked to do. That's extremely special, because there's times when you don't feel good, you got stuff going on, he makes the time regardless of what he's doing.

    Since joining the Pirates organization in 2021, Bednar has been a staple on the mound at PNC Park, a contagious personality in the clubhouse, and an influential figure in the Pittsburgh community

    Bednar’s willingness to lend a hand continues to make a lasting impact on key areas of focus for Pirates Charities -- mental health, youth baseball and softball, cancer support and military appreciation
    . So, here’s a glimpse into his love for his hometown community.

    Last season, Bednar visited nine schools and touched the lives of more than 6,000 students as part of the Chill Mobile program
    . This mental health initiative offers students across the Pittsburgh region a calming space while striving toward improving individual mental health, extending the conversation into the larger community, and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and wellness.
    With the new school year freshly underway, Bednar has locked in his attendance for more kickoff assemblies, speaking to students about how he copes in the stressful situations he faces as a closer in the MLB and reinforcing the important message that it’s OK to not be OK
    During the holidays last year, Bednar joined the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and Pirates community team for a Thanksgiving dinner distribution to load meals, gift cards and goodies into more than 300 local families’ cars
    . Additionally, David helped to lead a donation effort of more than 500 canned goods for Light of Life Rescue Mission, a Pittsburgh-area homeless shelter, in support of their efforts to feed the homeless a full Thanksgiving dinner.

    "David truly embodies the culture of service that is expected here at the Pirates,” Jacque Skowvron, executive director of Pirates Charities & Community Engagement
    . “Part of wearing the uniform is giving back and serving our community, and David has lived up to that organizational standard. It's always fun to see him in action, interacting with kids, fans and community groups. He is genuine and relatable, warm and inviting, and takes the time to make each interaction special."

  • Throughout the 2023 season, Pirates and Pirates Charities celebrated 15 years of Miracle League’s presence in Western Pennsylvania with various Miracle League events throughout the season, and Bednar spread his love for the sport at all of them. Three Miracle League Fantasy Camp events were held for approximately 120 athletes with unique abilities where Pirates players and coaches led them through several skill-based stations and focused on the message of highlighting what these athletes can do instead of what they can’t. At each event, No. 51 presented a commemorative medal to athletes and signed countless autographs for all his Miracle League buddies.

    Bednar continued his work in the mental health space when the Pirates and Pirates Charities celebrated Mental Health Awareness Month by hosting the second annual Pirates Charities Family Walk at PNC Park
    . This community event invited fans to a non-competitive walk around the ballpark, with all proceeds benefiting the Pirates Charities Chill Mobile program. He and his wife, Casey, were present at the walk to mingle with attendees, sign autographs and share stories of his involvement in the program.

  • Last but not least, Lending Hearts. Bednar has formed a strong connection with this local organization that supports Pittsburghers and their families impacted by pediatric cancer. Through financial support and by providing special visits to local patients, he has made an impact in this very important space over the last year. In July, the pitcher hosted a clinic at PNC Park for current patients and their siblings where he taught them basic baseball skills and gave them a day on the field they’ll never forget.

    “Once I got traded over and had the opportunity to a Pirates uniform on, just trying to embody that spirit and try to carry on that legacy as best I can,” Bednar said
    . “It’s something I take a lot of pride in and something the organization itself takes a lot of pride in. I’m very thankful for the Pirates and for Mr. [Bob] Nutting and his family, who place such an emphasis on that aspect of it and continue to give back.

    Bednar truly embodies and embraces everything Pittsburgh, just like Clemente did
    . He’s always ready to jump in when help is needed, and he goes above and beyond every time he does. Whether that’s saving a game for the Bucs or spreading the love of the sport to the youth, Bednar is constantly demonstrating his passion for the game which also earned him the Pirates' 2023 Heart and Hustle Award.

    Being a nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award means everything to the Pittsburgh native given what Clemente meant to the world of baseball and the city of Pittsburgh
    . Coming from someone who won the award back in 2015, Andrew McCutchen knows just how much this recognition means to him and what it would mean for his teammate.

    “It’s just as, if not more important to me than the MVP
    . It just showed me that I'm being able to use what I have and the resources that I have to be able to try and make a difference around me, and around others,” McCutchen said. “Now with Bednar, essentially, being able to be from here and represent the Pirates, that's great to be a nominee but hopefully, he’s able to win it because I’m sure it’d mean a lot to him.” (G Heidinger - MLB.com - Sept 29, 2023)


  • June 2016: The Padres chose Bednar in the 35th round, out of Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.

  • Jan 18, 2021: In a three-team deal, the Mets received RHP Joey Lucchesi in exchange for catcher Endy Rodriguez, who went to the Pirates. The Pirates also received OF Hudson Head, RHP David Bednar, and LHP Drake Fellows from the Padres. And the Padres received RHP Joe Musgrove from the Pirates. 
  • Bednar has a FASTBALL in the upper 90s and a SLIDER that flashes plus. His CURVEBALL is also a quality pitch. A 12-to-6 curve is his primary breaking pitch.

    A physically mature right-hander, Bednar operates from a three-quarters slot while creating plane toward the plate. His fastball sat with late life and arm-side action that enables him to record whiffs inside the zone. Bednar's curveball, which features 11-to-5 shape, has regressed a bit but is still an average pitch. His splitter, meanwhile, was his most effective secondary pitch in the big leagues, registering with late tumbling action.

    Bednar does a good job of pitching down in the zone and has kept the ball in the park as pro. He still has gains to make with both his curveball and his overall command, and the jury is out on Bednar's ability to retire left-handed hitters consistently. But a strong record of success against righties, on top of a successful big league audition, has Bednar's stock trending up going into 2020. (Spring 2020)

  • 2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 43.4% of the time, his Change 31.1%; Slider 3.1%; and Curve 22.5% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 95.3 mph, Changeup 88.1, Slider 87.7, and Curve 76.8 mph.

    2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 59.3% of the time, his Curve 14.4%; and Split 26.3% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 95.9 mph, Curve 75.3, and Split 89 mph.

    2022 Season Pitch Usage/Avg. Velo: Fastball 54.6% - 96.5 mph; Curve 29.4% - 77 mph; Split 16% - 90 mph.

  • 2020 Improvements: “I never really had a great feel for a changeup. In 2017, after I first got drafted and was in instructs, I was kind of toying around with it when one of our pitching coordinators pushed me towards Hideo Nomo, who was one of our special assistants and helping out. The coordinator got me throwing in front of Hideo. He gave me a few pointers, and kind of switched up my grip in a way that worked better for me.

    David Bednar’s splitter grip:

    “The grip is a slight variation [from Nomo’s splitter]. My two fingers are kind of offset on the seams, so that I have something to pull down on. There’s a little bit of slider action to it at times, but for the most part it’s either straight down, or has a little bit of cut.

    “Something Nomo emphasized was to treat it like a fastball, and to just let it work. Let it do what it wants to do. So I just try to throw it to the bottom of the zone, and not try to do too much. I basically just throw the crap out of it, and let it eat. I try not to do things like [steal strikes with it]. I try to throw the same one every time, just because if you think about just landing it, it kind of flattens out.

    “Obviously having Hideo, and now Kirby Yates here to talk to, is awesome. Kirby obviously has a really good one, so I’ll pick his brain. Our grips are a little bit different, but the mindsets are basically the same. Throw it to the bottom of the zone and let it do its thing. It’s evolved into one of my key out-pitches.” (David Laurila - Mar. 24, 2020)

  • 2020 Season: This past season, Bednar struggled with injuries that kept from playing only four games for the Padres. In those four appearances, he pitched 6 1⁄3 innings, finishing with an 0-0 record, and an ERA of 7.11. He allowed 11 hits, five earned runs, one homer, and struck out five. (MTPeterson@ZoneTracks - Dec 16, 2020)

  • 2021 Season: The 2021 season was the rookie season for Bednar. In his first full MLB season, Bednar had one of the best rookie seasons in Pirates' history for relief pitchers.

    Bednar pitched 60.2 innings in 61 games. He posted a 2.23 ERA, 2.69 FIP and a strong home run rate of 0.74 HR/9. Bednar walked just 8.0% of batters faced while he struck out a very strong 32.5% of batters faced.

    During September, Bednar spent time on the injured list. This IL stint, however, was probably in large part to help watch his workload and limit the amount of innings/work put on his arm in a lost season.

    Moving forward Bednar looks like a potential All-Star level reliever for the Pirates. (Marty Leap - Oct. 21, 2021)

  • June 3, 2022: The words just spilled out.

    David Bednar had just thrown a career-high 50 pitches across two innings to nail down a win against the Dodgers, the first of three the Pirates took in Los Angeles en route to a sweep. Bednar allowed two runs in the eighth inning, blowing his first save of the season. The Pirates scored two of their own. Bednar got a second crack at closing the door. He slammed it. The win was gritty. The adrenaline was high. So, when reporter Robby Incmikoski placed a microphone in front of Bednar, the words just spilled out.

    “(Expletive) exciting, man,” said Bednar, who instantly realizing he used a pirate’s vocabulary on live television. “Sorry.”

    Bednar did not earn the save, but it was his signature moment of the month, if not the entire season. The outing was one of many performances that net Bednar National League Reliever of the Month.

    “It’s cool,” Bednar said. “It’s definitely an honor. Ultimately, it means when I’m throwing it well, it gives our guys a chance to win games. That’s ultimately the main thing that matters.”

    “Very deserving,” said manager Derek Shelton. “I would be hard-pressed to find somebody that deserves it more, with what he’s done, the situations he’s done it in with the leverage and the non-traditional two-inning saves and just the way he’s performed. I’m very happy for him. I think he’s very well-deserving of it.”

    In May, Bednar posted a 1.65 ERA and 1.74 FIP. He struck out 21 batters and walked just two. He recorded 7 saves in 8 opportunities. What arguably stands out the most from this month, though, was Bednar’s workload as he posted those numbers.

    The right-hander’s 16 1/3 innings were the second most thrown by a reliever in May and the most by any reliever in the National League. His 26 innings on the season are tied for the fifth most by a reliever. Of his seven saves this month, three were of the two-inning variety.

    “Well, I think the way David’s built, it definitely handles that endurance because he’s a strong guy,” Shelton said. “The one thing with David is there’s not a lot of effort. You watch him warm up, there’s not a lot of effort there. When he plays catch, there’s not a lot of effort. So he conserves everything for that, then he’s strong as an ox.” (JD Santos - MLB.com - June 3, 2022)

  • 2022 Season: The team’s only All-Star did come from this position group in David Bednar, and he finished the season leading the team with 19 saves. The 28-year-old local boy got off to a blazing hot start this past season, racking up six-plus-out saves like they were going out of style, but things slowed down for The Renegade as the season wore on and he struggled with injuries.

    He did finish with a 2.61 ERA, a 1.123 WHIP, and 69 strikouts in 51 innings to go along with a 3-4 record.  (Darren Yuvan@DarrenYuvan  Oct 13, 2022)

Career Injury Report
  • May 3-12, 2019: Bednar was on the IL.

  • Sept 11-26, 2021: Bednar had been unavailable on Sept. 11 and 12 as he dealt with right oblique discomfort. David didn’t recover as quickly as the club had hoped, so they sent him to the IL 

  • July 31-Sept 22, 2022: Bednar was on the IL with low back inflammation.