Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Database

In my attempt to build a draft database for the Pirates, I felt it was appropriate to date back to the last draft where the Pirates picked a Hall of Fame player. Unfortunately for me, that was the 1985 draft where they selected Barry Bonds in the first round. Even worse, the results since then have been depressing. If you ever had a doubt as to why the Pirates are in the mess they are in, take 15 minutes and check out this draft history. I can not be held responsible for any health issues this information may bring up.

To start, I’ve listed the first round picks since 1985, along with their positions, what spot they were picked, whether they made the majors, and their career stats in the majors. All career stats are through the 2008 season, and will be updated again after the 2009 season. To access the rest of the drafts, simply click on the year and you will be taken to a new page detailing the draft year of your choice.


1. The Pirates received a first round compensation pick in 1990 for the loss of Jim Gott. This was used to draft Mike Zimmerman.
2. The Pirates received a first round compensation pick in 1992 for the loss of Bobby Bonilla. This was used to draft Shon Walker.
3. The Pirates received two first round compensation picks in 1993. The first pick was for the loss of Doug Drabek, and was used to draft Jermaine Allensworth. The second pick was for the loss of Barry Bonds, and was used to draft Andy Rice.
4. The following players from this list ranked as the top prospect in the Pirates system at one time, according to Baseball America: Barry Bonds, Mark Merchant, Kurt Miller, Jason Kendall, Chad Hermansen, Kris Benson, John Van Benschoten, Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez.
5. Clint Johnson is the only player on this list who was never ranked as one of the Pirates’ top 10 prospects by Baseball America.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

McCutchen starts in left, McLouth in center

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  • The Jello Phone

    That’s depressing to look at…also telling as to why the franchise is in the state it is in.

  • Tim Williams

    When I finish posting the year by year draft results (which will probably happen today) I will probably have to go on antidepressants. Horrible drafting.

  • boilerphan

    Tim – Great work here, very interesting reading. Do you have a draft signings tracker for 2008 like the one you have for the 2009 picks?.

  • Tim Williams

    The site wasn't around in 2008, so I don't have a draft pick signing tracker for that year. I do plan on adding any bonus information I can find to previous years once the off-season comes around.

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