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.