More Notes on the Draft

Following my recent post on the possibility that the Pirates could take Tony Sanchez with the #4 pick, I have two other notes:

1. The MLB Draft signing deadline has been moved to August 17th, as August 15th was on a Saturday. So I guess we will be waiting until 11:59 PM on August 17th for Scott Boras picks to sign.

2. After posting about Tony Sanchez, I read the intro to the latest mock draft from Jim Callis at Baseball America. In the intro he details the demands of some of the top prospects. For example, Tyler Matzek wants “precedent-setting money”. Rick Porcello has the record for a high school contract at $7.285 M, which means Matzek could be asking for more. Jacob Turner and Matthew Purke, two more high school pitchers, are also asking for Porcello money.

Shelby Miller was previously believed to be signable for close to slot money, but is now asking for $4 M. Donovan Tate is asking for $6 M or more. Even guys ranked lower in the draft who have been linked to the Pirates for “signability” reasons are asking for over slot. Bobby Borchering and Wil Myers are each asking for top 10 money.

Originally I felt that taking a guy like Tony Sanchez was a mistake, mostly because I thought the Pirates could get a guy like Matzek or Miller for a little bit extra. From the way it looks now, that “little bit extra” could end up being $3-5 M extra, and I don’t feel that guys like Matzek or Miller are worth $3-5 M more than Sanchez.

This does bring up an interesting theory though, and I just came up with this thought, so bear with me. With the current state of the economy, combined with the increased demands from the draft prospects, and the widely held notion that this is a weak draft that doesn’t deserve those demands, I think we will see a lot of players fall in this draft, as teams will be unwilling to spend a lot on the top players.

On the other side of that, I don’t think guys like Tony Sanchez will make it to the second round, where the Pirates have two early picks, simply because these players aren’t considered to be a huge drop in talent, but come at a cheaper price.

The Pirates are in good position to get one or two first round players in the second round. After reading the recent developments, I feel that the Pirates have a better shot at landing a top high school arm in the second round, like a Matzek, Miller, or Purke, than they do of landing Tony Sanchez in the second round.

Originally I thought it would be better to take a guy like Matzek in the first, and hope Sanchez drops to us in the second. Now it appears that could be an impossible scenario, and that waiting for a top prospect (or two) to drop to us is more likely, due to the prices on the players, and the unwillingness of teams to spend a lot this year. Just a theory and we will see how this plays out, but I don’t think it would be a bad decision to take Sanchez if we end up spending more on a second round guy who fell from the first round due to costs.

Author: 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, 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.

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