Draft Pick Signing Updates

Just a few updates today to the Draft Pick Signing Tracker:

-When I was on vacation, the Pirates signed fifth round pick Nathan Baker. Baker received $176,000, which was $400 below slot for the 145th overall pick.

-The Pirates have now spent at least $5,061,900 in the draft, not counting most of the signings past the tenth round, for which I have no figures. They’ve spent $4,936,900 in the top 10 rounds. I’ve been keeping track of every team’s spending in the top ten rounds, as well as the amount of picks every team has signed on this spreadsheet. Right now the Pirates rank third in spending in the top ten rounds, about $250 K behind the Angels, and about $1.1 M more than the White Sox, in fourth place.

-The Pirates rank 29th in percentage of picks signed, although I don’t care too much about that, considering the strategy was to draft a lot of guys who would be tough to sign, aka, guys who won’t sign until close to the August 17th deadline.

-On that same note, a lot has been said about teams in our division signing a lot more picks. Here is a little comparison, using the top ten rounds, to display why that doesn’t matter.

Pittsburgh: $4,936,900 spent, 7/11 picks signed, 2/2 first round picks signed

Milwaukee: $3,705,900 spent, 10/13 picks signed, 2/3 first round picks signed, 2/2 second round picks signed
Houston: $3,426,800 spent, 11/11 picks signed, 1 first round pick signed, 2/2 third round picks signed
Cubs: $2,504,700 spent, 9/10 picks signed, 1/1 first round pick signed
Cincinnati: $1,805,900 spent, 8/11 picks signed, 0/2 first round picks signed
St. Louis: $1,606,500 spent, 9/10 picks signed, 0/1 first round pick signed

Despite signing a smaller percentage of picks in the top ten rounds, the Pirates have outspent the rest of the NL Central teams so far, beating out the second place Milwaukee by a little over $1.2 M. I don’t really grade the Pirates draft based on what the other teams in the NL Central have done, but one could come to a conclusion that the Cardinals, Cubs, Astros, and Brewers focused on drafting signable players when they drafted, while the Pirates went for harder to sign talents.

There have been very few above slot signings in the draft this year. The Pirates have one of the biggest above slot signings to date, by signing seventh round pick Trent Stevenson to a $350 K deal, which is about $225 K over the recommended maximum after the fifth round. You can’t tell me that the Cardinals, Astros, and Cubs, three of the top four teams in the majors in regards to total percentage of picks signed, drafted and signed a lot of quality guys. By doing so, you’d be saying that these teams were the only teams who managed to get top talents who were willing to accept slot prices, well before the August 17th deadline.

Finally, I’d like to point out that the Pirates made a lot of moves in the days leading up to last year’s deadline, including signing sixth round pick Robbie Grossman for $1 M, signing 20th round pick Quinton Miller for $900 K, and signing 16th round pick Wes Freeman for $150 K. I’ve been keeping track of these signings, but really it’s all useless speculation in grading how the teams have done before seeing the final results on August 18th.

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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, 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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