2010 Draft – Two day recap

Jameson Taillon

Jameson Taillon - jamesontaillon.com

The Pirates added an elite talent on Monday night in the first round of the 2010 MLB draft. Shortly after noon on Tuesday, they made waves by aggressively selecting another impact pitcher in the second round. The Bucs then added 28 more players as Tuesday afternoon furiously unfolded. So how is the team looking after the first two days of the draft?

Obviously, the most important additions are the high school arms selected in rounds one and two. Jameson Taillon is the cream of the crop, the best pitcher in the 2010 draft class. His fastball sits in the mid 90’s and touches 99 MPH. He also possesses an above average curve and slider, and a developing change. Stetson Allie has similar raw stuff, but with less command and consistency. He throws in the upper 90’s with a plus slider. He may end up as a dominant closer, but the potential to start is there as well.

Neal Huntington did not shy away from additional high school pitchers after selecting Taillon and Allie. He continued loading up on young, high-upside arms, repeating the Bucs’s draft strategy from 2009. The following are all high school pitchers of varying talent who will require above-slot bonuses. Each player’s draft round is in parentheses.

Right-Handed
Nicholas Kingham (4)
Jason Hursh (6)
Austin Kubitza (7)
Dace Kime (8)
Zachary Weiss (10)
Ryan Hafner (17)

Left-Handed
Kent Emanuel (19)
Jared Lakind (23)

Weiss (# 132), Kubitza (# 153), Hursh (# 173) and Kingham (# 186) were all ranked in Baseball America’s top 200 prospects, so I guess we should consider them the best of the group. The Pirates are unlikely to sign all of these pitchers, as several are likely considered back-up plans. It will probably take somewhere in the range of $8-10 million to sign Taillon and Allie alone, so it is hard to say how many of the later picks the team can actually afford.

The biggest issue with the Pirates’ draft so far is the lack of position players, particularly those with power potential. Mel Rojas Jr. is a nice pick in the third round, as some considered him a second round talent. He has the potential to be a four-tool player, with below average power. After that, there are not many exciting position players. 21st rounder Dale Carey is raw with good upside, including 5-tool potential. He has committed to Miami University, so he will likely be a tough sign. 11th rounder Daniel Grovatt’s upside is a fourth outfielder type. 15th rounder Andrew Maggi is a scrappy shortstop that is unlikely to stay at short long-term. He is a utility player at best. First baseman Matthew Curry (16th round) and shortstop Zackary Powers (28th round) have good power potential, but there are numerous question marks regarding the rest of their games. Curry is a senior from TCU (I am struggling to find additional information on him). Powers is a high school kid out of Florida who will likely be a tough sign. That’s about it, as far as non-pitchers.

That is not to say that this has been a flawed draft. By all accounts, it has been a very good two days for the organization. Some may even argue that “very good” is an understatement. With the second overall pick, they were able to select the best pitcher available. They also had the good fortune to take a top 10 or 15 player in the second round. Finally, they took a ton of good high school arms to provide depth. It remains to be seen how many of these guys will end up signing, but so far, so good.

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Matt Bandi

Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.

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