Pirates sign Brandon Cumpton and Ryan Hafner

According to Jennifer Langosch, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 9th round pick Brandon Cumpton, and 17th round pick Ryan Hafner.  The Pirates have also officially announced the Nick Kingham signing from last week.

Cumpton, a pitcher from Georgia Tech, signed for $124,500, which is $500 less than what the Pirates gave 2009 9th round pick Brock Holt.  Cumpton had a down season in 2010, seeing a dip in his strikeout ratios, and an increase in homers.  He looked promising heading in to the season, with an 8.8 K/9 and a 2.9 K/BB, plus a big drop in his home run ratio during his sophomore year.  Cumpton has an 89-93 MPH fastball, and a curveball, both of which he struggled to throw for strikes this year.  Cumpton has a clean delivery, which doesn’t give him any deception.  He might be best as a reliever, where he’s hit the 95-96 MPH range.

Hafner was the tenth best prospect in the state of Missouri going in to the draft, according to Baseball America.  Hafner had a commitment to Missouri State.  Hafner has a big frame, with a lot of projection remaining.  His fastball is 87-90 MPH, and he throws it with little effort.  His breaking ball needs some work.

The draft pick signing tracker is updated.

I mentioned this last night in the Week In Review post:

I expect that we will have a lot of draft signings to report on, as the deadline is August 16th.  There are three middle round players who might be close to signing, other than the rumored Drew Maggi deal.

One of the middle round players I was referring to was Hafner.  I received word that he may have agreed to sign over the weekend, and was working to try and confirm that piece of information.  I didn’t get word on this until about 20 minutes before the signings were announced.

I’ve had a few questions on who the other players were.  Cumpton was not one of them.  The last I heard on him, he was debating on whether or not he wanted to go back to Georgia Tech.  As for the other players, I don’t like mentioning the names of the players until I’m 100% sure.  Call it the Dejan Kovacevic rule: I like to confirm the news with more than one source.

This is a pretty big uphill battle as an independent media outlet.  I’ve broken several signings already, including Kingham, so I’m not worried about people trusting me when I announce a signing.  That said, the last thing I want to do is mention players as possible signings when I’m less than 100%.  If a newspaper mentions a player could be close to signing, and the player ends up not signing, the newspaper still has credibility.  If I mention that I’m 80% on a player signing, and the player doesn’t sign, it’s a huge hit.  I already can’t get credit for breaking a signing (outside of Pirates blogs and “new media” supporter Rocco DeMaro), and losing credibility wouldn’t help that situation.  So for now, there’s two other players I’m keeping an eye on from the middle rounds, and I hope to have more information soon.

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 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.

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