2011 Draft: Who Would You Pick?

Rendon has won the vote the last two times this poll ran.

I’ve raised this question before several times throughout the year, and each time, Anthony Rendon won by a landslide.  With the 2011 MLB draft taking place in less than 24 hours, I’ll ask one final time.  If it was up to you, who would you select with the first overall pick in the 2011 draft?

Tim Williams

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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  • Todd Smith

    Have a feeling Rendon is going to fall quite a bit tomorrow.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Zielinski/100000181161454 Steve Zielinski

      We’ll see. The Draft pundits may have been right to claim that the Pirates were strongly interested in the top two college pitchers. Rendon may fall all the way to the second pick if the Pirates made their choice because they have a pitcher fetish.

      • Anonymous

        Fall ‘all the way’ to 2nd?  Not much of a ‘fall’ from 1 to 2.

        • Todd Smith

          If the rumors about the structural damage to his shoulder are true, he will fall a lot further than 2nd.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Zielinski/100000181161454 Steve Zielinski

            Right. It will be interesting to see how far he falls. Every team has access to his medical records.

            • Todd Smith

              Have to believe there was something ugly in there.

  • Anonymous

    people want an impact bat tim  if hes a bust so be it…we have a slew of pitching right now

  • Todd Smith

    Some nasty rumors out there about his medical records right now.

  • Anonymous

    I’d take Bauer; I seriously think he’s the best pick; I hope the Pirates shock me and take him

    • Anonymous

      Allright, someone else who’s thinking like myself.  I’d take Bauer too.   Everyone gets all worked up about pitch counts, etc.  I wonder if Satchell Paige was available with this draft how far he’d slide!  History tells us he pitched several games a day at times and had upwards of 600+ wins in his career.  I’ve never heard any talk of him having arm injuries.   Or what about Nolan Ryan playing 24 seasons or so, racking up inning after inning after inning.  Some guys can just throw all day every day, it’s a God given gift, while others can’t incur that kind of arm-use.   Bauer looks like a guy who can throw and throw and throw.  And he’s no dummy either to just throw and hit the showers, the guy has a routine, takes care of his arm, he’s not a stupid 13 year old dominant pitcher who has no clue how to stretch, throw, cool down, etc.   I say ‘Bauer Power’!

      • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

        What about all of the pitchers that we don’t remember because they had arm injuries?  It’s not like arm injuries were invented when Tommy John went down with a sore elbow.  We hear about the handful of Hall of Fame pitchers with high pitch counts, but they shouldn’t be used as an argument that pitch counts are meaningless, because it ignores all of the people in that era who did go down with injuries.

        You also can’t say that Bauer won’t get injured just because one player in the history of baseball didn’t get injured with high pitch counts.  Also, as for Bauer’s routine, how did he come up with this?  It seems like something he just came up with himself.  If it is something that is going to guarantee that he won’t have an injury, then why doesn’t every other pitcher do the same thing?

        And finally, let’s look past the injury issues.  Why does Bauer need high pitch counts?  Why does he constantly need 130+ pitches to complete a game?  Other pitchers (like Gerrit Cole) can pitch a complete game with just around 100 pitches, and still strike out double digits.  It doesn’t really seem like a dominating performance when you need over 130 pitches to get the job done.

        • Anonymous

          Cole has more 100 pitch CGs than Bauer? That is news to me. I coulda sworn Cole was 115 pitch 7 inning outings.

          • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

            I didn’t make any comparisons to the amount of complete games each player had.  I just pointed out that when Cole pitches a complete game, he’s around 100-115 pitches.  Bauer is usually 130+ pitches.

            • Anonymous

              Tim, high strikeout guys need more pitches to begin with. Bauer blew Cole away in K’s this year by nearly 90 (203 to 119).  And it isn’t like Bauer walks every other guy either (36 vs 24 for Cole).  So I think it is clear w/ a lower walk rate and high K rate that his pitch counts are due to the K rate he produces (nearly 50% of his outs are K’s! 203 of the 410 outs he had to get!!)  I wonder if anyone frowned on Nolan Ryan for his high pitch counts? 
              I made my example to state that high pitch counts are always terrible.  With all this emphasis these days on drafts and prospects, etc. pitch count has become too focused on in my opinion. You are right plenty of others hurt themselves along the way.  But just as that doesn’t mean everyone with high pitch counts will too, it also doesn’t mean they won’t.  Maybe Bauer is a pioneer, an innovator, and just because his routine is far out there conventionally speaking, it doesn’t mean it is wrong.  We’re already getting reports of some organizations slowly re-embracing real long toss, for example. Not everyone fits in the same box, that is the point I’m trying to make.
              As it stands we took Cole and I hope to he lives up to the expectations,
              I’ll look forward to following his progress and hope to see in w/ the
              Bucco’s soon.

    • Anonymous

      Allright, someone else who’s thinking like myself.  I’d take Bauer too.   Everyone gets all worked up about pitch counts, etc.  I wonder if Satchell Paige was available with this draft how far he’d slide!  History tells us he pitched several games a day at times and had upwards of 600+ wins in his career.  I’ve never heard any talk of him having arm injuries.   Or what about Nolan Ryan playing 24 seasons or so, racking up inning after inning after inning.  Some guys can just throw all day every day, it’s a God given gift, while others can’t incur that kind of arm-use.   Bauer looks like a guy who can throw and throw and throw.  And he’s no dummy either to just throw and hit the showers, the guy has a routine, takes care of his arm, he’s not a stupid 13 year old dominant pitcher who has no clue how to stretch, throw, cool down, etc.   I say ‘Bauer Power’!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Zielinski/100000181161454 Steve Zielinski

    The Pirates reportedly believe that Rendon’s shoulder makes him a huge risk, too much of a risk to spend >$6M to get his name on a contract. They’re unlikely to take him. Assuming the Pirates’ medical staff has correctly evaluated Rendon, I’d pass on Rendon. That’s a damn shame because Rendon is the best player for the Pirates and was the Best Available Player coming into the draft class.

    The Pirates reportedly will take Cole. Pirates fans have had to suffer through nearly a decade of first round draft pick pitchers floundering because of injuries. Only Maholm made it to the Major’s untouched by the scalpel.  The best first round draft picks in recent memory, picks that made it to the majors, performed and were and remain healthy: McCutchen, Walker, Alvarez.

    If the Pirates must take someone besides Rendon because of Rendon’s injuries, I’d take Bundy. I’d rather the team get a high school pitcher into their program, teach him how to pitch while protecting his arm. College pitchers are too risky.

    • Todd Smith

      I just don’t think you can select a player like Bundy who specifically told you not to draft him.

      A lot of risk involved with every option.  Rendon truly scares the hell out of me though.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Zielinski/100000181161454 Steve Zielinski

        I thought I read somewhere that Bundy took back his advice to the Pirates and Royals.

      • Anonymous

        NH clearly said that Bundy did not tell them that and that is an erroneous false report.

      • Anonymous

        NH clearly said that Bundy did not tell them that and that is an erroneous false report.

  • http://twitter.com/joegonz_2_5 Joe Gonzalez

    Right now, I feel like we need to take Bauer. I just can’t see him NOT dominating. It seems like an impossibility. He is more highly regarded than Lincecum was coming out of college, and his overall stuff just might be better. He goes to a much better college in which he faces much stiffer competition than Linecum does and has come away with better results. I wouldn’t be angry with any of Cole, Rendon, Bauer, Starling, Bundy, Lindor, or even Archie Bradley. Hultzen would make me angry because his ceiling might be better than a #2(like Pomeranz last year), but his delivery scares me to death. So for me at this moment(which will probably change based off rumblings that will occur tomorrow) Bauer>Rendon>Starling>Cole>Lindor>Bundy>Bradley>Swihart>Wong>Springer>Gray>Jungman>Levi Michael(i believe he sticks at SS)>like 30 others not named Hultzen>Hultzen.

  • Anonymous

    I just see Rendon as another Dustin Ackley, about the same size, both stud college hitters. Ackley is having a decent season this year in AAA , put hasn’t put up the numbers in the minors people thought he would. Don’t get me wrong id take a Dustin Ackley or a Anthony Rendon in my minor league system any day, but if i was Neal Huntington I’m looking for that top of the rotation guy, with the best stuff available. And that is Gerrit Cole.

     I saw earlier today he was compared to Justin Verlander in college, Verlander’s stats were very similar to that of Gerrit Cole’s this year. And both have similar stuff and both had the same worries coming into the draft (Jered Weaver and Philip Humber were seen as the safer picks) But Verlander got taken ahead of both, even thought the stats were less stellar, Detroit believed in the stuff. Just like i think the Pirates do with Gerrit Cole. Its all about long term Project ability. Idk about any of you but I would take a Justin Verlander type in the Pirates rotation any day of the week.

    • http://twitter.com/joegonz_2_5 Joe Gonzalez

      I like Cole a little better coming out of college than Verlander coming out. Cole has the change up that many consider to be plus to go along with the amazing fastball which they share. I would not have taken Verlander if I were the Tigers going into the draft, but I would have regretted it later on if Verlander still achieved what he has with the Tigers. This is not to say I think Cole will be better than Verlander. Verlander has learned ALOT since he was drafted. Cole would have to learn a good deal himself, but I will admit the potential is there.

      As for Rendon and Ackley. They are similar hitters if you don’t take into account their power. Rendon has MUCH more power potential than Ackley. With Ackley, your looking at 15-20 HR power. With Rendon, your looking at 25-30 HR power. Big difference. Combine that with Rendon’s huge advantage on defense and you have to rank Rendon ahead. I was actually thinking the 1-2 this year is a lot like the Strasburg-Ackley 1-2 a few years ago, but the talent was spread between the two more evenly. Cole is no Strasrburg, but Rendon is better than Ackley.

    • Todd Smith

      The lack of power, the move to second base, the annual injury bug…sounds like the next Freddy Sanchez to me.