Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Draft Prospect Trackers

In the past few years it has been easy to follow the potential draft prospects for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They were usually picking at the top of the draft, which meant the list of players to choose from was limited to the top three or four guys. Last year they were picking first overall, which made things easy for the draft trackers. The starting group of players that I followed was Anthony Rendon, Gerrit Cole, and Matt Purke. Danny Hultzen was later added, but it was still pretty simple to determine who the Pirates would take.

This year is going to be a bit different. The Pirates pick eighth overall, which makes the field wide open. What kind of approach do you take when the team is picking eighth? Do you include top prospects like Mark Appel ad Deven Marrero, who have almost no shot of falling to the eighth pick? Do you only include players in the 8-10 range? Since the team wouldn’t have any clue at this point who they would be taking, do you just focus on need?

In 2009 the Pirates had the fourth overall pick. I ended up following 12 players for that pick. Of course, the Pirates didn’t take any of them, opting for Tony Sanchez. Out of those 12 guys, all of whom were highly ranked at the start of the 2009 season, only two ended up being taken in the top ten. They were Dustin Ackley, who didn’t fall to the Pirates, and Mike Leake, who was taken eighth overall.

The field is wide open with the eighth pick, so I could go two directions. I could track almost every possible player in that range. This will inevitably lead to me keeping tabs on a few people who will fall to the second or third round. The alternative is that I could start small, focusing more on need, and track a few players to start off, adding more as the season goes on.

The second route is the one I decided to take. Since there’s no way of knowing who would be on the Pirates’ radar, I focused primarily on need. There are several pitchers ranked around number eight, but I left those off because I figured they’d be met with the typical “we need some bats!” response. The guys I focused on are power hitting outfielder Victor Roache, power hitting prep third baseman Trey Williams, five-tool prep outfielder Byron Buxton, and prep shortstop Gavin Cecchini. The last two won’t have stats throughout the season, so their pages are more for reference to their skills.

As the season goes on, I’ll be adding more players. Odds are that I’ll add one or two players by the end of the upcoming weekend, which is the start of the college season. Some of those might even be pitchers. I might even add Marrero, the best shortstop in the draft, even though I don’t think he falls to the Pirates. For now, the links below take you to the initial players. In the future those links can be found under the “Amateur Players” section on the menu at the top of the page. If you guys have any suggestions for players you’d like to see, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Victor Roache, OF, Georgia Southern

Trey Williams, 3B, Prep

Byron Buxton, OF, Prep

Gavin Cecchini, SS, Prep

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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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  • Anonymous

    This year’s draft class figures to have a lot of outfielders and shortstops near the top.  It’d be nice to get one or the other.

  • Devin

    Matt Smoral and Jake Barrett

    • Tim Williams

      Matt Smoral? 6′ 8″, 225 pound left handed prep pitcher who throws 88-92, touching 94, and room to add velocity? Sounds like exactly what the Pirates will do.

      • Devin

        FWIW, he and Taillon worked out with the same pitching instruct in Houston this winter.

  • Matthew Spicer

    Carlos Correa

    • Tim Williams

      Correa is a guy I’m thinking about adding.

  • Bob

    I would like to see us draft someone that can reach majors quickly as opposed to a prep position player.  This Roache kid is exactly what they need even though he plays OF.  POWER, we need it. 

  • Thom Kay

    Tim, any former prospect comparisons for Gavin Cecchini or Devin Marrero? I want us to take the best player available, of course, but it’d be so nice to have an impact shortstop by 2015-16. 

  • duckwoes

    I wonder if there is any chance Mike Zunino could fall to 8th?  It seems unlikely, though if he did I should think the Bucs would have to seriously consider him, even with Sanchez in the system  

    • Tim Williams

      He was a guy I was considering for a tracker.

  • Ross

    I like the list you have so far of Roache, Williams, Cecchini, Buxton…but I would say add Carlos Correa as someone previously said along with Kevin Gausman, Max Fried, and Mike Zunino

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