2012 Pirates Draft Prospects Rundown: 4/2

Ever since the new CBA was announced, people have been trying to figure out a way to fit the old spending habits of teams in to the new set of rules. Pirates fans have been focused on how the team can spend $1.2 M on a ninth round pick, like they did with Clayton Holmes, or really any other example from the team’s spending over the last few years.

The focus has been applying the new rules to the old system. But the changes to the CBA didn’t just bring new draft rules. They brought an entirely new draft.

The one benefit that the new CBA provided is that it took some negotiating power away from the players, especially college players. If you fall out of the top picks, you’re not likely to land a huge contract. After the first four picks, players are going to have a hard time landing $4 M or more. We won’t see Bubba Starling getting $7.5 M as a fifth overall pick, or Archie Bradley getting $5 M as a seventh overall pick. Those players will have a choice: take the $2-3 M slot price that is offered, or go to college, re-enter the draft in three years, and hope that they can land one of the top three slots in the draft to get that $5-7 M payday.

In 2009 the Pirates were one of many teams who reached for players who were considered late-first round talent, all so they could go over-slot on later picks. Under the new draft, that won’t be necessary. The Shelby Miller’s and Jacob Turner’s and Tyler Matzek’s won’t have the bargaining power they had in 2009, where they could slide until one team felt they were worth a $4-7 M bonus. They will have a choice of signing for slot, or waiting three years and trying to get one of the few draft spots that pay that amount.

Teams might have a shot at getting a guy below slot. If Deven Marrero were to fall to the Pirates, they might get away with paying him a $2 M bonus, rather than spending the entire $2.8 M slot price. What leverage does Marrero really have? For that matter, what leverage does any college junior have? Do they go back to the draft next year as college seniors, hoping to improve their draft stock a few spots, all for an extra $800 K?

Teams could have a shot at saving money in the first, but I think we need to stop thinking of the draft as if it were still the old system. We don’t need to figure out ways to draft guys in the ninth round and pay them $1.2 M. Just draft those guys in the second round, where the slot price is close to that bonus figure. I’m sure there will still be a few over-slot deals, but I don’t think it will be as extreme as before.

The new draft looks to be set up so that players will be taken where they should be taken, rather than falling to a team who is willing to pay them. There’s not much leverage for college players, as they won’t improve their stock much in one season, and won’t have any leverage the following year to raise their value. High school players will have some leverage, but they’ll also have to be smart. A guy drafted in the third round out of high school might move up to a first round talent in three years. But does he pass up half a million dollars to take that risk, knowing that it’s not a guarantee that he’ll eventually go on to be a first round pick?

You also have to consider that if guys are going where they’re supposed to, you’re unlikely to get a late round pick that should have gone earlier. You’re not going to get a Zack Von Rosenberg in the 6th round, or a Colton Cain in the 8th round. Von Rosenberg, who was ranked as a compensation round pick in 2009, would have gone in the compensation round. Cain, who was ranked as a third-fourth round pick in 2009, would have gone in the third or fourth round.

There will be some high school guys who would have signed in the past, and won’t sign now. But the penalties for going over slot are extremely harsh, to the point where you forfeit draft picks, get taxed, and forfeit your right to being awarded extra draft picks. Because of the potential loss in picks, and the extra picks that will be awarded to teams each year, it looks like there’s more value in the new system if you play by the rules. And if the draft works as intended, and the Clayton Holmes of the draft go in the second round where they’re supposed to, rather than the ninth, there won’t be much of a need to bend the rules like there was in the old system.


Mark Appel - 8.0 IP, 12 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, ND

Chris Beck - 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 16 K, 1 HR, W (4-2)

Kevin Gausman - 6.2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 12 K, 0 HR, W (5-0)

Kyle Zimmer – 7.1 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, L (2-2)

Deven Marrero - 3-for-20 (.150), 1 SB, 3 K, 2 BB

Mike Zunino - 3-for-16 (.188), 1 R, 1 2B, 4 K, 2 BB

Trey Williams – 5-for-10 (.500), 5 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 0 K, 1 BB


-Chris Beck’s 16 strikeouts set a career high, and fell two short of the Georgia Southern school record. He threw 126 pitches in six innings.

-Kevin Gausman was 94-97 MPH, touching 99, and hit 97 in his 115th pitch, according to Kendall Rogers.

-Keith Law has a scouting report on Mark Appel for ESPN Insiders. Also in that link, Law mentions that Deven Marrero’s stock is falling with teams in the top third of the first round.


-Mike Zunino and Florida play North Florida on Tuesday, then start their weekend schedule on Thursday.

-Deven Marrero and Arizona State start their weekend schedule on Thursday.

-Trey Williams and Valencia high school play a tournament which lasts from Monday through Wednesday.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

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.

Weekend Pirates Draft Prospects Preview: 3/30-4/1

Next Story »

2012 Pirates Draft Prospects Rundown: 4/9

  • leadoff

    Tim, do you see the Bucs taking a player that might be projected 15-20 but is a true first round pick to save money if there is not much difference in the first 10 picks. I don’t remember the name of the pitcher that was injured, just that he was ranked somewhere between 1 and 5, but he might be a good gamble with the 2nd pick.

    • Tim Williams

      This is kind of what I’m talking about when I’m talking about a whole new draft system. The player you’re referring to is Lucas Giolito. Under the old system, he might have fallen to the later part of the first round due to his injury. The reason he would have fallen was because he’d still have his #2 overall pick demands. Teams could pay that without penalty, and without restructuring their whole draft around one player.

      Now teams can just take him 8th overall, offer him slot, and say take it or leave it. If he doesn’t take $2.8 M from the Pirates, he goes back to the draft three years from now, hoping to go in one of the top four picks to really make the decision worthwhile. That’s kind of a big gamble. It wasn’t as big of a gamble before, because you didn’t have to go in the top four picks to get $4 M or more. You didn’t have to go first or second overall to get $6 M or more. So I don’t think we’ll see him slide as much as he would before, because he can’t demand 2nd overall money under the new system.

      • leadoff

        Your right it was Giolito, just looked it up. What I also was asking was do you think the Bucs would want to save money and take someone a little further down the draft, say 15-20 instead of paying the 2.8mil for one of the top 8? If they can save 800K or more on the first pick they can apply that savings to go overslot on a possible no. 2 pick if they want to gamble, right or wrong?

    • Ross

      i doubt that happens with the whole 15-20 projection…..this isnt the Tony Sanchez or Wieters/Moskos scenarios all over again. Huntington will take the best guy on their board, not only draft a guy for signability reasons. they will end up with probably Zimmer/Beck/Gausman/Williams/Giolito/Marrero in my opinion

      • leadoff

        Your probably right, but my question was more about saving money on the no.1 and using money for overslot buying if necessary, these players can still negotiate. I can still see the same scenario that they used with Sanchez if the player that comes up at 8 doesn’t comp out as much better than a 15-20 pick in their eyes.

  • leadoff

    Tim, was their anything in the new CBA about trading a draft pick?

    • Kevin_Creagh

      Still can’t trade picks unfortunately.

Latest Analysis

  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    21 hours ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    2 days ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    3 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    4 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    6 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    1 week ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    1 week ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    2 weeks ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    2 weeks ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles