The Pirates’ selection of Mark Appel in the first round of the 2012 draft was fitting in a way. I’ve always been convinced that the record $5M bonus they paid second-round pick Josh Bell in 2011 was the final straw that led to Bud Selig’s iron determination to get the union to agree to a slotting system. Now Appel will be the first major test of that system. Selig has claimed—not that anybody in their right mind believes that Selig cares about anything other than cutting costs—that the purpose of the slotting system is to ensure that teams simply take the best player available. The Pirates did exactly that, but now they’re facing a very difficult road to signing him, not least because Appel’s agent—oh, wait, it’s “advisor”—is Scott Boras.
To review the rules quickly, each team has a draft...
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Wilbur Miller joined the site in July 2010. He has long been known for his excellent Player Profiles, which he brought to the site in February 2011, combining them with the existing Pirates Prospects Player Pages. Wilbur maintains the player pages section of the site, and provides regular articles to the main portion of the site, including a weekly Prospects Trend piece, featuring the best and worst prospects from the previous week.