Comments on: First Pitch: The 2009 Draft Class Lacking Impact Talent Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Wed, 19 Nov 2014 02:20:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: F Lang Tue, 25 Sep 2012 15:30:00 +0000 We have a legitimate 10-20 also and talent now compared to the DL days is better all the way down into the 50’s but is this FO any better at fielding a legitimate winner. That’s the big question.

By: Tim Williams Fri, 21 Sep 2012 20:09:00 +0000 One thing to remember that year is that there was no consensus after the first 2-3 picks. It was Stephen Strasburg, Dustin Ackley, and if you liked his athletic upside, Donovan Tate. After that no one stood out.

There were a bunch of prep pitchers, all asking for high prices. The pitchers included Zack Wheeler, Tyler Matzek, Matt Purke (who didn’t sign), Shelby Miller, and Jacob Turner.

There were a few college arms who looked intriguing. Aaron Crow didn’t sign in 2008 and returned to the draft in 2009 after pitching Indy ball. Kyle Gibson looked good until getting hurt. Alex White entered the year as a top prospect, but fell due to a poor junior year.

Because of this, a lot of teams in the 4-10 range “reached” for signability picks. The Pirates were the first, with Sanchez. The Orioles followed at number five with Matt Hobgood. The Giants took Zack Wheeler sixth, which was appropriate for his rankings. The next two picks were considered reaches at the time, but have turned out well. The Braves took Mike Minor seventh, and the Reds took Mike Leake eighth.

The demands, and the fact that no one stood out at the time, caused players to drop. Shelby Miller didn’t get picked until 19th overall.

A team picking in the top ten might have picked Miller. But they could have just as easily taken Matzek, who was considered the same at the time, and hasn’t done as well as Miller so far.

By: Lee Young Fri, 21 Sep 2012 19:55:00 +0000 It was indeed weak, which is one of the reasons we employed the strategy we did.

Throw enough $h!t at the wall and hope some sticks. we musta built a teflon wall!


By: Lee Young Fri, 21 Sep 2012 19:54:00 +0000 We were also high on Tyler Matzek and (if he slipped to us) Donavan Tate…two more duds! And yet, both of them were highly thought of. additionally, we were supposedly ‘in’ on Kyle Gibson, before he got hurt.

C’est le vie. The stategy to draft lots of projectable pitchers. And, looking back at my pre-draft material we supposedly snared some good ones. You would’ve tought that at least ONE would’e made it

Bucco Bad Luck?


By: Jon Ross Fri, 21 Sep 2012 11:03:00 +0000 It’s drafts like this that make you wonder how we were ever in a position to take the division or one of the two WC spots. This draft is Littlefield bad. Why did we not take the best player available in the first round? A mock draft had us taking Aaron Crow and why did we not take him? Was it the money thing? If so, how much more would he really have cost us?
I looked at the drafts in the past and notice that ’09, ’07, ’06, and ’02 were just horrendous. We bypassed elite talent to take guys that seemed to have a career in the bullpen only. I would give each of those drafts an “F” if I were grading them. After drafts like that, maybe we should actually feel lucky that we had any success this year at all.

By: ecbucs Thu, 20 Sep 2012 21:16:00 +0000 I wouldn’t mind giving Sanchez a chance if his defense is good enough. The Bucs have shown throughout NH’s tenure that they value defense more at catcher anyway. Sanchez can probably hit better than Barajas and is probably better defensively too.

By: John Lease Thu, 20 Sep 2012 20:51:00 +0000 It’s not so tough, it’s kind of obvious! Look, of course every draft pick doesn’t pan out. But for the amount of bonus money the Pirates threw around, SOME of these guys have to pan out, or you get fired. The glaring fact that 5 years in, guys coming up from the minors STILL aren’t good at fundamentals, says a lot about the player development skill of the people in charge. More work on holding runners, and bunting, less Navy Seal training. Get rid of Stark, what on earth has he done to earn a promotion?

By: TonyPenaforHOF Thu, 20 Sep 2012 20:46:00 +0000 What more do we need to see?

The players who came through our system in the last five years are really weak in the fundamentals. I see the AA team all the time and it shows. I watch the MLB team religiously and they look lost when they come up. That is Stark’s responsibility.

We are the highest spending team in the draft over the last 5 years and we’re not the highest rated. You can blame some of that on luck, but the system should be rated higher by the majority of experts. That is Smith’s responsibility.

At the MLB level they consistently struggle to successfully evaluate talent. They are awful at evaluating talent needed for bench depth. He has done ok with the pitching staff, but his position players have shown very little. Not just this year – look at the last 5. That is Neil’s responsibility.

Enough is enough. When this management team was named I’m sure we were all pulling for them. Even during the purge – which I thought occurred a year later than it should have – I think most of us stuck with the GM and his team. But to keep repeating the same problems over a 5 year period with only marginal gains isn’t good enough. Sorry Neil, this isn’t a Syd Thrift situation. It’s time to go.

By: Ian Rothermund Thu, 20 Sep 2012 19:11:00 +0000 I’d like to see how next year pans out. As for right now, I’d prefer to see how some of the GM’s draft picks actually fare at the major league level. This is a guy that’s primarily focused on building through the draft, then nursing players along. The minor league numbers don’t tell the whole story. The only real question I have is….why not trust these guys? Why is Mercer made to be a bench player when we have, in all due respect to defense, an awful SS? The questioning of the younger players’ abilities is not comforting to me when so much seems to ride on the draftees’ success. The major league team has steadily improved the last two years, regardless of collapses. I think one more year in order to judge whether or not Neil can continue to progress the team at the major league level, as well as to stock the minor league system would be a wise choice. If all signs point to nominal growth by that point, I say scorch the earth and start anew.

By: RandyLinville Thu, 20 Sep 2012 19:11:00 +0000 ‘I think we have been so bad for so long we forgot what excellence looks like. We are mistaking a little below average for good.’

Agree with that 100%. In several of my handful of final posts on the blog part of this site, that is the conclusion I come to. NH is better than DL. But he has not done a good enough job. Yep, the team is in better shape. But I’m not particularly impressed with the job he has done overall.