For years the Pirates have gone with a strategy of drafting projectable prep pitchers in the middle rounds, giving them above-slot bonuses, and hoping they develop into a great pitcher one day. There are plenty of examples of this happening. Go through the history of top college pitchers and you'll find tons of guys who were either drafted low out of high school, or weren't even drafted at all. Perhaps the biggest example would be Stephen Strasburg, who went from being undrafted out of high school, to the best draft prospect ever three years later.
Expecting someone to become the next Strasburg would be unfair. But it's not out of the question to expect a strong number three starter, a number two, or even an ace to emerge from this approach of drafting prep pitchers and giving them over...
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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.