First Pitch

First Pitch: First to the Majors Doesn’t Equal Best in the Draft

First Pitch: First to the Majors Doesn’t Equal Best in the Draft

There was a time when Andrew McCutchen was seen as a bad pick over Jay Bruce, just because Bruce arrived in the majors first. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

In 2008 Jay Bruce made it to the majors and hit 21 home runs in 413 at-bats, finishing fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting. Bruce was taken one pick after Andrew McCutchen, which had people questioning the selection of McCutchen. At the time, McCutchen was in the middle of a season where he had a .770 OPS in Triple-A.

Bruce remains a good player, but McCutchen has turned into an MVP.

Justin Smoak reached the majors in April of 2010. He also first reached Triple-A in July 2009. Meanwhile, Pedro Alvarez didn't reach Triple-A until 2010, and arrived in the majors two months after Smoak, despite being taken nine picks earlier. There were other players drafted after Alvarez who reached the majors first, like Gordon Beckham (2009), Brian Matusz (2009), and Buster Posey (late 2009). All of those players arriving before Alvarez ha...

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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.

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