Prior to the 2011 draft, Josh Bell sent a letter to every team, telling them not to draft him. He intended to go to college at the University of Texas, despite being projected as a mid-first round pick. Whether that letter was just a negotiating ploy or actually legit will never really be known. A lot of teams -- including interested teams like the Boston Red Sox -- passed over Bell due to the letter. The Pittsburgh Pirates ignored it, drafted Bell, then gave him a record-shattering $5 M bonus in the second round to sign. The bonus ended up breaking the old draft, with MLB adding new rules to restrict that type of spending.
There was a reason the Pirates broke the draft to sign Bell. He was seen as a guy who could have plus power from each side of the plate, along with plus hitting skills. The combination gave you a bat you could dream on, and a potential impact guy in the majors.
Those dreams were put on hold in 2012, when Bell missed most of the season in West Virginia with a k...
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.