Pirates Prospects » 2013 Draft http://www.piratesprospects.com Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Fri, 14 Nov 2014 00:13:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Pirates Had the Strongest 2013 Draft, According to Jim Callis http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/12/pirates-had-the-strongest-2013-draft-according-to-jim-callis.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/12/pirates-had-the-strongest-2013-draft-according-to-jim-callis.html#comments Wed, 18 Dec 2013 01:50:57 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=70561 Jim Callis of MLB.com reviewed the 2013 draft today, and picked the Pittsburgh Pirates as the team with the best draft in the majors. This is the second time that the Pirates have gotten a grade for the best 2013 draft. Previously, Baseball America graded their draft number one. I can’t recall if that was before or after Callis went from BA to MLB.com.

Callis gives the disclaimer that it takes at least five years to really know what a team gets out of the draft, but these ratings provide instant analysis. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com went a different direction, taking the Twins with the best draft. Callis said that no team can match the Pirates, mentioning that Austin Meadows and Reese McGuire look like potential All-Stars at up-the-middle positions.

Beyond the top two picks, Callis noted the depth later in the draft, pointing out second round prep pitcher Blake Taylor and fourth round college pitcher Cody Dickson as a pair of left-handers who show promise with three pitches. He also noted the right-handers, like Buddy Borden (7th round), Neil Kozikowski (8th round), Chad Kuhl (9th round), and Shane Carle (10th round). Kozikowski is the only high schooler of the group, and Callis says he has the most upside in the group due to his projectable frame and low-90s fastball. The other three are sinkerball pitchers, which is not uncommon for the Pirates.

Outside of the pitching, the Pirates took a few high upside position players. Of those players, Callis mentioned JaCoby Jones, who he says was the best college athlete in the draft, and Adam Frazier, who he graded as the top college shortstop available.

Callis only focused on the top ten rounds, so he didn’t get into guys like Billy Roth in the middle rounds. However, looking at the top ten rounds it doesn’t look like the Pirates wasted any picks. Not all of those guys will work out, but the Pirates picked a lot of players who have a good shot of reaching the majors. Right now I would say the 2011 draft has been the best for the Pirates, but the 2013 draft could easily surpass the 2011 group in a few years. That’s saying a lot since the 2011 group looks like it could produce two top of the rotation pitchers (Gerrit Cole, Tyler Glasnow), a mid-rotation starter (Clay Holmes), and a back of the rotation starter or strong middle reliever (Jason Creasy).

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Baseball America Releases Pirates Draft Report Card http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/baseball-america-releases-pirates-draft-report-card.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/baseball-america-releases-pirates-draft-report-card.html#comments Tue, 22 Oct 2013 15:46:59 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=68301 The Pirates had a great draft, and it wasn't just because of first round picks like Reese McGuire.

The Pirates had a great draft, and it wasn’t just because of first round picks like Reese McGuire.

Last week Baseball America released their draft ratings, and graded the Pirates 2013 draft as the best in baseball. Yesterday they released their Pirates draft report card, looking at the best players from this specific draft. I’ll let you check out the link above for the individual reports. Below is the rundown of each player, with some thoughts below.

Best Pure Hitter: Austin Meadows (1st round)

Best Power Hitter: JaCoby Jones (3rd round)

Fastest Runner: Jones/Meadows/Jeff Roy (19th round)

Best Defensive Player: Reese McGuire (1st round)

Best Fastball: Buddy Borden (7th round)

Best Secondary Pitch: Cody Dickson (4th round)

Best Pro Debut: Austin Meadows (GCL), Adam Frazier (5th round, Jamestown)

Best Athlete: JaCoby Jones

Most Intriguing Background: Erich Weiss (11th round)

Closest to the Majors: Austin Meadows/Adam Frazier

Best Late Round Pick: Billy Roth (16th round)

The One That Got Away: Bryan Baker (40th round)

They also noted that several pitchers were topping out at 95-96, including Chad Kuhl (9th round), Justin Topa (17), Brett McKinney (19), and Henry Hirsch (22).

The Pirates draft was probably graded so high due to the multiple picks in the top half of the first round. But the draft looks really strong after the first round. The Pirates went for upside players, and didn’t really waste picks on true organizational guys. A lot of guys in the top ten rounds are risky, but have a serious chance of making it to the majors and being more than just bullpen/bench options. The guys in the later rounds aren’t just roster fillers, but are guys with at least one good tool. There’s the previously mentioned pitchers with strong velocity, or guys like Jeff Roy with a ton of speed, or some of the players who weren’t mentioned here, like Danny Collins, who has some power potential.

It’s been popular to say that this draft could be the best one the Pirates have had. Right now it would be tough to top the 2011 draft. That group has Gerrit Cole, Tyler Glasnow, Josh Bell, Clay Holmes, and other prospects who are either showing promise, or still young enough to break out like Jason Creasy and Jake Burnette. But I think the 2013 class has a shot to be just as good. The 2011 draft looks like it could have two top of the rotation starters, plus an impact hitter and a middle of the rotation starter. That’s a tough class to beat, but with all of the upside in 2013, plus the two first round picks, it definitely makes it possible.

It’s also good to see that the Pirates can get so many promising guys in the middle and late rounds, since they will be picking later in the first round and won’t have guys like Meadows and McGuire available going forward. These opinions are all first impressions, and can change down the line. The true measure of a draft is how many major league players come from that group. We won’t know that for a few years, but right now all signs point to the 2013 draft as an early success.

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Pirates Graded With the Best 2013 Draft by Baseball America http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/pirates-graded-as-the-best-2013-draft-by-baseball-america.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/pirates-graded-as-the-best-2013-draft-by-baseball-america.html#comments Wed, 16 Oct 2013 18:23:54 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=68024 Austin Meadows was a big reason the Pirates were graded as having the best 2013 draft.

Austin Meadows was a big reason the Pirates were graded as having the best 2013 draft.

Baseball America released their 2013 draft grades, and the Pittsburgh Pirates topped the list as having the best draft this year. These grades are extremely preliminary, as they only involve half a season of results, and ultimately a draft is graded based on how many major leaguers it produces. But for now it’s good to see the Pirates off to a hot start.

Austin Meadows, taken ninth overall by the Pirates, was named the third best pure hitter in the draft. The outfielder was also graded as having the best pro debut of all high school players in the draft, and he was named fourth closest to the majors of high school picks. Meadows combined for a .316/.424/.554 line in 177 at-bats between the GCL and the NYPL, hitting seven homers in the process.

Reese McGuire, taken 14th overall, was named the best defensive player in the draft due to his skills behind the plate. McGuire was also graded with the fifth best pro debut of high school picks. McGuire hit for a .323/.380/.380 line in 192 at-bats between the GCL and the NYPL. He also threw out 44% of base stealers in 41 attempts.

The draft grade is heavily based on Meadows and McGuire, but there were other players that contributed to a strong class. 16th round pick Billy Roth was named the fourth best late-round pick. The right-handed pitcher had a 3.26 ERA in 19.1 innings in the GCL, with a 10:9 K/BB ratio.

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Pirates Sign 11th Round Pick Erich Weiss to Over-Slot Deal http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/pirates-agree-with-11th-round-pick-erich-weiss.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/pirates-agree-with-11th-round-pick-erich-weiss.html#comments Fri, 12 Jul 2013 20:30:28 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=59762 The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a deal with 11th round pick Erich Weiss, according to Weiss on Twitter.

Weiss had good numbers in his first two years with Texas, then slumped in his junior year, which could have been the reason he dropped out of the top ten rounds. He’s a line drive hitter with gap power, and while he was drafted as a third baseman he has poor range at the position and an average arm. Long term he profiles to have the upside of a utility player.

No word yet on his bonus. Weiss had been playing in the Cape Cod league since the draft.

UPDATE 12:55 AM: Dustin McComas of Orangebloods.com was the first to report the signing earlier tonight.

McComas says he hears the deal is worth $305,000. That would mean the Pirates would be going over their bonus pool. They only have $107,800 to spend on over-slot deals before paying any penalties. That means they could give $207,800 to Weiss (the first $100,000 for each pick after the 10th round doesn’t count towards the pool). The Pirates can spend an additional $435,345 and only pay a 75% tax on the overage. They wouldn’t lose any draft picks in that scenario. So if they’re giving Weiss an extra $100,000, they’re basically paying an extra $175,000 to get him. A $305,000 bonus would make Weiss the eighth highest paid player by the Pirates in this draft. It would be surprising to see Weiss get that much when Nick Buckner and Billy Roth got less than that combined.

WEDNESDAY 4:50 PM: The Pirates confirm the signing of Weiss, who will be assigned to the short-season Jamestown Jammers.

FRIDAY 4:33 PM: Jim Callis confirms the $305,000 bonus.

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Who Is Still Unsigned From the 2013 Draft Class? http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/who-is-still-unsigned-from-the-2013-draft-class.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/who-is-still-unsigned-from-the-2013-draft-class.html#comments Fri, 12 Jul 2013 00:51:18 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=60167 The MLB draft signing deadline is tomorrow at 5 PM EST. To see who the Pirates have already signed, check out the Draft Pick Signing Tracker. In previous years the draft pick signing deadline always had some sort of drama surrounding it. The question marks throughout the years:

2008: Will Pedro Alvarez sign?

2009: Will the Pirates sign any more prep pitchers?

2010: Will Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie sign?

2011: Will Gerrit Cole and Josh Bell sign? (The double Boras drama!)

2012: Will Mark Appel sign?

The Pirates have already signed all of their important picks, such as Reese McGuire.

The Pirates have already signed all of their important picks, including Reese McGuire.

Thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement, all of the drama has been taken out of the signing deadline this year. The Pirates have already signed their two first round picks, and both players have made their pro debuts. Out of the 28 players who have signed already, only six haven’t made their debut. Five of those are pitchers, and then there’s Erich Weiss, who recently signed. We’ve even seen someone retire already.

There’s no drama with the over-slot players either. In previous years Major League Baseball held back over-slot deals, which ended up costing the Pirates several prospects. One public case of this was 2010 8th round pick Dace Kime, who agreed to a $400,000 deal, then decided to go to Louisville after getting nervous about the waiting process. Kime was a third round pick this year by the Cleveland Indians.

This year the Pirates have already signed some of the more difficult over-slot players. 14th round pick Nick Buckner signed for $135,000, and 16th round pick Billy Roth signed for $190,000. The first $100,000 is exempt from the bonus pool, so only $125,000 counted as over-slot money. The Pirates also went over-slot on 8th round pick Neil Kozikowski ($425,000 vs $155,400 slot) and 5th round pick Trae Arbet ($425,000 vs $321,400).

So what is left? Are we waiting until 5 PM EST tomorrow to officially close the book on this draft? If that ends up being the case, the draft would be an exceptional haul of talent. Adding Austin Meadows and Reese McGuire in the first round was big, although Meadows makes up for losing a first round pick last year with Mark Appel. The middle rounds were filled with high upside guys, and the Pirates signed Buckner and Roth, who were both unexpected. If that’s what the Pirates end up with from this draft, that’s enough.

Currently the Pirates have $107,800 to spend on over-slot deals. We haven’t heard the official word on Erich Weiss’ bonus. The 11th round pick recently signed, and there was a report that he received $305,000. If that’s true, it would take the Pirates over their bonus pool, subjecting them to a 75% tax on the overage.

The Pirates currently have $543,145 to spend without losing a future draft pick. If they actually did go over-slot on Weiss, only $205,000 would count against the pool. That would put them $97,200 over the total bonus pool, and would force them to pay about another $75,000. If they are already over the pool, then it would make sense to try and spend the remaining $338,145. That would give them up to $448,145 to spend on one player.

So who could be options for the money? Here are the remaining prep and JuCo players in the later rounds.

Grant Tyndall, CF – Tyndall is an athletic prep outfielder who played football in high school. He hit for average in high school and had a ton of stolen bases, but didn’t show much power. Considering the Pirates have already signed Austin Meadows, JaCoby Jones, and Nick Buckner from this class, adding another prep outfielder wouldn’t be a priority.

Reagan Bazar, RHP – Bazar is a huge pitcher at 6′ 7″, 230 pounds and currently throws 90 MPH. He also throws a curve and a change. He’s your typical projectable prep pitcher.

Connor Goedert, 3B – He’s the brother of Pirates minor leaguer Jared Goedert, and the only JuCo player from the group. He’s athletic and had some good power numbers last year with Neosho County CC, hitting for a .326/.393/.591 line with 11 homers in 215 at-bats.

Bryan Baker, RHP – He’s probably the best of the group. He’s a 6′ 5″, 205 pound prep pitcher who touches 93 with his fastball and sits 90 at times. He needs work on his secondary stuff and his delivery, but the fact that he’s already hitting 93 is encouraging.

Since we don’t know whether the Pirates went over slot on Weiss, we don’t know if they would have that extra money available for an additional player. Last year they finished with around $90,000 remaining in their bonus pool. If Weiss signed for a normal amount, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Pirates stay under the pool total.

At this point, the Pirates have signed all of the top guys from the draft, plus the two top over-slot guys after round ten. Any of the above players would just be a bonus. If there’s one welcome change to the new draft rules, it’s that we can look at the signings the evening before the draft (or two weeks ago, even) and conclude that the draft looks like a big success based on everyone that has signed. That is something we couldn’t do in previous years, where we were waiting until the last minute each year to judge that year’s draft signings.

UPDATE FRIDAY 4:35 PM: Weiss was signed to a $305,000 deal, per Jim Callis.

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Pirates Sign 7th Round Pick Buddy Borden http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/pirates-sign-7th-round-pick-buddy-borden.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/pirates-sign-7th-round-pick-buddy-borden.html#comments Mon, 08 Jul 2013 18:28:20 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=59869 The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 7th round pick Buddy Borden, according to Jim Callis.

Borden was the last of the top ten round picks to sign. He was seeking an over-slot deal, but ended up signing for exactly slot. It’s possible that he was also holding out for slot, since a few players in the top ten rounds signed for below slot value.

Borden sits in the low 90s with his fastball, and reaches as high as 96. He throws a curve and a changeup, but neither pitch is strong. He improved his command during his junior year, and was named the Mountain West Co-Pitcher of the Year with first rounder Braden Shipley. Borden will probably be used as a starter in Jamestown. Long-term he will probably get a shot as a starter, but his ability to remain in the rotation will depend on whether he can improve his secondary stuff.

The Draft Pick Signing Tracker is updated with the move. The Pirates now have $107,800 to spend on over-slot deals, although there were rumors that Erich Weiss signed for $305,000. That would put them over their draft pool, but not enough to lose a draft pick.

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2013 15th Round Pick Max Rossiter Retires After One Game http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/2013-15th-round-pick-max-rossiter-retires-after-one-game.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/2013-15th-round-pick-max-rossiter-retires-after-one-game.html#comments Sun, 07 Jul 2013 13:00:43 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=59772 2013 draftThe Pirates drafted Max Rossiter last year in the 32nd round, but he decided not to sign and went back to Arizona State for his senior year. They took him again this year in the 15th round, and this time they signed him. Rossiter went to Jamestown, where he went 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs in his debut on June 19th.

That was his only game as a pro. He’s currently listed on the Voluntarily Retired List. From what I’ve been told, he left the team unexpectedly after the opening series. This is similar to what happened a few years ago with Brian Sharp. Sharp was a 24th round pick in the 2011 draft, and played in 19 games for State College before retiring. Rossiter retiring after one game and one series probably sets some kind of record.

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Pirates Sign Sixth Round Pick Adam Frazier, 37th Round Pick Dennis http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/pirates-sign-sixth-round-pick-adam-frazier-37th-round-pick-dennis.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/pirates-sign-sixth-round-pick-adam-frazier-37th-round-pick-dennis.html#comments Wed, 03 Jul 2013 19:35:53 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=59355 The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to terms with two more draft picks today. They signed sixth round draft pick Adam Frazier, a shortstop out of Mississippi State. Frazier received the exact slot amount of $240,600 to sign. They have also signed 37th round draft pick Andrew Dennis, a catcher from Wallace State Community College. No terms of his deal has been announced yet. 2013 draft

The Pirates have now signed 26 players, including their top seven picks. Only 7th round pick Buddy Borden, a right-handed pitcher out of UNLV remains unsigned among players selected in the top ten rounds.

Update 3:54 pm: Here are details on each player.

Adam Frazier just finished up the College World Series run he had with Mississippi State, so he was late to the signing party. This season, the 5’11” junior, hit .344, with an .844 OPS. He doesn’t have any standout tools, but he is a player that can likely stick at shortstop and be a strong utility type player in the majors. He glove and arm, plus natural instincts are good enough for anywhere on the infield. He doesn’t have much speed or any power at all, but he puts the ball in play and is a smart player in all aspects of the game.

Andrew Dennis is a catcher who spent two years at the Community College level. He planned to transfer to UAB in 2014, so he figured to be a tough sign in the late round. He has a strong arm and moves well behind the plate. He put up impressive power numbers in High School, though they didn’t show up his first year in college.

Update 5:18 pm: Jim Callis tweets that Frazier signed for slot.

The draft pick signing tracker has been updated with Frazier’s bonus.

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Nick Buckner’s Bonus Announced — Draft Bonus Pool Updates http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/nick-buckners-bonus-announced-draft-bonus-pool-updates.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/nick-buckners-bonus-announced-draft-bonus-pool-updates.html#comments Tue, 02 Jul 2013 17:19:21 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=59200 Jim Callis has the signing bonus for 14th round pick Nick Buckner, and the amount is surprising.

The Pirates signed Buckner and 16th round pick Billy Roth last week, both to over-slot deals. Both players were expected to be difficult to sign, although Roth only took $190,000 and Buckner is now at $135,000. Players after the 10th round can get $100,000 before they start to count against the bonus pool. For bonus pool purposes, the Pirates only spent $125,000 in pool money to get both of these over-slot players.

A look at the Draft Pick Signing Tracker shows that the Pirates now have $107,800 left for over-slot deals with no penalties. They currently have two top ten round picks to sign — 6th round pick Adam Frazier and 7th round pick Buddy Borden. The Pirates have a combined $528,800 to sign both players. Slot for Frazier is $240,600, while slot for Borden is $180,400.

Frazier just ended his season with Mississippi State, and the talks with him are expected to go smoothly.

Borden talked with the Pirates after the draft, but is holding out for an above-slot deal. If the Pirates don’t sign Borden, they lose his $180,400 from the bonus pool.

There are other potential over-slot players the Pirates could turn to with their remaining money. One of the more intriguing options, 24th round right-hander Carson Cross, doesn’t look to be signing this year, according to Jessica Quiroli.

Other options could be 11th round pick Erich Weiss, a third baseman who has been playing in the Cape Cod league this summer. Bryan Baker, a 40th round right-handed pitcher, is a good option, as are the other late round prep pitchers. At this point the Pirates could offer a little over $200,000 to a guy after the 10th round, and that’s assuming they don’t go over-slot for Borden. That $200,000 figure is about 6th-7th round money.

The Pirates could spend an additional $435,345 by going over their bonus pool. They would be taxed 75% of that amount, but wouldn’t lose any draft picks if they only spent to that amount. That could allow them to add a few more players, but even if they gave all of that to one player you’re looking at third round money. If they went that route, it would make more sense if the money was going to multiple players, similar to Buckner and Roth.

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Pirates Officially Sign Third Round Pick JaCoby Jones http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/pirates-agree-with-third-round-pick-jacoby-jones.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/pirates-agree-with-third-round-pick-jacoby-jones.html#comments Mon, 01 Jul 2013 20:15:04 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=58623 UPDATE MONDAY 4:17 PM: The Pirates have officially announced the signing. Jones will begin his career in Jamestown.

THURSDAY: According to Jim Callis of Baseball America, the Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to terms with third round pick JaCoby Jones.

Jones received $612,000, which is exactly the slot price. Callis notes that he’s the best athlete in the college crop of this year’s draft, with the chance to be a future center fielder. The Pirates drafted Jones as a center fielder, although most outlets consider him to be a better second baseman. After the draft, Pirates Director of Amateur Scouting Joe DelliCarri had the following to say on where Jones would end up.

“We’ll develop the player and the person in combination to find the best fit for him on the field, because he has played multiple positions at school,” DelliCarri said. We’ll play him in multiple positions here as well, but most importantly develop the person and continue to develop the athlete.”

In our day two reactions I had Jones as the sleeper pick from day two, with the following thoughts:

The Pirates haven’t had a lot of success in this area before, but Jones is a very toolsy outfielder with raw power, speed, and the ability to stick in center field. He reminds me somewhat of Evan Chambers and Mel Rojas, who both had a similar “athlete/raw power/speed/can play center” combo. Not that Jones is the same type of player as those guys, just that he shares the same qualities, with the big quality being that he’s raw. The Pirates have been successful with pitchers, but haven’t managed to have the same success with the raw hitters on the US side. They’ve done well with a few international guys who have been raw (Gregory Polanco as an example), but the track record isn’t strong. Still, Jones has the chance to be a pretty good sleeper if he fixes his swing and taps into his power.

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