Pirates Missing The Point On Draft Day

Once upon a time, a book entitled Moneyball hit the shelves, and with it came a storm of debate over the relative merits of college vs. high school prospects. Michael Lewis’ bestseller, though a tad sensationalistic in tone, uncovered a market inefficiency that the A’s were expoliting- the drafting of college players over high school players produced a higher return on investment. A study by Rany Jazayerli of Baseball...

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Indians Blanked by Blackburn and Wings

boxscore (photos by NancyZ )
John Van Benschoten  -- photo by NancyZ
The Indianapolis Indians had hoped to be able to sweep this four-game series with the Rochester Red Wings, but they ran into a wall last night — a wall named Nick Blackburn. Blackburn went the distance for the Red Wings with a four-hit shutout for his second win of the season. He struck out 4 Indians and did not walk any.
“Tonight was a disappointing result, but I’ll be pleased any time we go 9-3 on a 12-game homestand”, said Indians manager Trent Jewett after the game. “We are asking a lot of our position players right now. It’s pretty much been the same guys out there night in and night out. We’re getting a consistent effort from everyone on the roster, and that’s what you’re looking for when you sit in my chair.”
Indians’ starter John Van Benschoten, the team’s Player of the Month for May, got into trouble of his own making in the top of the first inning. He walked Red Wings’ SS Alexi Castilla to start the game, and then threw an errant pickoff attempt, sending Castilla to third base. CF Denard Span grounded out to second base, and Castilla scored.
That was the only run the Red Wings needed, though they added two insurance runs in the 4th inning. With one out, LF Garrett Jones walked, and was thrown out attempting to steal second base. 1B Glenn Williams also walked, and back to back singles by 2B Matt Tolbert and 3B Tommy Watkins loaded the bases. Another single by RF Trent Oeltjen brought in both Williams and Tolbert. The inning ended when C Korey Feiner ground into a force out.
Van Benschoten gave up only 4 hits in his 4 innings pitched, for 3 runs (only 2 were earned ). He walked 3 and struck out 4 batters. Reliever Brian Rogers pitched three scoreless innings, giving up only one hit to the first batter he faced, Alexi Castilla. Michael Tejera pitched a perfect 8th inning for the Tribe, and Dan Kolb pitched the 9th inning. Kolb hit one batter (Tolbert ) but retired the other three batters he faced. Van Benschoten took the loss, pushing his record to 6-4, and his ERA to 2.73.

Yurendell de Caster  -- photo by NancyZ
Meanwhile, the Indians could not get much started against Blackburn. 1B Yurendell de Caster (photo ) had two hits, including a ground-rule double to the right field wall in the 9th inning. LF Nick Green and 2B Luis Ordaz also had singles. None of the hits, nor the one batter (Ordaz ) who reached on an error by Wings’ 2B Tolbert, came in the same inning. No Indians batter got further than second base.
Manager Trent Jewett on Blackburn’s performance: “It was certainly a terriffic outing for Blackburn. He threw a heavy fastball, got ahead of most hitters, and didn’t walk anyone. He read our bats very well, and he did a nice job holding the few runners we got on base.”
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Yurendell de Caster’s double in the 9th inning, the only extra-base hit for the Tribe.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the top of the 3rd inning, Einar Diaz made a stunning play on a bunt by Denard Span. The bunt landed just a bit in front and to the third base side of home plate. Instead of waiting to see if it would go foul, Diaz pounced on it, whirled, and fired to first base, in time to get the fast-running Span out at first.
Roster move– OF Chris Aguila has been placed on the Disabled List, retroactive to Tuesday. This clears a roster spot, and Carlos Maldonado, who has been on the DL with a broken bone in his left hand, is expected to be able to return within the next few days. Maldonado broke the bone on May 5th, when he was hit on the hand by a pitch. He has been taking batting practice and catching bullpen sessions, and is very close to being ready to play again.
Go Tribe!

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Amateur Draft Analysis – Rounds 2-5

2. Duke Welker, RHP, Arkansas - Welker is a 6-7, 220 pound righthander with more projection left than the average college pitcher. Welker sits in the low 90′s with his fastball, which has some late life to it. Welker’s secondary pitches are not considered especially strong. His best is a slider that remains somewhat inconsistent. The Arkansas product also mixes in a curveball and a changeup. Welker posted a 3.59 ERA in...

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Game #62 at New York

Yankee Stadium | 1:05 | Maholm vs. Roger Clemens | Box I’ve seen awful baseball games before. I played from the time I was five up through high school. Booted balls aren’t a new concept to me. Even professionals make errors, and I understand that. Today, though, was a different story. This one doesn’t even deserve a recap. What the Pirates did on that field was a disgrace. If Jack Wilson isn’t going to hit or...

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First Year Player Draft

A brief run down of some of the players chosen by the Pirates in the draft. These are the players we hope to be watching in a few years.
Round 1 — pick # 9
Daniel Moskos
21 yr old LHP 6’1″ 200 lb
Junior at Clemson University
He is reported to have a very good fastball (up to 94 – 96 mph ), and a slider and change-up. He has been primarily a reliever in college, though he has also started, and the Pirates feel he will work out best as a reliever — though of course, anything can happen. Moskos played for the US National Team last summer, and helped the team win a gold medal with a 0.86 ERA and 6 saves. He also pitched in the Cape Cod League last summer.
Comp round — Pirates did not have a pick
Round 2 — pick #68
Matthew “Duke” Welker
21 yr old RHP 6′ 7″ 220 lb
Junior at University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
He is a “steady” starter, with good movement and command on his fastball. The fastball is usually 90 – 93 mph. He also has an OK slider and curve. His record this season was 7-5 with a 3.59 ERA. Welker was drafted out of high school (Washington State ) in 2004 by the Seattle Mariners, but elected to go to college.
Round 3 — pick #98
Brian Friday
21 yr old Shortstop 5′ 11″ 180 lbs
Junior at Rice University
Bats and throws right handed. He is a line drive hitter, not really a power hitter, though he does get some home runs. Good base running skills, and particularly good speed. He has an “exceptional” range at shortstop and good arm strength, though needs to work on accuracy of his throws. Friday is said to be a team leader on the field. He was First Team All-American in 2006.
Round 4 — pick #128
Frederick Quincy Latimore
18 yr old Center fielder 5′ 10″ 175 lbs
Senior at Middle Creek High School (near Raleigh, NC)
The Pirates first high school pick this year. Said to have above average speed (field and bases ) and above average power for hitting.
Round 5 — pick #158
Andrew Walker
21 yr old Catcher 6′ 0″ 197 lbs
Junior at Texas Christian University
Not a fast runner, but very agile behind the plate, with good arm strength. He also has a good swing and hit .328 with 12 HR and 58 RBI this year. He also played in the Cape Cod League last summer.
Round 6 — pick # 188
Matthew Foust
22yrs old RHP 6’3” 225 lbs
Junior at University of Nebraska
Round 7 — pick # 218
Juan Garcia
18 yrs old Catcher 5’10″ 185 lbs
Senior in high school: Puerto Rico Baseball Academy High School
Round 8 — pick # 248
Maurice Bankston
20 yrs old RHP 6’4″ 205 lbs
J2 — Texarcana Community College
Round 9 — pick # 278
Anthony Watson
22 yrs old LHP 6’4″ 210 lbs
Senior at University of Nebraska at Lincoln
A starting pitcher with an ok fastball and curve. His best pitch is his change-up, and his command is above average. He has a good mound presence and keeps hitters guessing. Watson was drafted by the Orioles in the 17th round two years ago, but elected to stay in college.

[after this, there is not a lot of info on the draftees]
10. Sean Giblin –RHP, Sr at Pearl River High School, New York
11. Burundi Davis — CF, Sr at Georgetown High School, Texas
12. Erik Huber — RF, Sr at Eastern Illinois University
13. Andrew Biela — C, Sr at Palatine High School, Illinois
14. Kyle McPherson — RHP, Jr at University of Mobile, Alabama
15. Reynaldo Cotilla — RHP, Sr at Miami Springs Senior High School, Florida
16. Zac Oliver — LHP, J2 at Paris Junior College, Texas
17. Harrison Bishop — RHP, Sr at University of Washington
18. Marcus Davis — CF, Sr at Alcorn State University , Mississippi
19. Robert Spain — 3B, Jr at Oklahoma City University
20. Brian Tracy — RHP, 5-Sr at Univ Calif Santa Barbara
21.Matthew Cavagnaro — 2B, Sr at Penn State University
22.Nicholas Navarro — C, Sr at Charles Flanagan High School, Florida
23.Luis Penate — SS, Sr at Charles Flanagan HS (yes, the same place)
24.Chad Rice — SS, Sr at Virginia Military Institute
25.Keanon Simon — CF, Sr at Oklahoma State University
26.Steven Neff — LHP, Sr at Lancaster High School, SC
27.Robert Revesz –LHP, Sr at Grove City High School, PA
28.Matthew Clark — 3B, J2 at Riverside Comm College, CA
29.Brian Harrison — SS, Sr at Hilton Head High School, SC
30.Josh Hula — C, So at Miami University, Ohio
31.Taylor Cameron — RHP, Sr at Point Loma Nazarene Univ, CA
32.Daniel Forrer — LHP, Sr at Auburn University Montgomery, AL
33.Caleb Fields — 2B, Sr at Northwestern University, IL
34.Cedric Pomerlee –LHP, Sr at Gentry High School, MS
35.Thomas Boleska — RHP, Jr at High Point University
36.Andrew Crisp — SS, Jr at Univ of South Carolina Columbia
37.Jared Springer — RHP, Sr at Montgomery High School, TX
38.Patrick McAnany –LHP, Jr at University of Virginia
39.Gerald Menna — RHP, Sr at Red Bank Catholic High School, NJ
40.Chad Poe — RHP, J-1at Bossier Parish Junior College, LA
41.Demetrius Washington — 2B, Sr at Silver Bluff High School, SC
42.Daniel Bomback — 2B, Jr at Florida Atlantic University, FL
43.Cameron Rupp — C, Sr at Prestonwood Christian Academy, TX
44.Dustin Emmas –RHP, Sr at Crescenta Valley High School, CA
45.Pernell Halliman — RHP, J-2 at West Hills College, CA
46.Reyes Dorado — RHP, J-3 at Riverside Community College, CA
47.Robert Broach –RHP, Sr at Archbishop Rummel High School, LA
48.Gary Amato — RHP, Jr at Penn State University
49.Erik Morrison — SS, Jr at University of Kansas
50.Brandon Glover — CF, Jr at San Diego State University

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Game #61 at New York

Yankee Stadium | 7:05 | Gorzelanny vs. Andy Pettitte | Box I suppose there were a few big plays in this game that I could focus on—Xavier Nady’s second inning homer, Chris Duffy’s inside-the-parker, Derek Jeter’s walk-off dribbler—but I’ll zero in on the events of the seventh inning. The Pirates were up, 4-2, before Tom Gorzelanny started to get into trouble: Yankees seventh: Cairo doubled to left....

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