Pirates Graded With the Best 2013 Draft by Baseball America

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.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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If it already wasn’t, then now the pressure is really on Pirates development staff for bringing out the best in these guys. With that being said, I have faith this class will bring fruit in the form of contending teams in the last half of this decade.

Many analysts and fans suggest the Pirates should model their franchise on the Rays or the A’s. Both well run organizations for sure, however I would rather they model the Cardinals. Draft well, coach ’em up, fill in with high impact FA’s on occasion, compete and win championships.

Do it the Cardinal way and watch the fans fill up the stadium more often than not.


While I’d love to model things after the Cardinals, don’t forget that they have a LOT more revenue than the Pirates and always will. The Bucs can’t afford the kind of payroll as the Cards, who always rank between 9 and 12 of the 30 MLB teams in salaries.


Although it is very early in the process, I believe that the Pirates 2013 draft may end up as the best of the six thus far under the current regime. Looking forward to seeing how it plays out over the next 2-3 years, and I’m happy to have Austin Meadows instead of Mark Appel


The Pirates did have a great draft and Meadows and McGuire were at the head of the class before and after the draft. We also did very well adding 2 LHSP in #2 pick Blake Taylor and #4 Cody Dickson who posted 2 – 0, 2.37 ERA in 14 Starts. Pitched 57 innings, 42 H, 59K/24W – he will most likely be at Lo A West Virginia next year and hopefully getting those Walks down.

Chad Kuhl was a nice late pick, but here is a kid I liked better than him and he also was at Jamestown –

*Henry Hirsh, RHSP, #2 2 , 2-0, 1.50 ERA, 24 IP, 13 H, 26K/5W

Some other mid round guys who also pitched well at Jamestown –

*Buddy Borden, RHSP, #7 , 0-0, 1.08 ERA, 17 IP, 10 H, 23K/5W
*Shane Carle, RHSP, #9 , 1-0 2.05 ERA, 53 IP, 49 H, 43K/7W


Neil Kozikowski is a guy that I’m really excited to see when he is in West Virginia either next season or the following.


Ya. I was thinking he could be the type of guy that ends up pitching the full season in Bristol and leave the Jamestown roster more for college draftees.

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