Morning Report: Draft Notes and Important Links

Yesterday, we posted our tiered ranking article, which has been one of the most popular articles each of the last two years, and that’s not just draft-related articles. Based on the last four rankings from four different sources, we rank each player based on their average ranking, then I rearrange it a little based on everything I’ve heard throughout the draft coverage. From there you can see the players that best fit each of the first three picks for the Pirates, plus see which players are rated highest when subsequent picks come up(or until all the players have been taken).

Two days ago, we took a look at the top tools for prep pitchers in this draft class. The reason we focused on that group is that most people believe that the Pirates will go with a prep pitcher for their first pick and possibly their second pick as well. Mike Nikorak is the name we hear most often for the Pirates’ first pick at 19th overall, so he has been the focus during most of our recent coverage. There is a decent chance he will be left when the Pirates pick and he fits their mold, as a projectable, 6’5″ righty.

Baseball America posted their top 500 prospects for the draft. It’s a great article, not just for the rankings, but it gives you 500 names that should be among a large percentage of the names called on the first two days. Most of the Pirates’ picks in the first ten rounds will be on this list, possibly all of them. Some of day three’s picks for the Pirates could also be on here. We have seen numerous players from the top 500 list over the years, taken late in the draft as possible over-slot signings, there if the Pirates have money left in their draft bonus pool to try to work out a deal.

Today will be full of last minute mock drafts, as experts start to hear rumors of who each team could pick. As soon as one mock draft is posted, we will start an article and then update it as others come out, so it will be worth checking out throughout the day. If you want to see the latest mock drafts before that, here is a link for the last from Jim Callis, which also has a link to take you to a recap of the drafts from Baseball America and Keith Law.

Just a reminder, the Pirates have the 11th highest draft bonus pool and each of the slot values can be found here. Those links are important once the picks start signing, so you can see how much the Pirates have left to sign other players.

Pirates Game Graph

Source: FanGraphs

Today’s Schedule

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates defeated the Braves by a 3-0 score on Sunday afternoon. They now go home to face the Milwaukee Brewers with A.J. Burnett on the mound. He has been in a slump recently after a terrific start. In his last two games, he has given up four earned runs on eight hits and two walks in both outings, throwing a total of 10.2 innings. The Brewers will go with Jimmy Nelson, who has a 4.41 ERA in 67.1 innings.

In the minors, Clayton Richard will make his sixth start for Indianapolis. He has thrown 14.2 innings over his last two games without allowing an earned run. In his previous two starts, Richard gave up seven earned runs over 10.2 innings. Cody Dickson is coming off a very poor start in which he gave up seven earned runs over four innings. He had a 3.20 ERA in April and 3.47 in May. West Virginia has off tonight. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.

MLB: Pittsburgh (31-25) vs Brewers (20-37) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: A.J. Burnett (2.20 ERA, 22:64 BB/SO, 69.2 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (35-23) @ Rochester (31-24) 7:05 PM  (season preview)
Probable starter: Clayton Richard (2.08 ERA, 8:15 BB/SO, 30.1 IP)

AA: Altoona (33-21) @ Erie (19-34) 7:05 PM  (season preview)
Probable starter: Matt Benedict (5.63 ERA, 3:9 BB/SO, 16.0 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (26-30) @ Clearwater (27-29) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Cody Dickson (4.25 ERA, 19:32 BB/SO, 53.0 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (34-23) vs Savannah (30-27) 7:05 PM 6/9 (season preview)
Probable starter: Yeudy Garcia (1.91 ERA, 13:46 BB/SO, 47.0 IP)

DSL: Pirates (2-5) vs Rangers2 (4-3) 10:30 AM  (season preview)


Two videos from West Virginia in less than a week? Yup, this one is Taylor Gushue throwing out a runner on Saturday. The runner was Joseph Daris, who is 10-for-13 in stolen bases this year.

Recent Transactions

6/7: Pirates release Tyler Sample.

6/5: Justin Sellers assigned to Bradenton on rehab.

6/5: Charlie Leesman placed on Indianapolis disabled list.

6/5: Francisco Diaz activated from WV Power disabled list.

6/5: Kawika Emsley-Pai promoted to Bradenton roster. Jin-De Jhang assigned to Extended Spring Training.

6/3: Pirates outright Radhames Liz to Indianapolis.

5/29: Andy Vasquez added to Altoona roster.

5/29: Keon Broxton promoted to Indianapolis. Adam Miller placed on disabled list.

5/29: Jeff Roy activated from West Virginia disabled list. Andy Otamendi assigned to Extended Spring Training.

5/28: Jose Osuna promoted to Altoona. Jordan Steranka added to Bradenton.

5/28: Andy Otamendi added to WV Power roster. Trace Tam Sing assigned to WV Black Bears.

5/27: Kelson Brown added to Indianapolis roster.

5/26: Harold Ramirez added to Bradenton roster. Jordan Steranka and Andy Otamendi assigned to Extended Spring Training.

5/26: Josh Wall placed on disabled list. Collin Balester added to Indianapolis roster.

5/26: Dovydas Neverauskas placed on disabled list. Julio Vivas sent from Bradenton to West Virginia.

5/26: Deibinson Romero sold to Doosan Bears of the Korean Baseball Organization.

5/25: Charlie Morton activated from disabled list. Radhames Liz designated for assignment.

5/25: Stephen Tarpley added to WV Power roster.

5/25: Jerrick Suiter activated from WV Power disabled list. Miguel Rosario and Montana DuRapau promoted to Bradenton


This Date in Pirates History

Three former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus a trade of note and a game from 1989 that went bad for the Pirates and one of their announcers. First the players, and there is one that spent ten seasons in Pittsburgh. Pitcher George Brunet(1970 Pirates) and pitcher Scott Ruskin(1990), share a birthday with pitcher Don Robinson, who played for the Pirates from 1978 until 1987. Robinson wasn’t just a good pitcher, he was also one of the better hitting pitchers. He won three Silver Slugger awards during his career. Robinson won 65 games for the Pirates, and in 1979, the team went 18-7 in his starts. He was traded to the Giants in 1987 for Mackey Sasser and cash.

On this date in 1928, the Pirates traded catcher Johnny Gooch and first baseman Joe Harris to Brooklyn for catcher Charlie Hargreaves. Gooch played eight years in Pittsburgh and was the catcher for two World Series teams in 1925 and 1927. Harris was a .317 career hitter at the time and hitting .391 in limited action in 1928, but the Pirates must have seen the writing on the wall, as he hit .236 the rest of the season and never played in the big leagues again. The Pirates ended up getting the better part of the deal, but not by much. Hargreaves was a starter in 1928 and 1929, but became a seldom-used bench player in 1930, his last season in the Majors.

On this date in 1989, the Pirates took a ten run lead in the top of the first inning and announcer Jim Rooker promised to walk home from Philadelphia if the Pirates blew the lead. He may have wanted to wait a little bit because the Phillies had their offense going and they were only down by four before the fourth inning ended. They went on to defeat the Pirates by a 15-11 score and Rooker did the walk from Philly to Pittsburgh for charity in the off-season, which was the only good thing that came from the game for the Pirates. The boxscore can be found here.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Chuck C

Don’t like the hussle being shown. Giving yourself up on a swing strike three in the dirt. Make the catcher throw you out. McCutchen, man on third two outs and he doesn’t run out a high bouncing ball that the second baseman had to back up on,and grab barehanded. I love Andrew and think is an amazing person. His hussle would have given the Pirates a four run lead. It was not an obvious out. just sayin.


Not making excuses because I missed the play you’re referring to but I heard he tweaked his knee and is out of the lineup tonight. On the plus side I heard Taillon went 4 shutout innings this morning!


We need to take it to Jimmy Nelson…didn’t he shut us out earlier this season?


Yeah, I think that’s their only loss to them this year.


Lost in the draft hype and the great play recently is just how much I enjoy the Brewers struggles.


Yeah, I hate the Brewers. They are so cocky and haven’t done jack.


“6/7: Pirates release Tyler Sample.”

Thank you!!!

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