The draft coverage on this site will start to increase soon with the first day of the draft now 45 days away. There will be an article later today (possibly up by the time you read this) covering a couple new names moving up the draft charts. We have given updates over the last few days on the recent drafts and how the players are doing. We started with the most recent draft on Friday, then moved on to the 2014 draft, followed by the 2013 draft yesterday. Today is the 2012 draft, followed by the final one in this series tomorrow, the 2011 draft. The Pirates signed 21 players during the 2012 draft and spent almost $3,500,000 in bonuses on those players. Here is a brief update on all of those player listed in the order in which they were drafted.
Barrett Barnes – Struggling early at the plate in Altoona. Injuries have cost him a lot of time over the years.
Wyatt Mathisen – In Extended Spring Training due to shoulder soreness. Should go to Altoona when healthy. Still just 22 this entire season.
Jon Sandfort – Released last year
Adrian Sampson – Traded to Mariners, mixed results pitching in some tough Pacific Coast League parks
Eric Wood – Third baseman for Altoona, has an outside chance at making the majors
Jacob Stallings – Catcher for Indianapolis, has possible MLB future as a backup
Kevin Ross – Released
D.J. Crumlich – Retired prior to last season
Pat Ludwig – Retired last season
Chris Diaz – Infielder for Altoona, solid defensive player, doesn’t hit enough
Dalton Friend – Released
Thomas Harlan – Retired this off-season
Max Moroff – Prospect for Indianapolis, possible future starting infielder in majors
Hayden Hurst – Retired, plays college football
John Kuchno – Reliever for Indianapolis, ground ball specialist
Kyle Haynes – Traded to Yankees, AAA starter with mixed results
Jordan Steranka – Released
Lance Breedlove – Released
Tyler Gaffney – Played one year then switched to football, technically still property of the Pirates on restricted list
Josh Smith – Altoona reliever, has allowed one earned run since July 20, 2015
Jimmy Rider – Traded to Red Sox, now out of baseball
I’ve included the link to our 2012 draft tracker to answer any questions about rounds, positions, etc. This draft obviously looks weak, but it is helped out by the fact that the Pirates were able to get an extra pick in 2013 due to not signing Mark Appel. That pick of course led to Austin Meadows, who is the better prospect. One other note and that is the Pirates losing out on Brandon Thomas, their fourth round pick. He didn’t sign and decided to return as a senior. He ended up getting mono his senior year and dropped to the eighth round in 2013, where he signed for $75,000, which was over $250,000 less than fourth round slot value. Thomas is already out of baseball. This was the first draft under the current draft rules and bonus restrictions.
PIRATES GAME GRAPH
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates won 12-10 in 13 innings over the Diamondbacks on Sunday. They now travel to Colorado, where Jeff Locke gets the start today, his fourth of the season. After allowing one run over six innings in his debut, Locke has allowed ten runs and 11 walks in 7.2 innings over his last two starts. Chad Bettis will start for the Rockies in place of Jorge De La Rosa, who was pushed back until Wednesday. Bettis has pitched four times this year, posting a 3.33 ERA over 24.1 innings, with 19 strikeouts and a 1.03 WHIP.
In the minors, only two games on the schedule tonight, as both Bradenton and West Virginia have the day off. There are still two good games though, with Chad Kuhl starting for Indianapolis, and Tyler Eppler going for Altoona. The Altoona game will also feature the debut of Austin Meadows, who is scheduled to hit lead-off tonight. Kuhl is coming off five shutout innings last time out. He was also solid in his debut, allowing two runs over 4.2 innings, while working on a limited pitch count. Eppler has gone six innings in each of his three starts, allowing three runs in his last game.
MLB: Pittsburgh (10-9) @ Rockies (9-9) 8:40 PM
Probable starter: Jeff Locke (7.24 ERA, 13:7 BB/SO, 13.2 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (8-7) @ Durham (10-8) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Chad Kuhl (1.86 ERA, 2:8 BB/SO, 9.2 IP)
AA: Altoona (8-9) vs Erie (8-9) 6:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Eppler (3.00 ERA, 3:14 BB/SO, 18.0 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (8-10) vs Palm Beach (10-8) 6:30 PM 4/26 (season preview)
Probable starter: Yeudy Garcia (4.85 ERA, 9:16 BB/SO, 13.0 IP)
Low-A: West Virginia (14-4) vs Rome (5-13) 7:05 PM 4/26 (season preview)
Probable starter: Dario Agrazal (2.81 ERA, 2:8 BB/SO, 16.0 IP)
Here is a good one to go along with the 2012 draft review. Barrett Barnes may not be hitting this year, but he made a nice play here.
4/22: Pirates recall Jason Rogers. Cole Figueroa optioned to Indianapolis.
4/21: Pirates release Michael Morse.
4/21: Jhondaniel Medina assigned to Altoona.
4/21: Cory Luebke assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.
4/20: Jared Hughes assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.
4/19: Julio Vivas added to West Virginia roster. Logan Ratledge assigned to Morgantown.
4/18: Jung-ho Kang assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.
4/16: Trevor Williams placed on disabled list. Jhondaniel Medina promoted to Indianapolis.
4/15: John Kuchno promoted to Indianapolis. Frank Duncan added to Altoona roster.
4/14: Cory Luebke placed on disabled list. Pirates recall Rob Scahill.
4/14: Pirates sign Justin Masterson.
4/14: Chad Kuhl assigned to Indianapolis.
4/13: Michael Morse designated for assignment. Pirates select contract of A.J. Schugel.
4/13: Pedro Florimon sent outright to Indianapolis.
4/13: West Virginia places Cesilio Pimentel on disabled list. Eric Karch added to roster.
4/11: Pirates release John Holdzkom.
THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including a pitcher for a World Series winning team. Bob Johnson pitched for the Pirates from 1971 until 1973, going 9-10, 3.45 in 174.2 innings during the 1971 season. In the NLCS that year, Johnson started game three and defeated Juan Marichal. He lost game two of the World Series, but the Pirates still defeated the Orioles in seven games, winning their fourth World Series title. Johnson started his career with the 1969 Mets, who won their first World Series title that year.
Other former Pirates players born on this date include: Pitcher Brad Clontz (1999-2000), infielder Jimmy Brown (1946), third baseman Fred Hartman (1894) and catcher Tom Quinn (1886). Hartman was a local player, who played in the minors all over Pennsylvania. He finally got a chance after five minor league seasons to play for his local Major League team, when the Pirates signed him to be their backup infielder. He ended up hitting .319 over 49 games, during his only season with the Pirates.
Two notes about Hartman and the 1894 season. A .319 average sounds pretty good, but 1894 is the best year for offense in baseball history. The mound distance was moved back and the pitchers were required to throw from a pitching rubber for the first time, which led to a lot of pitchers having trouble adjusting right away. Offense was back to acceptable levels by 1896, but the Pirates as a team had a .312 average in 1894, and they were only the fifth best hitting team. The other note is that the team was commonly referred to as the Braves in 1894 and “Pirates” was only a nickname used by some executives and newspaper people in other cities. Team names weren’t official back then, so they could change fairly easily. The Pirates name didn’t catch on until 1895. You can read more on the team name change here.