Morning Report: Checking the Progress of the 2013 Draft Class

The draft coverage on this site will start to increase soon, as we have less than seven weeks now until the draft begins. We posted a draft article yesterday, talking about a new mock draft. You can expect the frequency of mock drafts to increase soon. With that in mind, I want to give updates over the next 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. The 2013 draft is up next. The Pirates signed 28 players during the 2013 draft and spent almost $9,000,000 in bonuses on those players. Here is a brief update on all of those player listed in the order in which they were drafted.

Austin Meadows – Second best prospect in the system, reports to Altoona today

Reese McGuire – Catcher for Altoona, Gold Glove defender, bat showing signs of improvement

Blake Taylor – Traded to the Mets, had Tommy John surgery

JaCoby Jones – Traded to Tigers, suspended for violating the MiLB drug policy

Cody Dickson – Starting pitcher for Altoona. Has dealt with command issues since signing. Above average stuff otherwise

Trae Arbet – Extended Spring Training, has suffered from a poor BB/SO ratio, and his speed/defense are below average

Adam Frazier – Utility role for Indianapolis, will likely fill that same role for Pirates sometime soon (no sooner than September this season)

Buddy Borden – Traded to Rays, throwing long relief in AA

Neil Kozikowski – Extended Spring Training. Has not developed much since signing

Chad Kuhl – Starting pitcher in AAA, showing strong potential to be a quality MLB starter

Shane Carle – Traded to Rockies, starter in AAA

Erich Weiss – Second baseman for Altoona. Not a lot of tools, but looks like he has a chance to be a solid bench player in the majors

Beau Wallace – Barely made it eight months before being released

Danny Collins – Released after 2014 season

Nick Buckner – Extended Spring Training. Has strikeout issues, but nice power potential and a strong outfield arm

Max Rossiter – Retired after one game

Billy Roth – Extended Spring Training. Has potential due to fastball that hits mid-90’s consistently

Justin Topa – Extended Spring Training. Recovering from Tommy John surgery

Jeff Roy – Backup outfielder for Bradenton

Brett McKinney – Reliever for Altoona. Has inconsistent fastball that ranges from 90-97 MPH, and flattens out.

Adam Landecker – Released after 2014 season

Henry Hirsch – Pitching long relief out of the Bradenton bullpen for a second straight season with good results

Cam Griffin – Released prior to 2014 season

Justin Maffei – Backup outfielder for Altoona

Michael Fransoso – Extended Spring Training. Could fill in at multiple positions and at any level from Bradenton to Indianapolis if injuries occur

Jerry Muderig – Released last year

Will Kendall – Released during 2014 season

Andrew Dennis – Released last year after multiple injuries limited him to 21 games

I’ve included the link to our 2013 draft tracker to answer any questions about rounds, positions, etc.


Source: FanGraphs


Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates lost 7-1 to the Diamondbacks on Saturday night. They now send Francisco Liriano to the mound for his fourth start. After going six shutout innings on Opening Day, Liriano has allowed three runs over five innings, followed by four runs over 4.1 innings, in his last two starts. Arizona will counter with Robbie Ray, who has a 1.96 ERA in 18.1 innings over three starts. He has 17 strikeouts and a 1.31 WHIP. He threw six shutout innings in his last start, which was in San Francisco.

In the minors, Clay Holmes will be the main attraction. After allowing six runs over four innings in his debut, Holmes has given up just three runs over 11 innings in his last two starts. In West Virginia, Bret Helton threw shutout ball twice, before getting hit hard in his last start, which lasted just 1.2 innings. For Bradenton, Colten Brewer has shown signs of potential, with a nice strikeout total and ERA, but he is still having some bouts of wildness. For Indianapolis, Jared Hughes will throw two innings tonight in his third rehab appearance.

MLB: Pittsburgh (9-9) @ Diamondbacks (10-9) 4:10 PM
Probable starter: Francisco Liriano (4.11 ERA, 14:17 BB/SO, 15.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (8-6) @ Durham (9-8) 5:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Wilfredo Boscan (2.77 ERA, 1:9 BB/SO, 13.0 IP)

AA: Altoona (7-9) vs Richmond (6-11) 1:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Clay Holmes (5.40 ERA, 8:9 BB/SO, 15.0 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (8-9) @ St Lucie (10-7) 1:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Colten Brewer (2.40 ERA, 7:14 BB/SO, 15.0 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (14-3) @ Lexington (7-10) 2:05 PM  (season preview)
Probable starter: Bret Helton (4.63 ERA, 4:10 BB/SO, 11.2 IP)


Here are two videos from Friday. Josh Bell hit for the cycle in this game, and you can see the home run here.

Here is the ninth inning triple for the cycle. As soon as he hit that ball, you can tell he was going to third base no matter what.


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.


Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, and all four lasted just one season with the team. The four players were spread out pretty well throughout Pirates history. First baseman Jim Field played for the team in 1885. Pete Falsey played for the Pirates in 1914, right out of Yale. Dixie Howell caught for the Pirates in 1947 and Bob Beall was a September call-up for the 1980 Pirates.

The 1889 Alleghenys opened their season on April 24th with an 8-5 win over the Chicago White Stockings in front of 4,000 fans. Hall of Fame pitcher Pud Galvin picked up the win. The Alleghenys began the year with eight games at home, then went on a crazy road trip. From May 3rd until June 17th, Pittsburgh played one home game and 32 road games. The strange part is that by the end of the year, the Alleghenys played four more home games that season(70-to-66). Part of the reason for that long road trip? The Johnstown flood made it impossible for them to get home by train.

The Pirates opened up the 1919 season in Chicago against the Cubs after a long layoff between games. The 1918 season was ended early due to the war, wrapping up on September 2nd. Wilbur Cooper was on the mound on a very cold Chicago Opening Day and he took a 5-1 loss, with all the runs against him coming in the second inning. The Pirates lineup on that day, which had three future Hall of Famers in a row in the 2-4 spots, was as follows:

Howdy Caton,ss
Max Carey,cf
Casey Stengel,rf
Billy Southworth,lf
George Cutshaw,2b
Tony Boeckel,3b
Fritz Mollwitz,1b
Walter Schmidt,c
Wilbur Cooper,p

  • much better than 2012 (although I suppose that’s obvious considering we had no #1)

  • If the picture for this article looks odd, it’s because the dugout in the Arizona Fall League is all white, and that’s what the bottom of the picture is, not some odd crop. Threw me off last night when I put the picture in and wondered why it wasn’t loading all the way

  • A question about signing bonus money…

    I assume there is some clause in the contract about a player signing in good faith?

    After seeing Rossiter mentioned and (can’t remember the name) the 2015 pick who retired soon after signing…are players required to return bonuses if they opt not to play? For the aforementioned I suppose it wasn’t a substantial amount, but, hypothetically, if a first or second rounder signed and retired…is there anything a team could do about it financially?

    • Players don’t get their bonus right away, and depending on the size of the bonus, they may not get all of it until three years is up, so those players are basically required to put in three seasons if they want everything. I won’t go into why Rossiter retired, but he didn’t get his bonus. Neither did Brian Sharp, who retired after about a month in 2012. Signing does require some sort of commitment, and depending on the bonus amount, the commitment grows as the bonus does.

  • Seems if Taillon keeps going, he is an easy call to join the rotation.
    Glasnow has work to be done, but seems like small steps and he will join the rotation.
    What do you do with Bell? Seems close to ready, but no way should he be in the bench. Hard to imagine Jaso not starting v just about every RHP. Do not want Bell in the RH platoon role.

    • Jeffrey Bruner
      April 24, 2016 10:52 am

      There are worse things than having your future everyday starter get acclimated to the bigs as a part-time player for a half-season. Im not opposed to doing that if Jaso is still playing lights out in July.

      • Yeah I’m really curious about this decision. I can see the benefit on both sides. Definitely a good “problem” to have though.

        • No way Jaso sits for Bell this year as long as he keeps hitting as he has been. If he goes into a prolonged slump then maybe we see Bell.

          If you sit Jaso who is your leadoff hitter?

  • Potential for four MLB contributors, not bad!

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  • Borden is no longer viewed as a starter?

    • They switched him right away to long relief. He wasn’t happy about the move, but he ended up making the FSL All-Star team and moved up a level, so I guess it worked out fine

  • peanutbutterguts
    April 24, 2016 8:28 am

    Anyone else not be able to play the Bell grand slam vid?