After each day of the draft, the people who follow these players all year long give their opinions on the results. There will be more to come I’m sure, but the early results do not favor the Pirates. It isn’t that the opinions of the draft have been bad, it’s just that the Pirates aren’t coming up often when talking about the picks. That can be taken as bad, because most people are talking about draft winners. It can also be considered “not the worst”, because there haven’t been many negative opinions yet.
We start with the one person who didn’t particularly like the draft, and that’s Keith Law. He rated all of the NL clubs and it seems that his favorite pick for the Pirates from the first two days was fourth rounder Braeden Ogle. I think a lot of people felt that was a strong pick because he was rated fairly high by most people. In our tiered draft rankings, we had him as a solid second round pick. When you’re getting a player like that in the fourth round, you’re going to get some praise.
Law wasn’t keen on the rest of the draft though. He mentioned a lot of potential flaws with the Will Craig pick, yet he wrapped it up by saying he isn’t a bad first round pick, he just expected something different from the Pirates. We heard at times this year from people other than Law, that Craig was facing weak competition, he plays in a home run friendly ballpark, and he had a tough summer using wood bats. So there will be some questions until he proves otherwise.
Law apparently isn’t a big fan of Nick Lodolo, who was probably drafted about a round higher than most people thought. According to Law, none of his pitches are even average right now and he’s too big of a project to be taken that early.
I’ll get back to the second round pick (Travis MacGregor) at the end. Law likes the defense from shortstop Stephen Alemais, but ranks the third round pick as a 40 bat with 30 power. Those numbers aren’t usually attached to future Major League hitters. He likes the potential of fifth round pick Blake Cederlind and he calls Cam Vieaux (6th) a solid senior sign, with a very limited ceiling. Seventh round pick Brent Gibbs was called a solid defensive player, but he’s old for a JuCo player. Not many compliments in Law’s recap.
We get to Travis MacGregor now, who was the second round pick. Law summed him up by saying he couldn’t find anyone besides the Pirates who thought he was a day one possibility. Baseball America had him rated 186th, which is 118 spots after he was picked. Jim Callis called him one of the three biggest surprises from day one (not a compliment), and Nathan Rode from Prep Baseball Report said that he went higher than expected.
As mentioned, no one called the Pirates draft winners (or losers), but there really wasn’t much said about the players they took. Everyone did some type of roundup, usually by rounds, and Law was the only who really mentioned someone besides MacGregor. Prep Baseball Report mentioned 11th round pick Max Kranick among ten names from the 11th round who were interesting. There were no details though, just a list of some names.
This draft really wasn’t that exciting unless you really look into all the profiles and see how many pitchers they took who are either projectable, or who already hit 95 MPH. There is a lot of size among those players as well. Those players have a huge failure rate, but getting more of them only helps the odds of hitting on one or more. One thing is for sure, if you go to a game in Bristol or Morgantown this year, you’re going to see some hard-throwers come out of the bullpen each night.
We put a lot of discussion into our top 50 rankings, so take this with a huge grain of salt. Looking over this group, a quick study led me to believe that only five of these players might crack our top 50 for the prospect guide, and that’s if all of the top four prep arms sign. Things could obviously change once they are in the system and we get better reports. There could also be more room in the top 50 with players graduating and possibly going elsewhere at the trading deadline, so as I said “huge grain of salt”. Five possibilities just seems like a low number, and compared to other years it does fall short.
It will probably take a long time before we really know if this is a good or bad draft class with all of the projects they took. The fact that the Pirates had one of the lower bonus pools to work with, along with their draft position, could just mean that they did well with what they had to work with this year.
Bradenton is 6-4 in their last ten games. They are in first place in their division, three games ahead. The first half of the FSL season ends on June 22nd. Their magic number is five.
West Virginia has been eliminated from the first half pennant race. The second half begins on June 23rd.
PIRATES GAME GRAPH
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates lost 8-3 to the Cardinals on Sunday night. The Pirates now travel to New York, where they will play a three-game series after an off-day today. They haven’t announced a starter for Tuesday’s game yet. The Mets will go with Jacob deGrom in the opener. He has a 2.80 ERA in 61 innings, with 56 strikeouts and a 1.15 WHIP. The Pirates faced him on June 7th and he allowed three runs on six hits, no walks and nine strikeouts in six innings.
In the minors, it’s a light schedule today, as both Indianapolis and Altoona have off. Stephen Tarpley goes for Bradenton. He is coming off a start in which he threw four shutout innings on two hits and no walks. That outing was shortened due to rain. He has struggled with high pitch counts this year, going less than five innings in four of his six starts.
Tanner Anderson will make his first start as a pro today. He has a 2.19 ERA in 37 innings over 15 relief appearances. His longest outing this year has been five innings. He has also thrown four innings in a game, though it should be noted that he did both of those in under 40 pitches. His highest pitch count has been exactly 40 this season.
MLB: Pittsburgh (32-31) @ Mets (34-28) 7:10 PM 6/14
Probable starter: TBD
AAA: Indianapolis (33-30) vs Pawtucket (33-30) 7:05 PM 6/14 (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD
AA: Altoona (33-29) vs New Hampshire (28-34) 5:05 PM 6/14 (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Eppler (4.14 ERA, 14:46 BB/SO, 71.2 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (34-27) @ Clearwater (35-26) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Stephen Tarpley (5.00 ERA, 10:24 BB/SO, 27.0 IP)
Low-A: West Virginia (31-31) @ Lexington (23-39) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tanner Anderson (2.19 ERA, 11:25 BB/SO, 37.0 IP)
DSL: Pirates (1-5) vs Mets1 (4-2) 10:30 AM (season preview)
Here is a first inning home run from Austin Meadows to extend his hit streak to 20 games.
6/11: Pirates acquire Erik Kratz from Angels for cash considerations. Trey Haley designated for assignment.
6/11: Clay Holmes added to Altoona roster. David Whitehead placed on disabled list.
6/11: Pirates place Francisco Cervelli on disabled list.
6/11: Pirates option Kyle Lobstein and Cole Figueroa to Indianapolis. recall Rob Scahill and Arquimedes Caminero.
6/10: Mitch Keller added to West Virginia roster. Logan Sendelbach assigned to GCL Pirates.
6/10: Alex McRae promoted to Altoona.
6/9: Pirates option Jameson Taillon to Indianapolis. Kyle Lobstein recalled from Indianapolis.
6/9: Frank Duncan promoted to Indianapolis.
6/8: Pirates recall Jameson Taillon. Curtis Partch optioned to Indianapolis.
6/8: JT Brubaker promoted to Bradenton. Julio Vivas added to West Virginia roster.
6/6: Clay Holmes assigned to Extended Spring Training. David Whitehead added to Altoona roster.
6/4: Pirates released Nate Irving, Edgar Figueroa, Eric Thomas and Eliezer Ramirez.
6/4: Pirates option Rob Scahill and Wilfredo Boscan to Indianapolis. Recall Curtis Partch and Cory Luebke.
6/4: Ryan Vogelsong transferred from 15-day disabled list to 60-day DL.
6/4: Guido Knudson added to Indianapolis roster.
6/2: Gage Hinsz assigned to West Virginia. Mitch Keller assigned to Extended Spring Training.
6/2: Justin Masterson assigned to Indianapolis. Frank Duncan assigned to Altoona.
6/2: Arquimedes Caminero assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.
6/2: David Whitehead assigned to GCL Pirates.
6/1: Pirates release Michael Fransoso.
THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
Two former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus one trade of note. On this date in 2001, the Pirates traded infielder Enrique Wilson to the New York Yankees for relief pitcher Damaso Marte. Wilson spent 3 1/2 years with the Yankees, while Marte was dealt to the White Sox before the 2002 season. They would sign him again in 2005 and then trade him to the Yankees along with Xavier Nady in 2008.
The two former players born on this date played a total of eight games with the Pirates. Pitcher Darrell May made two starts and three relief appearances for the 1996 Pirates. He played seven years in the big leagues despite being taken in the 46th round of the 1992 draft.
Catcher John O’Connell played for the Pirates in 1928 and 1929, though he played three games total. His big league career consisted of one late inning replacement in 1928 and catching the last two games of the 1929 season.
The Pirates defeated the Royals by a 5-3 score on this date in 1997, the first interleague game in franchise history. You can view the boxscore here.