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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Morning Report: Draft Picks After the First Round Can End Up Adding a Lot of Value

In yesterday’s Morning Report, we took a look at the results from the 18th overall pick in the draft over the years. That’s the first pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates this year. The Pirates also have four other picks among the top 100 selections this June. I won’t go really in depth like I did yesterday, but I thought we could look at the overall results from those other four spots over the years. As I said yesterday, these aren’t guarantees or predictions, just a look at what these picks have produced over the years. The hope is that your team always takes the best player available at each spot, giving you a chance for bigger success in the draft. That being said, the strength of the class will matter, as the 37th best player one year could be much better/worse than the previous year.

We start with that 37th overall pick, which is the compensation pick for not signing Gunnar Hoglund last year with the 36th pick. The 18th overall pick has produced 160.9 WAR over the years, with Willie Wilson and RA Dickey being the best overall picks. In the 37th overall spot, the best player selected over the years has been Frank Viola, who won 176 games and a Cy Young award over a 15-year career. The second best player has been Troy Glaus, who was taken out of high school and went on to make four All-Star teams and hit 320 homers during a 13-year career in the majors.

It’s possible that Glaus gets passed on that list because Adam Jones is still playing. He was taken 37th overall by the Seattle Mariners in 2003. He was later traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Erik Bedard. While you would love to end up with a player like Jones, you wouldn’t want to make the mistake of trading him (and four others) for a pitcher who didn’t produce over 2 1/2 years.

In 1976, the Houston Astros ended up with pitcher Mike Scott, who won a Cy Young one year and 20 games another year. If you were disappointed by the overall results from the 18th overall pick yesterday, this article is showing you that scouting is tough. The top four players taken 37th overall includes two Cy Young winners and two multi-time All-Stars.

The next four on the list include Rick Miller, Mike Heath, Jacques Jones and James Paxton, who also has a chance to move up the list. Miller, Heath and Jones were also solid regulars at one point. Not star players by any means, but if they are were the worst case scenarios for the 37th overall pick, then you would be satisfied with the pick.

A total of 24 players have produced a 203.5 combined WAR, which is higher than the 18th overall picks, but the number of misses is also higher.

As a side note, the Pirates have had the 37th overall pick just once before and it was way back in 1970. They chose high school pitcher Kenneth Waiss, who played just two years of pro ball.

Here are the results from the 57th, 72nd and 95th overall picks. Those are the second round, Competitive Balance and third round picks for the Pirates this year. The list shows the top five players, the total WAR of all picks and amount of players who made the majors. I also included the times the Pirates made picks at those spots.

57th overall
1. Jon Lester 44.8
2.Brandon Phillips 31
3. Ruppert Jones 22.6
4. Brandon Inge 19.2
5. Dan Schatzeder 10.1
Total: 28 players, 154 WAR

Pirates have never picked 57th overall before.

72nd overall
1. Ray Lankford 38.2
2. Dan Haren 35
3. Mike Greenwell 25.8
4. Shane Reynolds 17.8
5. Charlie Blackmon 15.8
Total: 21 players, 173.4 WAR

Pirates selected Conner Uselton (pictured above) with the 72nd pick in 2017 and Mitchell Page (8.1 WAR) in 1973.

95th overall
1. Amos Otis 42.8
2. Dave Cash, Pirates 25.6
3. Addison Reed 6.1
4. Roger Bailey 5.2
5. Keon Broxton 5.8
6. Charlie Morton 3.4
Total: 19 players, 93.3 WAR

Besides hitting with Dave Cash, the Pirates got some MLB time out of Timothy Jones from the 1972 draft and missed on high school outfielder Scott Mackie in 1984. He actually didn’t sign, but was drafted again by the Indians in 1987 and topped out at High-A.

While the 18th overall pick has a better chance to get you to the big leagues, that could just be due to the fact that the team will push a higher draft pick. Selecting 37th, 57th and 72nd over the years has been nearly as productive or in the case of 37th overall, much better than the 18th overall pick. There’s a clear drop when you get down to that 95th pick, though you hope that the Pirates can get a player like Dave Cash again.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 3-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night. The Pirates will send out Trevor Williams for his sixth start. He has put together a Quality Start in each of his first five games. Williams allowed two runs over seven innings in his last start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers will counter with veteran lefty Rich Hill, who will be making his first start of the season. He has been out of action since suffering a strained left knee back on St. Patrick’s Day.

The minor league schedule includes Bradenton’s Max Kranick, who has allowed two run over his last 12 innings of work. He has hit 97 MPH in his last two games after topping out at 96 MPH since early in 2018. Altoona’s Dario Agrazal is coming off of seven shutout innings in his last start. He has not issued a single walk this season in 25 innings. Greensboro’s Alex Manasa has 23 strikeouts in 21.1 innings. That’s halfway to his 2018 strikeout total over 80.1 innings. Indianapolis will send out Alex McRae, who has surrendered ten earned runs in his last 9.2 innings.

The full 2019 Pirates Prospects Prospect Guide is now available, up to date as of April 3rd, with every player in the minor league system. Includes full reports on the top 50 prospects, reports on over 150 other players, as well as looks back at the recent drafts and international signing classes.

MLB: Pittsburgh (12-13) @ Dodgers (18-11) 4:10 PM
Probable starter: Trevor Williams (2.59 ERA, 21:6 SO/BB, 31.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (11-10) @ Charlotte (15-8) 2:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Alex McRae (6.20 ERA, 21:5 SO/BB, 20.1 IP)

AA: Altoona (10-11) vs Richmond (8-11) 2:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Dario Agrazal (3.60 ERA, 19:0 SO/BB, 25.0 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (15-8) @ Daytona (12-11) 5:35 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Max Kranick (3.24 ERA, 15:6 SO/BB, 16.2 IP)

Low-A: Greensboro (13-9) @ Hagerstown (10-13) 2:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Alex Manasa (2.95 ERA, 23:3 SO/BB, 21.1 IP)

HIGHLIGHTS

From Altoona, some highlights in gif form from their win on Friday. Starting with the final two outs from James Marvel, who put in seven shutout innings for the second consecutive game

Here’s a well-placed RBI single from Arden Pabst

Hunter Owen doubles for the fifth time this season, driving in two runs

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

4/27: Chris Archer placed on injured list. Pirates recall Michael Feliz

4/26: Stephen Alemais placed on injured list. Adrian Valerio promoted to Altoona. Gavin Wallace added to Bradenton roster.

4/23: Nick Burdi placed on injured list. Pirates recall Steven Brault.

4/23: Brandon Maurer placed on injured list. Montana DuRapau added to Indianapolis roster

4/23: Kevin Newman sent to Indianapolis on rehab. Nick Franklin assigned to Indianapolis

4/23: Oneil Cruz assigned to Bradenton.

4/22: Blake Weiman added to Altoona roster. Angel German assigned to Extended Spring Training

4/22: Joel Cesar added to Bradenton roster. Gavin Wallace assigned to Extended Spring Training

4/22: Jose Osuna assigned to Bradenton on rehab

4/22: Gregory Polanco activated from injured list. Steven Brault optioned to Indianapolis

4/21: Elias Diaz activated from injured list. Jacob Stallings placed on injured list.

4/20: Starling Marte and Erik Gonzalez placed on injured list. Cole Tucker and Bryan Reynolds added to Pirates

4/20: Alfredo Reyes promoted to Indianapolis. Ryan Peurifoy assigned to Altoona

4/19: Lonnie Chisenhall assigned to Indianapolis on rehab

4/19: John Bormann activated from injured list. Joel Cesar assigned to Extended Spring Training

4/18: Ji-Hwan Bae moved to suspended list.

4/18: Montana DuRapau and Dean Lockery assigned to Extended Spring Training.

THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY

Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, all of them pitchers. Recent pitchers include former first round draft pick Daniel Moskos, high-priced Cuban signing Yoslan Herrera and Romulo Sanchez, who pitched for the team during the 2007-08 seasons.

Older pitchers born on this date include Pedro Ramos (1969), Tom Sturdivant (1961-63) and Walt Woods, who pitched for the Pirates on April 27,1900, one day before his 25th birthday. Woods had a 20-year career in pro ball, but he played in the majors during just three of those years.

The final pitcher born on this date was Red Lucas, who played five seasons for the Pirates, from 1934 until 1938. He went 47-32 during his time with Pittsburgh and Lucas has a very under-appreciated career. He won a total of 157 games, he made just 12 errors as a pitcher during his entire 14-year career and he was a .281 career hitter over 1,606 plate appearances. Lucas was used as a pinch-hitter almost 500 times, and he occasionally played infield during his career.

The link above also includes a trade from the 1910 season, where the Pirates tried to improve their pitching staff by giving up two players to the Boston Doves for Kirby White. Two years into his career at the time of the trade, White had  2.94 ERA over 174.1 innings, pitching for a Boston team that was awful. He seemed like a solid pickup for the Pirates and they didn’t give up much to get him, but he went 10-10, 3.46 in 153.1 innings for a strong Pirates team and then never pitched in the majors again after May, 1911.

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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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