Morning Report: What Draft Experts are Saying About the Pittsburgh Pirates

We used the draft experts for mock drafts and player rankings throughout the season, so now that the draft is done, we look at what those same people have to say about the Pittsburgh Pirates.

We start with Baseball America, where they gave a team-by-team analysis. They liked the pick of Priester, which I think everyone does because this is where he was rated all season. They noted that the Pirates went after a lot of athletic outfielders as well. Their most exciting player after day one was fourth round pick J.C. Flowers. The best day three pick was Jase Bowen, which isn’t a surprise because teams usually go big in the 11th round, so that’s going to be the best pick for most. The fastest riser is fifth round pick Grant Ford, though he profiles as a reliever.

MLB Pipeline has two articles regarding the draft that are relevant here. One is their favorite pick by each team outside of the first round. They went with Sammy Siani for the Pirates. This is fairly straight forward. Siani was their second highest rated pick made by the Pirates (he was taken 37th and rated 43rd by Pipeline).

The other article is about the top seven draft hauls this year. Pirates had four picks on day one, but couldn’t make this list. Obviously every draft class is a wait and see approach, but when you don’t take many top 200 prospects, you won’t get an early high grade for your draft. Pirates took a total of four top 200 prospects and just the first two were in the top 100.

Keith Law really likes the picks of Priester, Siani and Bowen. He says Priester has the best delivery he saw this year with good mid-rotation upside. Siani ranks high for him, saying he may have slid under the radar due to the level of competition he faced. Bowen is well worth an over-slot bonus according to Law. He talks about some of the picks round 2-7, but none get really high marks. He didn’t like the swing-and-miss of Matt Gorski. He liked the athleticism of Flowers, but as an outfield. Thought third round pick Matt Fraizer was an over-draft, and wasn’t sold on seventh round pick Blake Sabol due to his lack of offense throughout college.

Finally, Fangraphs had a draft day one recap and liked the upside from the Pirates, though they noted that Gorski might not hit enough. They think Priester could have a lot more potential. They like the bat with Siani, and 72nd overall pick Jared Triolo gets nice marks for his bat and defense, with the main flaw being the lack of power potential at this time.

Save our draft tracker, which will have all of the updates on signings, as well as links to everything, including separate articles recapping all three days of the draft.


Altoona is in fourth place in their division, eight games back with ten games remaining in the first half.

Bradenton is in second place in their division, two games back with eight games remaining in the first half.

Greensboro is in second place in their division, 6.5 games back with eight games remaining in the schedule.


Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 5-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday evening. The Pirates will send out Steven Brault for the series finale today. He gave up one run over four innings in his last outing against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday. Brault tossed 5.1 shutout innings in his previous start. As a starter this season, he has a 4.76 ERA, compared to 6.11 in relief. The Brewers will counter with right-hander Chase Anderson, who has a 3.93 ERA in 36.2 innings, with 40 strikeouts and a 1.39 WHIP. He pitched against the Pirates on May 30th and allowed two runs on six hits and a walk, through five innings. His last start was four runs over four innings against the Miami Marlins.

The minor league schedule includes the High-A debut of Brad Case, who was named to the South Atlantic League All-Star game the day before he was promoted. When he left the SAL, he was the league leader with an 0.77 WHIP. Steven Jennings starts for Greensboro. He threw six innings in his last start, allowing just one unearned run. In two starts against Lakewood (today’s opponent), he has given up eight earned runs over eight innings. Dario Agrazal allowed six runs over five innings in his last start. In his two worst outings with Indianapolis, he has given up 11 runs in 8.2 innings. In his other five starts, he has allowed four runs over 33.2 innings. Altoona’s Pedro Vasquez is coming off back-to-back outings of six innings each, though the first game of that pair came while he was with Indianapolis. The DSL Pirates1/2 have off on Sundays.

MLB: Pittsburgh (30-33) @ Brewers (37-28) 2:10 PM
Probable starter: Steven Brault (5.45 ERA, 29:21 SO/BB, 34.2 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (34-26) @ Toledo (26-34) 4:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Dario Agrazal (3.19 ERA, 36:9 SO/BB, 42.1 IP)

AA: Altoona (29-30) vs Akron (31-30) 6:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Pedro Vasquez (2.92 ERA, 35:10 SO/BB, 49.1 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (34-27) vs Dunedin (38-23) 1:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Brad Case (High-A debut)

Low-A: Greensboro (40-22) @ Lakewood (23-39) 1:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Steven Jennings (5.56 ERA, 55:20 SO/BB, 56.2 IP)

DSL: Pirates1 (4-3) vs Rangers1 10:30 AM 6/10 (season preview)

DSL: Pirates2 (6-1) vs Colorado 10:30 AM 6/10 (season preview)


From Indianapolis, all 13 of Mitch Keller’s strikeout pitches from Friday night


6/8: Pirates recall Corey Dickerson, Jung Ho Kang and Michael Feliz. Nick Kingham designated for assignment. Cole Tucker optioned to Indianapolis. Rookie Davis placed on injured list.

6/8: Brad Case assigned to Bradenton. Luis Nova assigned to Greensboro.

6/7: Matt Morrow and Dean Lockery added to Bradenton roster. Robbie Glendinning and Jesse Medrano suspended (by league).

6/5: Jesus Liranzo sent outright to Indianapolis. Trayvon Robinson placed on injured list.

6/4: Deon Stafford and Hunter Stratton suspended (by league). Shea Murray assigned to Extended Spring Training. John Bormann and Luis Nova added to Bradenton roster.

6/3: Cody Bolton placed on injured list

6/2: Pirates release Randolph Gassaway

5/31: Pedro Vasquez and Alfredo Reyes assigned to Altoona. Adrian Valerio and Ryan Valdes assigned to Bradenton.

5/31: Jack Herman assigned to Greensboro. Brett Kinneman assigned to Extended Spring Training

5/31: Allen Montgomery added to Bradenton roster

5/30: Connor Kaiser activated from Greenboro injured list.

5/29: Joe Jacques promoted to Bradenton.

5/29: Jake Elmore sent outright to Indianapolis.


Three former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, and two of them spent 11 seasons with the Pirates. Lost with the other two players born on this date, Julio Gotay played infield for the Pirates during the 1963-64 seasons and he was part of a big trade that sent Dick Groat to the Cardinals in November of 1962.

Dave Parker was born on this date in 1951. He was a 14th round draft choice of the Pirates in 1970 and played for the team from 1973 until 1983 when he left via free agency. Parker hit .305 with 166 homers in 1,301 games for the Pirates. During his time in Pittsburgh, he won the 1978 NL MVP, made four All-Star teams and won three Gold Glove awards. You can read a full bio of Parker here.

Also born on this date, Bill Virdon, who played for the Pirates from 1956 until 1965, then returned briefly in 1968. He played 1,415 games for the Pirates, the 11th most all-time. Virdon hit .266 during his time in Pittsburgh and won a Gold Glove in 1962. He drove in five runs during the 1960 World Series. You can read a full bio on Virdon here.

On this date in 1978, the Pirates overcame an 8-1 deficit in the sixth inning to win 11-9 over the Cincinnati Reds. Bill Robinson had four hits, including three doubles. Both Robinson and Willie Stargell drove in three runs. The Pirates used John Candelaria in relief of Kent Tekulve to get the final four outs for the save. Here’s the boxscore.