First Pitch: Second Round Draft Results for the Pittsburgh Pirates

Yesterday we looked at the draft results from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round since the draft began in 1965. Today we move to the second round to see how the team has done over the last 55 years.

The first round showed that 37 of the 58 picks made the majors. A total of 27 players posted a positive WAR. Just ten of those players had at least 10.0 WAR. The average WAR per first round pick was 7.1, which was helped greatly by the 162.8 WAR that came from Barry Bonds. We now look at those same numbers from the second round picks, plus I’ll list the top ten second round picks as well, followed by a quick comparison between the two rounds.

As with the first round picks, I won’t include any picks who didn’t sign, or any players who are still in the minors and haven’t debuted yet. The Pirates have made a total of 62 second round picks. There are 11 who are still in the minors, which is a very high number for one round. Tanner Scheppers in the only second round pick they haven’t signed since 1965, so our group for this exercise consists of 50 players.

Our of those 50 remaining players, 23 have made the majors.

Of those 23 players, 12 have posted a negative WAR number. That includes two active players in Mitch Keller and Kevin Kramer. There are also two players with 0.0 WAR, Gary Hargis and Duke Welker. Since we already know that those two are tied for the tenth best WAR, I’ll just list the top nine here:

  1. John Candelaria, 41.9
  2. Tim Burke, 12.1
  3. Ryan Doumit, 9.0
  4. Doug Bair, 6.8
  5. Tom Gorzelanny, 5.0
  6. Josh Bell, 3.0
  7. Lee Tunnell, 0.9
  8. Stan Fansler, 0.2
  9. Jim Minshall, 0.2

In summary, first round picks have made it 64% of the time, while it drops down to 46% in the second round. There’s a big difference in the overall value as well, even if you eliminated Barry Bonds from the picture (not that you would, just showing the huge difference).

Second round picks on average have contributed 1.4 WAR each. Without Candelaria in the picture, they are down to 0.6 WAR each.





By John Dreker

Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date.

Tanner Anderson, pitcher for the 2018 Pirates. He was a 20th round pick out of Harvard in 2015. It took Anderson three years to make his big league debut. He pitched six games in relief for the 2018 Pirates, posting a 6.35 ERA in 11.1 innings. Anderson was traded over the 2018-19 off-season to the Oakland A’s for minor league pitcher Wilkin Ramos. He made five starts for the A’s in 2019, going 0-3, 6.04 in 22.1 innings.

Jacob Brumfield, center fielder for the 1995-96 Pirates. He was originally signed by the Cubs as a seventh round pick in the 1983 draft. He missed all of the 1984 season, then was released in April of 1985. It wasn’t until August of 1986 that he signed with another team. Brumfield was picked up by the Royals and spent six seasons in Kansas City’s system before becoming a free agent in October of 1991. He signed with the Reds a month later and made their Opening Day roster, making his Major League debut on April 6, 1992. He spent three seasons in Cincinnati, playing a total of 195 big league games. On October 13, 1994, the Reds traded Brumfield to the Pirates in exchange for minor league outfielder Danny Clyburn. He would step in and take over the center field job during that 1995 season, playing 116 games, with a .271 average, 22 stolen bases and 64 runs scored. Brumfield held that spot at the beginning of 1996, but in mid-May, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor league prospects, D.J. Boston. Brumfield was with Toronto through 1997, then spent 1998 in Triple-A for the Marlins, where he hit just .167 in 95 games. He spent the 1999 season in the majors, split between the Dodgers and Blue Jays, before returning to the minors to finish his career in 2001. He was a .257 career hitter in 568 Major League games.

Ross Baumgarten, pitcher for the 1982 Pirates. He was originally a 20th round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox in 1977. Despite the late draft status, it took him just over a year to make the majors. Baumgarten started that 1978 season in A-ball, going 9-1, 1.82 in ten starts. He was moved to Double-A and it took just 25 innings before the White Sox promoted him to Triple-A. Ross made nine starts before getting his third promotion of the season, this time to the majors. He went 2-2, 5.87 in four starts and three relief appearances for the White Sox. The next year he was a regular in their starting rotation, going 13-8, 3.54 in 28 starts, finishing fourth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. His ERA dropped to 3.44 the next year, but his record suffered due to the poor play of Chicago. Baumgarten had a 2-12 record, and that was despite winning his first start of the year. The White Sox scored 0-3 runs in 21 of his 23 starts on the year. After going 5-9, 4.07 in 19 starts in 1981, the Pirates acquired Baumgarten on March 21, 1982, along with pitcher Butch Edge, in exchange for pitcher Ernie Camacho and infielder Vance Law. For the Pirates, he made ten starts and two relief appearance, going 0-5, 6.55 in 44 innings. He missed part of the early season with two fractured fingers on his throwing hard. He was released at the end of Spring Training in 1983. Baumgarten signed with Oakland, then Detroit, and spent the entire 1983 season in the minors, which was his last year of pro ball.

George O’Donnell, pitcher for the 1954 Pirates. He spent five seasons in the minors before having his contract purchased by the Pirates in October of 1953. He was originally a member of the St Louis Browns organization, signing in 1949, before moving on to the Pirates four years later. O’Donnell went 20-12, 3.61 in 281.1 innings in 1953 for the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League. It was his second 20-win season in the minors. In 1951 he won 22 games for Waco. O’Donnell’s big league career lasted just three months of the 1954 season, but he saw plenty of action for the Pirates over that time, making ten starts and eleven relief appearances. He went 3-9, 4.53 in 87.1 innings. He was sent to Hollywood at the end of July, where he finished the season. He would end up pitching another seven seasons in the minors before retiring, finishing with a 127-93 record in 530 games. O’Donnell is the only pitcher in Pirates history with 4+ losses, who has more career losses than strikeouts(9 to 8).

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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