P2Daily: Pirates Go Pitcher Heavy In Day Two Of Draft

Day two of the 2022 MLB Draft wrapped on Monday with rounds 3-10. For the Pirates, it was easy to pick up a common theme with their picks: Pitching.

Of the eight selections, five (and a half?) were pitchers, two were outfielders, and one was announced as a two-way player. So, up to this point, the Pirates have made 11 picks and seven of them have been true pitchers, with another in the mix as well.

That’s not 2021 Los Angeles Angels pitching heavy, but it’s pretty close.

With one day left in the draft, I took some time to reflect on what happened on Monday.

Michael Kennedy was the big fish they were going after on day two. It’s hard to see how things are going to fall into place when it comes to allocating their draft bonus dollars, but it’s probably safe to bet it will take a good chunk of an over slot deal to get Kennedy to come off his LSU commitment.

He’s one of the younger players in the draft, a lefty, and has already shown to be comfortable with three pitches. It won’t be a shock if he’s one of the higher bonuses in the first 10 rounds should they come to a deal.

–Looking at their haul on day two, it can seem a bit underwhelming at first. Maybe it is. There are a lot of candidates to take sizable under slot deals. Say what you will at the major league level, it’s not like the Pirates to leave money at the table during the draft, so it’s one of a couple of things in play here.

Kennedy is going to command that kind of bonus that’s really going to cut into their total pool. He won’t turn 18 until November so that’s a very good possibility. It could be that Termarr Johnson could end up with a slightly over slot deal, so it put the Pirates in penny pinching mode immediately. Thomas Harrington, the Pirates pick at 36 and draft-eligible sophomore, will probably need at least slightly more than his $2.15 million slot to sign.

It could also be the Pirates are aiming to go big on Tuesday, like they did on a smaller scale with 14th rounder Braylon Bishop last year. There are no shortage of names available should the Pirates want to swing for the fences.

–The numbers don’t really do him any favors, and almost everyone said how much this past year hurt his stock, but digging deep on Derek Diamond there’s enough there for me to be intrigued.

There isn’t a lot of video available, aside from ‘highlights’, of Diamond’s time at Ole Miss, so I ended up having to dig back to his high school days.

He’ll be a project, but there might be something there with him. It’s also very likely he will come very cheap, which would be an even bigger bonus. This will be a good test for the Pirates development team, if they can get him back on the path he was on before this past season, that’ll be a big win for them.

–I’m not sure what the plan with Jack Brannigan is going to be, but this doesn’t seem to be a willing two-way player like Bubba Chandler. MLB Pipeline seemed to indicate he’s a better pitching prospect than at the plate, but yet he seems adamant he wants to be a position player first.

His fastball was very intriguing, and he’s improved his secondary stuff apparently. It seems like the scenario you are ‘hoping’ for is that you convince him to pitch here and there, and that the hitting struggles enough you can convince him to focus on the mound? That doesn’t seem ideal however.

— Last year the prep kids didn’t pitch after being drafted and signed and depending on what happens with Kennedy I’d probably expect the same. For some of the college kids, you can see a lot of them being ideal bullpen pieces for Bradenton right out the gate, should they be in position to pitch right now.

Last year Justin Meis jumped right in and was a key piece to the Marauders bullpen right away. There’s no shortage of options to do the same this year.

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docdon385

The Pirates like most teams usually draft between 20-25 pitchers out of 40 rounds each year hoping to fine a gem hidden there somewhere. A quick look back shows between 2010-2018 only 1-2 or one year 3 pitchers of those drafted each year are ever heard from in Pittsburgh or the majors. Taillon in ‘10 with Sadler in 25th round, Cole, Glasgow and Holmes in ‘11 probably the best but all long gone, nothing in ‘12, Kuhl in ‘13, Keller in ‘14, Brubaker out of 25 pitchers drafted in ‘15, Vieaux and Kranick in ‘16, Baz and Jennings who are still prospects but with other teams in ‘17 and Burrows in 11th round and Allred in 24th round in ‘18.

This is not a well researched comment so probably isn’t exactly right and I probably missed some, but a fast and inexact estimate says that of somewhere around 200 pitchers the Pirates have drafted in those 9 years only 11 have pitched in the majors and 3 remain prospects expected to do so, 2 with other teams.

Drafting baseball prospects isn’t an exact science. In fact it isn’t a science at all and probably not even an art. It’s a guessing game driven by luck as much as anything else. Of course being smart enough to hang on to the few who actually become good players has to be weighed in as well but unfortunately the Pirates haven’t done very well in that category either.

AttyMike

St. Louis seems to have it down to a science.

leefieux

As long as they sign Michael Kennedy, I will be fine. I saw one major site that rated him as a steal in the 4th, but I can’t find it this morn.

goodtymes31

For anyone who’s underwhelmed with the pirates day 2 picks, I get it, but also check out mlb.com draft tracker, and look at every other teams day 2’s. You will see similar stories everywhere, outside of maybe Colorado. And Texas got Porter, but did so by going way under slot on Kumar. Last years pirates draft was an anomaly, and most day 2 picks are going to be “eye of the beholder” type picks for most teams

TNBucs

I thought there might be several teams drafting in the top 10 who would try to implement what the Pirates did last year. Texas clearly did though only had two picks in the first four rounds. The Cubs getting Ferris with their second pick and then three more HS picks were somewhat similar though on the surface they didn’t get as impressive of a haul. Otherwise, it seemed to be the same story for the teams with high picks. Best player available at 1 and then largely college players after that.

Speaking of college players, next year’s draft should be loaded given how few HS players were able to be selected in 2020. And a guy like Harrington, a draft-eligible sophomore, may not have gone to college if we had had a full draft in ’20 (or if HS seasons weren’t shut down costing teams that extra evaluation).

ArkyWags

Next year looks similar to this year: lots of college and prep bats, less so on the arms for both levels.

Last edited 2 months ago by ArkyWags
redwards60

Other than the one HS pick, Day 2 was largely comprised of deep reaches by the Pirates – for guys who had either low leverage (college seniors) or who posted abysmal college numbers….not much to see there. I guess if the Pirates don’t make the mistake of playing Brannigan as a position player, and instead try to develop him as a closer or setup man, he has some possibilities there. Other than that, not much to see…..

ArkyWags

Did you happen to check other teams day 2 returns? I’m guessing not, but they’re similar.

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