P2Daily: Pirates Wrap Up the 2022 MLB Draft With Even More Pitching

The Pittsburgh Pirates wrapped up their 2022 draft class by taking seven more pitchers on day three — eight if you count the two-way player.

In total, the Pirates drafted 14 pitchers (of 21 picks), with two more that could potentially see time on the mound.

The attention now shifts to getting all of these players signed, and with the draft over and down with, here are some final thoughts about the last three days.

— The Pirates went heavily after college seniors, taking eight overall, two of which came in the first 10 rounds. The big targets for over slot are likely Michael Kennedy, Thomas Harrington, and Yoel Tejeda. The latter of which is probably the only real risk of not signing, with the 19th rounder having a commitment to Florida.

The Pirates finished two short (Chazz Martinez and Daniel Corona) of signing their entire class last year, there’s a good opportunity to beat that this time around.

— The clear goal of the draft class was to go as big upside as possible. They got the best prep hitter in the draft, got another that was one of the youngest, and a mammoth 6’7″ two-way player. They supplemented that with depth pitching that could, if all pans out, help out in the bullpen at some point soon when the window opens up.

That would involve a lot going right, though. There are some interesting names on the pitching side of things, but they all seem to be puzzles that the development team have to piece together.

–Talking about projects, if Miguel Fulgencio ever makes the majors, that’s going to be one heck of a story to tell. Went to Oklahoma State to play football, transferred to Cowley County Community College to play in the outfield.

Used the pandemic shutdown to teach himself to pitch, off of YouTube nonetheless, and strung together a couple of decent seasons before being drafted. He’s already 23-years-old, so he’s way behind the prospect clock, and did commit to attend Oklahoma next season, but he’s an interesting player if only because of the road he’s traveled.

–Judging by their numbers, and some of the video I’ve seen, Josiah Sightler and Nick Cimillo are probably going to really enjoy any time they spend in Greensboro. Cimillo spent some time in the outfield to go along with his work behind the plate.

–Probably getting a little ahead of myself, but judging by the type of players the Pirates drafted, especially on the pitching side of things, depending on how many of them are going to be available, Bradenton’s bullpen is about to get a serious shakeup.

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The good thing about drafting college Seniors is that they are older and will either show immediate worth, or will be let go. No future in holding onto pitchers/players who will be in the FCL at age 22, 23 or older. With the youth in the Pirates minors, not many will be needed to fill out rosters.

In Rounds 11-20, there may be one or two who will get an offer higher than $125K, so very little money taken away for over-slot deals. IMO, 4th Rounder Michael Kennedy is a must sign, and I would also put 19th Rounder Yoel Tejada in that category. 11th Rounder Dom Perachi and 13th Rounder Miguel Fulgencio will also be requesting over-slot deals simply because they and Tejada are the best of the 11-20 Rounds.

The success of this draft will rest in the hands of the first 5 picks, Termarr Johnson, Thomas Harrington, Hunter Barco, Jack Brannigan (Closer), and Michael Kennedy.


The fact that we missed out on Walker Buehler and Trea Turner along with Dejong just explained a lot about our prioritization in the past. Literally the three best players we drafted past the 6th round, signed none of them.


So what are the rules on seniors after the draft. I think they have restrictions on how much you can offer, but how long does that restriction last?

Wilbur Miller

Hmm. I know it’s 125K and if you go over it comes off your pool. But the restriction for practical reasons can’t last more than a year. If a team signs an NDFA three years from now for more than 125, it’d be kinda late to impose the draft penalties. It also doesn’t make sense that a guy could go play indy ball for a year or three, then be subject to rules covering a draft class from long ago.


Great question.


For John Dreker (1) congrats to your family on Trey Dombroski getting drafted in 4th round, very impressive. #Jerseypride. (2) I can’t remember, have you ever done a breakdown or analysis of Pirate later-round picks who have actually made it to the show with a modicum of success over, say, last 10 or 15 years? I assume the % is very low but there are probably some notable names like Clay Holmes round 9. If you did this already, can you re-post the link?

Wilbur Miller

Starting in 2006, I’ll do five years at a time so the post isn’t unreadable. I’m defining late-round as 6+. This is all the guys who reached the bigs, including guys who didn’t sign, shown by *.


8th Alex Presley 0.6 bWAR
11th Lonnie Chisenhall* 9
17th Mike Crotta -0.6
23rd Preston Claiborne* 0.3
26th Ryan Kelly -0.4
28th Rudy Owens -0.2


9th Tony Watson 13
14th Kyle McPherson 0.5
28th Matt Clark* -0.1
43rd Cameron Rupp* 2.9


6th Robbie Grossman 9.8
9th Matt Hague -0.4
10th Drew Gagnon* -1.5
46th Scott McGough* -0.2


9th Brock Holt 8.2
16th Matt Den Dekker* 1.0
21st Phil Irwin -0.3
26th Matt Dermody* -0.1
38th Jake Lamb* 7.5


6th Jason Hursh* -0.2
9th Brandon Cumpton 0.1
10th Zack Weiss* 0
19th Kent Emanuel* 0.4
25th Casey Sadler 2.1
45th Connor Sadzeck* 0.9

Last edited 2 months ago by Wilbur Miller
Wilbur Miller


9th Clay Holmes 2.1
16th Eric Skoglund* -0.7
20th Trea Turner* 28
48th Zach Thompson* 1.6


7th Jacob Stallings 4.9
14th Walker Bueller* 13.1
16th Max Moroff -0.2
22nd Taylor Hearn* -0.9 (drafted, didn’t sign, acquired by trade later)
25th Josh D. Smith -0.2
37th Jacob Waguespack* 0


6th Adam Frazier 11.3
9th Chad Kuhl 3.7
10th Shane Carle 0.7
17th Justin Topa -0.4
40th Bryan Baker* 0.4


10th Alex McRae -0.9
32nd Montana DuRapau -0.8
38th Paul DeJong* 13.1


6th J.T. Brubaker 0.9
20th Tanner Anderson -0.5
23rd Jake McCarthy* 1
24th John Bormann 0
31st Riley Smith* 0.1
32nd Cole Irvin* 3.3
36th James Marvel -0.4
37th Eli White* 0.4
40th Daniel Zamora 0

Wilbur Miller

Nobody has reached the majors from the 2019 and 2021 drafts yet. The 2020 draft was only five rounds.


6th Cam Vieaux -0.7
11th Max Kranick -0.1
20th Adam Oller -1
25th Hunter Owen -0.1
29th Geoff Hartlieb -1.2


7th Jared Oliva -0.7
9th Bligh Madris -0.1
10th Beau Sulser -0.2


24th Cam Alldred 0

Wilbur Miller

To summarize, the guys the Pirates signed who went on to significant MLB success (making allowances for some guys who are still mid-career):

Tony Watson (round 9)
Robbie Grossman (6)
Brock Holt (9)
Clay Holmes (9)
Jacob Stallings (7)
Adam Frazier (6)
Chad Kuhl (9)

Round 9 seems to have some magic for some reason. But not one player after round 9.


Whether it’s looking at past drafts or past top-prospect lists, it’s sobering to realize how few players actually become what we imagine they’ll become. (For all teams, not just the Pirates.)


By my subpar math that means a pool of about 450+ Players drafted from rounds 6 on from ‘06 to 2019. So it turns out there was roughly a 1.5% chance that if you were drafted by pirates after round 5 and signed during that window you’d be a successful pro.

Did I just accidentally call into question part of the purpose of this entire site? Just kidding

Last edited 2 months ago by Cobra

Beau Sulser: drafted in 10th round, pirates spend 5 years developing the guy, fairly respectable numbers in minors, makes his MLB debut this year, appears in four game & pitches 9.2 Innings , gives up 4 runs and whalla he’s gone. Rough business


Seems fair to acknowledge that this talk of perceived “excitement” stems exclusively from our willingness to deem any high school kid with a pulse “high upside”. It’s one thing to give first round talent first round money (Bubba!) and another to give a third round talent first round money (Hudson!).

That just ain’t how it works, folks. Don’t get upset about it, Pirate life is stressful enough.

The odds we’re talking about are so exceptionally low, based on evidence across the entire league, that I just cannot get worked up about this draft.

They took the best high school hitter available and followed it up with selections at points in the draft that nobody has any real idea how they’ll play out. I can’t see a single tangible player or pick they left on the board. It’s okay!

As with all drafts, the ability to scout and develop matters more than strategy.

I can remember trashing Nick Lodolo as an overdraft, and sure as shit he’s the top pitcher selected in the country three years later. With any luck, maybe that’s Thomas Harington this time around.

Last edited 2 months ago by NMR

I’ll be honest, I do not follow the draft closely, unlike a lot of folks here, but I have a question. Early in his tenure,didn’t Cherrington say they were going to draft position players and hitter and then sign and/or trade for pitching? This draft seems to go against that idea.

Last edited 2 months ago by pikebishop65

I’m almost certainly never said that, if only because he never says anything that specific.

Wilbur Miller

It’s a red letter day when he refers to the Pirates as a baseball team.


It seems there are several things going on here based on Pirate needs and other situations that have occurred:
·     The most important (desirable?) ‘draftees’ are Termarr Johnson, Thomas Harrington, Michael Kennedy, Yoel Tejeda, and perhaps others.
·     Hunter Barco, Miguel Filgencio, Josiah Sighter, and perhaps others are reasonable ‘lottery cards.’
·     The Pirates predominantly drafted pitchers because they need them and/or because the reduction of minor league affiliates have left them position player rich and pitching poor.
·     Six of the drafted pitchers are left-handers because the Pirate are left-hander poor.
·     The Pirates drafted eight seniors to pay under slot so as to sign the desirable prep draftees and/or because these players missed a year of development (2020) due to COVID making them equal in development to pre-2020 draftees.
Just spit-balling!


Most of the seniors came after round 10, and there’s not slot after round 10, so drafting seniors there doesn’t save them anything for prep signings. You only save on below slot in the first 10 rounds, that’s why you see a lot of seniors across the league in rounds 8-10


Just saw an article on the MLB app that 12th round pick KC Hunt was named after his dad’s favorite player, Roberto Clemente. KC stands for Kyle Clemente so there’s a little added bonus to hoping he makes it to the show.


The Pirates took the best hitting prospect in the draft then took pitchers in bulk hoping that a couple of them will develop into major league contributors. Expecting anything more than that is probably unrealistic. This draft will be evaluated based 90% on how well Johnson’s career goes with anything else being a bonus.


Like any draft, we’ll be able to evaluate how well it did…in seven years.


And lastly, to show that when we disagree with Cherington there may also be disagreement among his staff:

“At a high level, really excited and happy for how it played out for us, really excited about what I thought was great debate and dialogue amongst a very diverse roomful of people, different perspectives coming forward, a lot of good debate and disagreement.”

Last edited 2 months ago by TNBucs

A little surprising he added the word “disagreement” as “good debate” appropriately frames any draft room dialogue. It would be curious on who specifically there was disagreement, but we’ll never know. The buck stops with BC and to a lesser extent Graves and Sanders. BC in all likelihood would defer to a strong opinion from Graves, Sanders or a high level scout…….I mean that’s his job is to assess his draft team’s opinion and not just his own.


I liked that he offered this as it’s a bit of transparency and humility to acknowledge that there was disagreement and I’ve thought that overall this FO should have a little more of both.


I see the Pirates netting four or five high upside guys in this draft. The rest of the draft barely gets us a good college team. Seriously, half of these pitchers were brutalized in college but somehow our scouting department thinks they have the right stuff to be major league pitchers. Judging by the success our instructional staff has had grooming legit first round caliber talent, I would say that is a very optimistic stretch.

Last edited 2 months ago by Born4rf

Change you first sentence into two or three, and I would agree. If one or two of these pitchers (and it’s anyones guess as to which ones) develop to play in the majors and Johnson is close to his projection, this will be considered a good draft.


And another interesting quote explaining why they didn’t only draft taller pitchers despite success doing so in the past (Cole, Taillon, Holmes, …):

“Our scouting group, our team, our performance team, we do a lot of work on the delivery analysis, the physical part and the physical projection of the pitchery,“ he said, “how they move on the mound. But I would say that’s less about height and more about other attributes, so just looking for the best pitchers and the guys who we think we can help get better.”

Last edited 2 months ago by TNBucs

A couple of us speculated yesterday that the focus on pitching may have had something to do with how many position players are fighting for time at the lower levels. Ben actually confirmed that this was at least a small factor (from the PG):

“We do have to be mindful of areas in the system where we’ve already got a lot of players that need opportunities, so you look at that a little as you get deeper in the draft.”


I call this the Rule 5 draft if any even get that far…


Great coverage throughout the draft! Not sure I agree that the clear goal was to go as big of upside as possible. They definitely did that with their first pick, and maybe took two more big upside guys in Kennedy and Tejeda, but otherwise they drafted a ton of college seniors and 23 year old relief pitchers. That is kind of the definition of not going for upside. Three out of 21 picks seemed designed for upside, while the other 18 looked more like high-floor picks, or simply organizational depth. I found myself disappointed by most picks after the first round.


The system, as now configured, needs virtually no organizational players. So, the scouts and the FO surely saw saw upside potential in the majority of this group. For example, an excellent two-sport athlete who largely taught himself to pitch has potential. He probably won’t play in the bigs, because few signees do. But him being 23 is irrelevant.


Agreed. I’m happy with the draft, though, because we clearly have a need for competent pitching in the minors and majors and with an apparent shift to limiting starters’ innings/times through a lineup, quantity of competent pitching matters.

This acknowledges that due to caps on spending and the effect of NILs, realistically there is only so much upside you can draft and with the smaller pool and not being able to cut a deal with big savings at the top of the draft, we weren’t going to get as much upside this year as last year. But, I’d add Barca and maybe even Harrington to players with significant upside. If Barca comes back with slightly better velocity after TJ like some pitchers do, he could have massive upside. But there is also, obviously, a lot of risk there too.


I suspect you are right that they are expecting to need more pitchers in the future since starters are now down to around 5 innings.

Currently Barca throws across his body which might have contributed to the need for TJ. I wonder if the Pirates will help him make significant changes to his mechanics as he goes through the rehab process or just tweak things.


This may be the oldest draft class we’ve had. I can’t say that I’m too optimistic other than our number one. Do you think he’ll get actual playing time this year or will they keep him at the complex and out of official games?

Last edited 2 months ago by john_fluharty

Ask Johnson, he’s ready for the big show! Love that confidence!

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