First Pitch: The First Overall Pick, Two Pitchers, and Other Pirates News

The winter meetings didn’t bring a big splash to the 2023 Pittsburgh Pirates, but it did bring the number one overall pick in 2023, a few additions to the bullpen, and a few minor league Rule 5 losses.

With so much happening last week, I wanted to use First Pitch as a recap. We had a few of our biggest traffic days in years last week — including the second biggest traffic day of the paywall era (2015-2022) on Wednesday. There were also a lot of articles, and I know that some things were missed.

**The most exciting update was that the Pirates won the first overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft lottery. John Dreker had an early look at who the Pirates could take with the pick.

**The Pirates agreed to deals with right-handed pitcher Vince Velasquez and left-handed pitcher Jarlin Garcia.

**We had an abbreviated article drop last week. I looked at the ZiPS projections to see where the Pirates should add. I also looked at who projects to be the starter at second base from within the system.

**John Dreker and I provided scouting reports on all of the players added and lost in the Rule 5 draft.

**In our latest Roundtable, we each picked a player that we would have liked to see protected from the minor league Rule 5 draft.

**I wrote about the modern day importance of the Rule 5 draft, where you’re unlikely to lose anyone of impact. The Pirates saw Blake Sabol picked, and I addressed that scenario in the column.

**Wilbur Miller looked at the left-handed pitching depth that is building in the lower levels of the system.

**Jeff Reed had a wrap-up of the winter meetings in last week’s Pirates Discussion.

**In his latest Pirates Winter Report, John Dreker profiled the progress for Rodolfo Nolasco this winter, along with updates on all of the Pirates in winter ball.

**The Pre-Arbitration Bonus Pool is a new concept that Ethan Hullihen breaks down in this week’s Pirates Business update — which also looks at the payroll estimate after last week’s moves.

**Missed last week? I broke down whether the Pirates are really changing their ways. That was one of my favorite articles to write in awhile, so check it out if you missed it with all of the winter madness.


The Pirates addressed the bullpen last week, and we will be focusing on that in Tuesday’s article drop. I would expect the Pirates to be busy with moves, leading up to the holidays, and we’re going to be reacting to anything and everything that happens throughout the week. Check Pirates Prospects Daily for all of the latest updates.


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The site joined an ad network that caters mostly to niche publishers who specialize in long-form content. This will give us much better advertisements than the previous option — both in terms of content and in terms of money to the site.

I talked a few weeks ago about how I am aiming to monetize the masses that visit this site. We’ve been able to survive for over a decade on the support of our readers, and that includes as a subscription site for six years. That plan results in a few thousand people paying for a site that a few hundred thousand people access.

The advertisements alone would flip the tables, and make it so that everyone pays, without actually paying money. What we’re hoping for is a combination, so that we can grow the site from where it is today.


Pirates Prospects is now free for everyone, supported by ads. I’m building this site with the hope that our supporters still provide the level of support we’ve seen over the years. This will allow the site to continue growing, and will allow me to fairly compensate everyone involved in this site for their time. All I ask is that you Contribute at some point in the future to help support our work. Weโ€™re not going to impose any pricing limits, content restrictions, or timelines on anyone. We just hope that you enjoy the site and check back often!


I usually go with some sort of theme for the playlists, or I load it up with new music. This playlist is literally just a bunch of my favorite songs that I’ve been listening to over the weekend, and which I’ll probably keep listening to through the middle of this week.

Next week, I’m going to do a “Best of 2022” playlist. Any suggestions on new albums that were released this year? Leave them in the comments below!


Oneil Cruz might be on this list one day. There was a lot of time on this, and I got all 16 with plenty of time remaining.


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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Tim, quite a playlist again. I thought after the kerfuffle over Netflix’s Weidnesday that we might see The Cramps, Goo Goo Muck make an appearance. You and your team continue to put out great content!


House of Dragons is time well spent.

Scam likely

The trade season has started In Ernest, look for Reynolds to be traded before Christmas. Bluejays, Seattle, and giants are favorites to land him.


Yeah … 100% first time ever …

Now the complaint …. Pop-ups … I hate pop-ups. Please make them go away.


This recap shows that P2 has the most good Pirate content of any other source out there right now. You can’t get all this stuff on any site any where else!


Tim have you ever listed to A Northern Soul or A Storm in Heaven by The Verve? Wasn’t a fan of Forth but those two I thought were great. Along with Urban Hymns. Some amazing performances at some of those rock fests in Scotland and England. Just my opinion as a fan.


Oh man, A Northern Soul is one of my favorite albums ever. Life’s an Ocean, History, it’s incredible. I didn’t like forth album either, besides the opening track. Great call ๐Ÿ‘


A Northern Soul is incredible. Definitely give it a shot ๐Ÿ‘


It’s a little different but I like it. The problem with Urban Hymns for me was that they beat Bittersweet Symphony so much on the radio I couldn’t stomach going back to the album until later. I do love that one too. Same with Blind Melon for me. No Rain ruined me then early 2000’s wham my mind was blown by their other stuff.


I remember getting Urban Hymns from the New Kensington Kmart that I worked at when it was released. Probably cost $18 while I was making $5.15 an hr. Guess I did get a 10% discount. Just looked back at the playlist. That is pretty loaded. Catching the Butterfly, Weeping Willow, This Time. Could go on all day but this isn’t The Verve Prospects website. Keep on rocking.


I have the first 4 or 5 Black Keys on album. Guess Who, Joe Cocker, The Doors, and about ten more I can’t think of. I did buy my wife an album by The National. I am pretty sure it’s called Alligator. I know you could list these for days. Used to be easier to get at garage sales than today.


I say stuff like this after one too many Christmas cookie.๐Ÿค 


I like all of those songs, Tim. Nice playlist,

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