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Draft Review – Pittsburgh Pirates

Here’s my pick-by-pick analysis of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 2009 draft, keeping in mind talent, draft value, and signability. The number before each player is the round in which they were picked, and their overall pick number is listed. Here’s the picks:

1. Tony Sanchez, C, Boston College, #4 overall, 6’0’’/215: I, like many observers, absolutely loathed this pick when it occurred. This smelled like old Pirates’ ball, the kind where Moskos is better than Wieters. Sanchez is a good player, and easily the best college catcher in the 2009 class, but he’s not top ten good. However, he was affordable for slot, and the Pirates value that. He signed almost immediately, and after a quick 4-for-13 stint with State College in the NYPL, Sanchez is now 13-for-30 (.433) with West Virginia in the single-A Sally League. DOB: 5/20/88. Signing bonus: $2.5 million.

1s. Victor Black, RHP, Dallas Baptist, #49 overall, 6’4’’/205: Though I wasn’t a fan of the Sanchez pick, I immediately liked this one. Black greatly improved from 2008 to 2009 due to hard work on his mechanics, thus improving his command. He’s got great natural stuff, with a hard fastball that lacks movement, but also paired with an effective slider. He’s got a bit longer to go than most college junior pitchers, but he’s got the natural stuff of a potential #3 starter. Good pick for talent, about average for draft value, and he signed quickly. He’s thrown 6 good innings for State College. DOB: 5/23/88. Signing bonus: $717,000.

2. Brooks Pounders, RHP, Temecula Valley HS (CA), #53 overall, 6’4’’/225: Pounders has a big body, but he’s not going to be throwing every pitch past batters. Rather, Pounders comes with an advanced repertoire for a prep, including a changeup that is already considered something close to average. His command is solid, and there’s a chance he can move fairly fast. I expected Pounders to last to the next round or so, and this isn’t really a projectability pick, so I’m a tad down on it, but Pounders could easily work his way up to becoming a solid #3 or 4 workhorse in the rotation. He signed fairly quickly, but was lit up for a couple of runs in just two-thirds of an inning in his GCL debut. He followed that up nicely with 3 perfect innings five days later. DOB: 9/26/90. Signing bonus: $670,000.

3. Evan Chambers, OF, Hillsborough CC (FL), #84 overall, 5’11’’/210: I’m not a big fan of this pick at all. Chambers has some thunder in his bat, but I don’t think his recognition skills are good enough to warrant this high of a selection. I expected him to go somewhere early in the second day, probably in the neighborhood of the 5th round, so this was also a bit of an overdraft. He’s got enough skills to be an average center fielder, but the whole package is generally some plus tools with some average ones with some minus skills. He’ll need time, and I’m not sure he was worth the risk of such an expensive investment. He signed fairly quickly and is off to a 7-for-36 (.194) start with State College. DOB: 3/24/89. Signing bonus: $423,900.

4. Zack Dodson, LHP, Medina Valley HS (TX), #115 overall, 6’2’’/190: Dodson’s also a very risky pick. I’ve heard multiple reports that his mechanics are Purke-like, though his command in games was much worse than Matt Purke’s. My initial reaction is that he might need a remake of his mechanics altogether. However, even with the shaky mechanics, Dodson is able to unleash an average fastball for a lefty, combined with a nice slow curve. BA has speculated that he has a seven-figure asking price, so this is a bad pick for signability. The talent is there, however, and this is about where I thought he might go, possibly landing a round later. He still has not signed, and this one will probably go down to the wire. DOB: 7/23/90. Commitment: Baylor.

5. Nate Baker, LHP, Ole Miss, #145 overall, 6’3’’/193: Another surprising pick, as Baker was a spot starter and reliever this year with the Rebels. He doesn’t really have a long track record of success, either. However, he did end up being the most effective pitcher on the Rebels’ staff, and he’s got solid stuff. I still think he’s probably a LOOGY, or a 7th inning type of guy, but there’s a good chance the Pirates see him as a starter, as he has a nice three pitch mix. His ceiling is probably as a #4/5 starter in his prime. Don’t like this pick much for draft position or talent, though I would think he’s signable. However, he hasn’t signed yet, so it’s something to watch. Neal Huntington said they were close to a deal 11 days ago. DOB: 12/27/87.

6. Zack Von Rosenberg, RHP, Zachary HS (LA), #175 overall, 6’5’’/205: I was very surprised when Von Rosenberg lasted this long, as he’s a personal favorite of mine. A pitchability righty, Von Rosenberg doesn’t have a flaming fastball, but his command of his arsenal is some of the best I’ve seen from a prep in recent memory. His frame is projectable, so there might even be something to add in the velocity department if that’s your thing. But I’ll stick with this kid, because he can locate his pitches and can learn how to throw Major League pitch sequences as a result. He hasn’t signed yet, and I doubt he will until the deadline, as I expect his bonus might be in the $800K-$1MM range. He’ll be worth it. DOB: 9/24/90. Commitment: LSU.

7. Trent Stevenson, RHP, Brophy Prep HS (AZ), #205 overall, 6’6’’/175: I’d say Stevenson is pretty close to being the opposite of Von Rosenberg. As a tall, skinny prep thrower, Stevenson lacks the polish of a top prospect, even for a prep. He’s got the body and pure arm of a first-rounder, but his lack of command and consistency really keeps him from making anything of his natural talents, at least so far. If the Pirates sign him, which is by no means guaranteed, they’ll have a major project on their hands, as Stevenson will probably need the full step-by-step process to reach the bigs. He’s got monster potential, probably in the #2 range, but is years away from seeing it. Good pick for talent and draft position, but he’s going to be expensive. DOB: 6/1/90. Commitment: Arizona.

8. Colton Cain, LHP, Waxahachie HS (TX), #235 overall, 6’3’’/225: The Pirates finished a run of three top prep arms with the one who might be best of all in Cain. Here’s a lefty who can sit in the low-90s, and he also has a decent curve on top of that. Already a big kid, Cain is capable of playing first base, as well, which is something he did on the showcases last summer. He’s got some minor makeup issues, usually in the cocky category, but the talent is undeniable. Great pick for talent and draft position, but it might take seven figures to keep Cain from Austin. I’m guessing that one of the three pitchers here won’t sign, as this is an expensive run. DOB: 2/5/91. Commitment: Texas.

9. Brock Holt, 2B, Rice, #265 overall, 5’10’’/170: I thought Holt might climb a few rounds higher as a scrappy, heady player from a solid program. However, Holt does lack the overall tools to be an impact player, and I see him as an eventual utility man with plus defensive skills at second, average ones at short, and the ability to handle third in a pinch. His bat has some pop, but I wouldn’t classify it as average in the power department. He probably won’t hit enough to hold down a regular job. He signed quickly and is off to a rough .208/.291/.325 start with State College in 77 ABs. DOB: 6/11/88. Signing bonus: $125,000.

10. Joey Schoenfeld, C, Santiago HS (CA), #295 overall, 6’2’’/187: This was a large overdraft, as Schoenfeld is one of the more raw players with talent in this draft class. Classifying him as a catcher is a bit iffy right now, as he has the tools, but has bad mechanics and will need a lot of work. There’s been speculation he’ll need to move somewhere else and soon. Same for the bat, as he’s just up to shape yet. The Pirates surprised me by calling his name this high, and while the talent might be decent, it’s definitely not a strong by draft position. He hasn’t signed yet, either, and I wonder if he will at all. A bit puzzling here. He’s simply an athlete, not yet a baseball player. DOB: 6/11/91. Commitment: San Diego State.

11. Aaron Baker, 1B, Oklahoma, #325 overall, 6’2’’/220: I liked this pick to an extent, as Baker has the natural talent to be a starting first baseman, but has more holes in his game than your normal college pick. He’s got huge power, and I like his patience as well, but he strikes out way too much as a result of big holes in his swing that will get exposed at higher levels. However, this pick is quite good for talent, and this is about where I thought he’d go. He signed quickly, and he’s at .244/.370/.333 through 45 ABs with State College. DOB: 9/10/87. Signing bonus: Unknown.

12. Jeff Inman, RHP, Stanford, #355 overall, 6’3’’/205: Inman was in the running for a top three rounds pick entering the spring. However, huge bouts of ineffectiveness and loss of command meant that he fell down the boards. He’s got the natural talent to be an impact pitcher, but with questions of health and stuff coming in, this was a natural decline in draft stock. I still expected him to go in the 7-10 round range, with someone offering him 3rd round money to sign away from his senior year at Stanford, but it’s looking to me like he’ll return. This is a decent gamble in the 12th round for the Pirates, but I only see him signing if multiple pitchers in the 6-8 round picks fail to sign, opening up enough money for him. DOB: 11/24/87.

13. Walker Gourley, SS, Eastern Wayne HS (NC), #385 overall, 6’0’’/180: I expected Gourley to go somewhere in this range as a solid prep infielder with medium upside. He’s not loaded with tools outside of his arm, but he has enough talent to become a possible utility infielder, though his range up the middle will be limited. He also has a chance to hit for a decent average, but with little power. He signed not long ago, but is off to a poor 1-for-16 start in the GCL. DOB: 6/28/91. Signing bonus: Unknown.

14. Marcos Reyna, RHP, Bakersfield JC (CA), #415 overall, 6’2’’/185: This was a very surprising pick to me, as Reyna, a JUCO freshman, was never even on my radar. A 14th-round pick is usually spent on someone a team thinks can be a possible Major Leaguer. He’s got a solid pro body with some decent stuff, but this was a reach. He hasn’t signed, and I wonder if his extra leverage in being a JUCO freshman comes into play. DOB: 11/4/89. Commitment: None.

15. Peter Bako, C, Connors State JC (OK), #445 overall, 6’1’’/180: Another JUCO freshman, Bako’s got a different pedigree than Reyna, having come to Connors from Ontario. I expected Bako’s name to pop up somewhere around this point, as he’s got the raw tools to be a decent catching prospect. However, as with Reyna, he has extra leverage, and he hasn’t signed. I put the odds of him signing at 20/80, with the 80 being him going back to school. DOB: 9/14/89. Commitment: None.

16. Matt den Dekker, OF, Florida, #475 overall, 6’1’’/205: This marks the transition to the unsignable and organizational player wave for the Pirates. den Dekker was a first day prospect entering the spring, but his disappointing performance led to big questions about his future hitting ability, as some now see him as a reserve outfielder. He’s got solid fielding skills for center, and he should hit in time, but it’s now likely he’ll return to school for his senior year, where he could hit himself into the first day. He hasn’t signed, and I don’t expect him to. DOB: 8/10/87.

17. Jordan Cooper, RHP, Central HS (TN), #505 overall, 6’2’’/195: Cooper’s got the natural talent of a first day prospect, but the refinement of a 15th-rounder. He throws the ball with great velocity, but his command of his arsenal, and the lack of quality secondary pitches, pushed him down boards. However, he should have gone significantly higher than this on ceiling alone, but fell due to signability concerns. He probably won’t sign, and he’ll be eligible for the draft again after his sophomore season at Kentucky in 2011. DOB: 2/16/90. Commitment: Kentucky.

18. Ryan Beckman, RHP, Grayson County CC (TX), #535 overall, 6’4’’/185: This is an intriguing pick for me, as I knew of Beckman, but not enough to think he’d be picked even in the second day. He’s definitely got a pro body, and it seems to be projectable, but he just seemed so raw to me that I thought teams would surely let him return for his sophomore season at Grayson. Surprisingly, he rather quickly signed with the Pirates, and he threw 4 decent innings in his GCL debut on July 10. DOB: 1/2/90. Signing bonus: Unknown.

19. Josh Urban, RHP, Dripping Springs HS (TX), #565 overall, 6’4’’/215: Urban’s another pick that has much more raw talent than his draft position shows. Blessed with a natural pro body, Urban’s main flaws lie in his mechanics, and he gets many of the same criticisms that fellow Texan Matt Purke gets about his delivery. However, Urban’s mechanics don’t allow for the velocity of Purke, making his stock even worse. This is a great pick on talent and draft position, but he also won’t sign. DOB: 3/1/91. Commitment: Texas.

20. Sam Spangler, LHP, Hawaii, #595 overall, 6’2’’/195: Spangler’s an interesting story, as he was an absolute nobody entering college. Originally from New Mexico, Spangler worked himself into being a pro prospect as a draft-eligible sophomore, and he has the talent to be a swing man. In other words, he can be more than just a LOOGY. However, his extra leverage puts his signability in doubt, and even though he should have gone 5-10 rounds earlier, he fell here and hasn’t signed yet. DOB: 9/24/87.

21. Phillip Irwin, RHP, Ole Miss, #625 overall, 6’3’’/220: Having already drafted one Rebel, the Pirates went back to Oxford for a second Ole Miss pitcher. Irwin’s got a durable pro body, but lacks any real pro stuff, and he projects as a middle reliever to me. He signed quickly, and he’s thrown 7 quality shutout innings in his debut with State College. DOB: 2/25/87. Signing bonus: Unknown.

22. Carmine Giardina, LHP, Tampa, #655 overall, 6’3’’/218: Giardina was a 28th-rounder of the Red Sox in 2006, but he passed up pro ball to head to school at Central Florida, where he transferred out of in favor of Tampa this year. He’s also blessed with a natural pro body, and he’s usually the most obvious pro candidate on any field he’s played on. However, he hasn’t signed quickly, and even though I thought he’d go around this in terms of draft stock, there’s a good chance he heads back to school. DOB: 2/20/88.

23. Jose Hernandez, LF, UT-San Antonio, #685 overall, 5’11’’/190: Pure organizational filler here. Hernandez never secured a solid starting spot at Long Beach State, so he transferred for UTSA for his junior year. I didn’t expect him to go this high, but he signed quickly. Already 23 years old, he’s 5-for-19 so far with State College. DOB: 3/19/86. Signing bonus: Unknown.

24. Jason Erickson, RHP, Washington, #715 overall, 6’1’’/195: Erickson was picked in the 44th round out of high school in 2005, and was drafted 20 rounds earlier as a senior in college. I thought he could go as many as 10 rounds higher, but more due to command than stuff. He signed quickly and has a 2.00 ERA in 18 innings with State College. DOB: 2/3/87. Signing bonus: Unknown.

25. Aaron LaFountaine, OF, North HS (CA), #745 overall, 6’0’’/150: Not on my radar screen at all. It was hard enough finding a college commitment for him. Judging from the numbers and body size, he needs some college experience. He hasn’t signed. DOB: 6/29/91. Commitment: Riverside CC (CA).

26. Matt Dermody, LHP, Norwalk HS (IA), #775 overall, 6’5’’/185: Dermody is another tall, projectable kid drafted by the Pirates, and it looks like Dermody isn’t signable, too. He was the best prep lefty in Iowa, and he battled Matt Koch in my mind for best prep pitcher period in that state. I expect he goes to school and reemerges in two years, as he’ll be a draft-eligible sophomore in 2011. He has not signed. DOB: 7/4/90. Commitment: Iowa.

27. Wes Luquette, C, Newman HS (LA), #805 overall, 6’0’’/200: Call it the curse of Luke Bailey. Luquette also went down late in the season, only to have Tommy John surgery pretty much ruin his draft stock. I had Luquette ranked in my top five defensive catchers before the surgery, and his bat was solid, but nothing spectacular. He reminds me a lot of Taylor Teagarden, maybe with a tad less power. I bet he goes to school, as his pure talent would have had him in the top ten rounds. DOB: 5/28/90. Commitment: LSU.

28. Kyle Hooper, RHP, Saugus HS (CA), #835 overall, 6’4’’/195: I applaud the Pirates for thinking long-term in terms of drafting pitcher after pitcher with projectability. The only problem is the signability factor. Hooper should have gone in the top twelve to fifteen rounds, as he’s got nice size, but lacks polish. He’ll likely end up at school, as it will probably take good money to sign him away. DOB: 5/28/91. Commitment: UC Irvine.

29. Michael Heller, RHP, Cardinal Mooney HS (FL), #865 overall, 6’1’’/188: I initially tracked Heller as a middle infielder, but it became apparent that his potent tool was his arm strength, which played much better as a pitcher. In many ways, he’s similar to Keyvius Sampson there, as he might only have one average or better pitch, probably limiting him to relief. Combined with his signability, it made him fall all the way to this spot, and he probably won’t sign. DOB: 4/25/91. Commitment: Florida.

30. Ty Summerlin, SS, Southeastern Louisiana, #895 overall, 5’10’’/170: A college senior, Summerlin was a roster-filler pick. He signed quickly, and he’s hitting .293/.333/.345 in 58 ABs. DOB: 10/6/86. Signing bonus: Unknown.

31. Zach Taylor, OF, Statesboro HS (GA), #925 overall, 6’3’’/210: Taylor’s a big kid, but is quite raw in most facets of his game. As a result, he fell this far, probably ten rounds more than I thought he would, and he’ll likely end up at school. Remember this name for a possible Jared Mitchell-like ascendance three years from now. He hasn’t signed. DOB: 5/3/91. Commitment: Georgia.

32. Niko Spezial, LHP, Don Bosco Prep HS (NJ), #955 overall, 6’3’’/230: Spezial was probably the best prep lefthander in New Jersey this year, but fell this far due to signability concerns and concerns over his secondary stuff. As evidenced by his size numbers, he’s a big kid, and he might blossom like follow New Jersey prep Anthony Ranaudo has at LSU. He will likely not sign. DOB: 11/1/90. Commitment: Wake Forest.

33. Pat Irvine, OF, Elon, #985 overall, 5’11’’/190: Irvine’s another guy I wasn’t really tracking this year. He’s a roster filler that really struggled at times before this year. He signed quickly and is off to a .220/.300/.373 start with State College. DOB: 1/27/86. Signing bonus: Unknown.

34. Zach Fuesser, LHP, Walters State CC (TN), #1015 overall, 6’2’’/190: Fuesser was a 19th-rounder of the Braves a year ago out of high school and didn’t sign, so it’s doubtful he’ll sign this year. A JUCO freshman, Fuesser’s also got the leverage of having another year of JUCO ball. He’s got good size, but needs to work on his consistency. I doubt he signs. DOB: 7/17/90. Commitment: None.

35. Chris McKenzie, RHP, San Jacinto JC (TX), #1045 overall, 6’3’’/185: Another JUCO freshman, McKenzie will also probably pass over the Pirates’ offer in favor of another year at the JUCO powerhouse San Jacinto. I expected him to go late like this, as he’s got talent, but needs work and isn’t worthy of a large investment quite yet. He could emerge higher next year, as he probably will not sign. DOB: 12/6/89. Commitment: None.

36. Bobby Doran, RHP, Seward County CC (KS), #1075 overall, 6’6’’/225: You generally can’t beat Bobby Doran in terms of size, but I haven’t been able to pull together much other information about him. He worked a lot for Seward this year, and I think he wants to pitch in the Big 12. I doubt he signs. DOB: 3/21/89. Commitment: Texas Tech.

37. Zach Nuding, RHP, Weatherford JC (TX), #1105 overall, 6’4’’/250: Back to JUCO freshmen, Nuding is one from Weatherford. He’s got a big, durable body, and he pitched in relief this past year. It seems he’s got a durable starter’s body in the long-run, but I doubt he signs with Pittsburgh and returns to Weatherford for his sophomore campaign. DOB: 3/29/90. Commitment: None.

38. Jake Lamb, 3B, Bishop Blancet HS (WA), #1135 overall, 6’3’’/195: Lamb’s another kid with a pro body, but is also a kid in need of some polish before entering the pro game. He’s got plenty of talent, but if he wants to be drafted as a third baseman again, he needs to get the bat going. He’s almost certain to end up at college. DOB: 10/9/90. Commitment: Washington.

39. Keifer Nuncio, RHP, Katy HS (TX), #1165 overall, 6’0’’/195: I thought Nuncio would go in the top 12 rounds, but he fell due to signability concerns. His body isn’t exactly your typical pro body, and there’s thought that he might not be able to handle a starter’s workload. However, he’ll probably step right in for his college staff as a reliever, working his way into more mound time. He’s got solid stuff. He probably will not sign. DOB: 1/23/91. Commitment: Texas.

40. Brett Lee, LHP, West Florida HS (FL), #1195 overall, 6’4’’/185: Another tall, tall kid, Lee is a pure projectability pick. A southpaw, Lee doesn’t have a lot in terms of current stuff, but he offers a lot of projectability for a club wanting high-end arms. Lee should have gone in the top 15 rounds or so, and he’ll likely end up at college. He has not signed. DOB: 9/20/90. Commitment: Florida State.

41. Tyler Cannon, SS, Virginia, #1225 overall, 6’0’’/205: When picking kids out of historically-strong academic schools, there’s always a risk that they won’t want to sign after their junior year. That’s what prompted Cannon to fall so far, as he had a chance to go in the top ten rounds when taking signability out of the equation. He improved a lot from year-to-year, but doubts linger about his bat. He’s not likely to sign. DOB: 8/30/87.

42. Marc Baca, RHP, UNLV, #1255 overall, 5’11’’/170: Senior sign on the cheap. Signed quickly and has only allowed a single earned run in 9.1 innings of relief with State College. DOB: 10/11/86. Signing bonus: Unknown.

43. Teddy Fallon, RHP, South Carolina-Upstate, #1285 overall, 6’2’’/191: 22 year old college junior with nothing left to prove in college. Signed quickly and has allowed 3 earned runs in 4 innings of relief with State College. DOB: 10/29/86. Signing bonus: Unknown.

44. Dexter Bobo, Georgia Southern, #1315 overall, 5’11’’/190: Bobo’s got some decent pure stuff, but doesn’t get the results. He’s a smallish pitcher with a middle reliever ceiling, but it’s likely he returns to school for his senior year. He hasn’t signed yet. DOB: 11/10/87.

45. Kevin Gelinas, LHP, Central Arizona JC, #1345 overall, 6’5’’/230: I thought Gelinas would go much higher, possibly even sneaking into the top ten rounds. However, it seems his commitment for college is much stronger than I thought. He needs to work on his command, but he’s got scary potential. I doubt he signs, as he hasn’t yet. DOB: 5/31/89. Commitment: UC Santa Barbara.

46. Parker Bangs, RHP, South Carolina, #1375 overall, 6’4’’/213: Bangs was a sophomore-eligible with a big body, but not much results. He’ll likely return to school for his junior year, and he should go much higher. He hasn’t signed. DOB: 12/22/87.

47. Justin Earls, LHP, Georgia, #1405 overall, 6’2’’/190: Earls was a junior lefty with Georgia, and he’s got enough stuff to possibly be a LOOGY in the distant future. However, for now he’ll be returning to Athens for his senior year. He hasn’t signed. DOB: 12/4/87.

48. Blake Brown, OF, Normal West HS (IL), #1435 overall, 6’0’’/185: I thought Brown could go in the top fifteen rounds as a solid prep outfield pick. However, he’s committed strongly to Missouri, and coming from a cold climate, that was enough to convince scouts that they should let him go. He could improve his draft stock greatly with three years of college. He hasn’t signed. DOB: 6/30/91. Commitment: Missouri.

49. Yasser Clor, RHP, California, #1465 overall, 6’4’’/195: Clor was picked in the 15th round out of high school by the White Sox in 2006, but hasn’t gained much notoriety since. He’ll likely return to school for his senior year, as he hasn’t signed. DOB: 1/16/88.

50. Matt Taylor, LHP, Columbus HS (GA), #1495 overall, 6’1’’/160: Taylor fits the mold of this draft, as he’s a projectable pitcher with room to grow. I like his big, slow curveball, and he could end up contributing quickly in school. Since he fell about 40 rounds farther than I thought he would, he won’t sign. DOB: 4/1/91. Commitment: Alabama.

I’m very interested in how this draft looks on August 18, after all the signings have become known. There’s quite a few guys with big signability questions mixed in, and if they can ink them, this draft looks quite impressive. As I’ve made known quite a few times, I don’t like passing on more talented players at the top in favor of signability, so the Tony Sanchez pick doesn’t sit too well in my eyes. Even though first-rounders are no sure things, they generally put out much more value in the Major Leagues than any other slot, so teams need to concentrate heavily on getting the best player available there. Sanchez was a borderline first round pick, and most studies have shown that top fifteen players can be much more valuable in terms of Major League output than the second half of the first round. Since the Pirates conceivably picked a guy that’s a second half of the first round talent, there’s a line of thought that they essentially traded away Major League output for money, at least in terms of pure statistical chance. So I don’t like it. I thought this team had changed their ways after last year’s Pedro Alvarez pick, but apparently not.

The one shining light I found in their model was the idea that they were saving that Sanchez money not for Miguel Angel Sano, but for the rest of their picks. They did a good job of signing their top picks quickly, as Victor Black and Brooks Pounders gave them two solid starting prospects, and Evan Chambers gave them a high-risk, high-reward option in the outfield. Sanchez is likely their future starting catcher, too. Their other signed top-ten rounder, Brock Holt, probably has a future as at least a Major League utility man, though his price tag of $125K is a little much that far down. Since the Pirates already have a draft of Sanchez, Black, Pounders, Chambers, and Holt locked down, their chances of sliding up in quality at the signing deadline are high. Dodson, Von Rosenberg, Stevenson, and Cain all offer quality prep arms, and my guess is that they ink three of the four. Nate Baker should be signed before the deadline, as I don’t see him going any higher if he were to re-enter next year. The 5th round is his ultimate ceiling.

Beyond those top ten guys, there’s an interesting mix of what are largely unsignable players. Depending on the amount the Pirates spend on the prep mix listed above, there’s a chance one or two of the guys I listed as virtually unsignable will in fact be signed. Jeff Inman is probably their first option past those guys, and they’ll probably make an independent run at him with a set budget amount in mind. Inking a Matt den Dekker also would make this draft interesting, as adding a few position players might help it. However, looking at this draft as a whole, it’s quite successful, but I have to mark it down a little, as they didn’t get a marquee player, even while holding the fourth pick. As a result, I grade them about even with the Nationals, but better than Seattle or San Diego.

FINAL GRADE: B.

Note: If you have signing bonus information or other information you wish to share, feel free to comment or email me at texasrangersanalyst at gmail dot com.

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July 13, 2009 - Posted by | Draft Review |

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