Found February 02, 2013 on
Los Angeles Dodgers
Every year I always purchase a copy of the Baseball America Prospect Handbook. I only cover the Pirates’ farm system, and while that does give me a chance to see prospects from other systems, my focus is usually on the players with the Pirates. I like the BA handbook because it shows what other teams have in their system, which gives you some perspective on how the individual Pirates players stack up to players on other teams. It also gives an outside look at some of the aspects of the Pirates system.
The Pirates write up is usually done by a Pittsburgh writer, but there are other sections in the book that are done by BA writers. One of those sections I check out each year is the draft analysis. Baseball America reviews the previous year’s draft, giving the usual individual awards for “Best Pure Hitter”, “Best Power Hitter” and so on. They also give grades to each of the previous drafts, which can change over time.
When I checked out the draft grades in this year’s book, I noticed some strong results. This year’s book includes all of the draft recaps under Neal Huntington (next year’s book will cut off the 2008 results). Jim Callis does the previous year’s recaps, and had three of the four drafts graded as a B+ or better. The 2008 and 2010 drafts received a B+ grade, while the 2011 draft received an A. The 2009 draft was on the other end of the spectrum with a D grade.
Each year you expect the draft results to fluctuate. Some players will wash out, and some players will see improvements. So I wanted to see how the drafts have progressed over the years. I turned to my previous copies of the BA Prospect Handbook to see the grades each year. The grades started two years after the draft, so we don’t have a grade for the 2012 draft, and we only have 1-2 years respectively for 2011 and 2010.
Pedro Alvarez was taken in the first round of the 2008 draft.
The 2008 Draft
The 2008 draft started out strong, and has seen a slight drop off, but the results are still there. The short write-up notes that the rest of the top five picks, plus Matt Hague (9th round) have made the majors. One of the players mentioned was second round pick Tanner Scheppers, even though he wasn’t signed. I’m not sure if he is considered when giving the draft a grade. Also, the “made the majors” requirement is a bit shallow, since most of the other players either haven’t gotten established, or don’t look like they will become established. For perspective, the goal of most drafts is to get three players to the majors. Right now the players with the best chances to stick are Pedro Alvarez, Justin Wilson, and Jordy Mercer.
The 2009 Draft
The 2009 draft didn’t start out very well, and slowly dropped off the last two years. When looking at the ratings from this year’s book, the 2009 grade clearly sticks out. Across the league the 2009 draft was the worst on average. It had the lowest average league-wide. The Pirates were among the worst of the worst with their D grade. The Dodgers, Marlins, and Rays all got D grades, while the Orioles and Mets received F grades.
The 2010 Draft
This one has stayed the same, even though Stetson Allie’s stock took a huge hit in 2012. Again, I’m not sure if un-signed players count to the total. Jason Hursh and Kent Emmanuel both received high ratings in Baseball America’s 2013 draft coverage, and both went un-signed this year. Jameson Taillon probably plays a big role in this rating, and Nick Kingham probably has a big impact as well.
The 2011 Draft
We’ve only seen the 2011 guys for one season, but the results were strong. Aside from Gerrit Cole and Josh Bell fueling this ranking, the 2011 group also includes Clay Holmes, Tyler Glasnow, and Alex Dickerson. The Pirates were one of seven teams to get an A for the 2011 draft.
After looking at the Pirates grades, I went through to get the averages for every other team from all four years. The Pirates finished in a three-way tie for 12th. The 2009 draft really sunk their rating. If that draft would have been graded a C instead of a D, they would have been tied for fifth. They finished above-average every year except the 2009 draft.
Overall the draft grades look pretty good. That 2009 draft is the exception, and doesn’t look like a draft that could produce an impact player. It’s probably still too early to give any hard grades to the 2010 and 2011 drafts, since most of the middle round guys are still in A-ball. At any rate, it was good to get an outside opinion on the drafts, and to see how the Pirates stacked up against other teams.
Links and Notes
**The 2013 Prospect Guide is now available. The 2013 Annual is also available for pre-sales. Go to the products page of the site and order your 2013 books today!
**The State College Spikes Are Auctioning off Game Worn Prospect Jerseys.
**Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Top Prospects: #1 – Gerrit Cole.
**Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Top 20 Prospects.
**The Latest Delay on Francisco Liriano.
**Baseball America Releases Their Pre-Season 2013 Draft Rankings.
**Starling Marte Boosted His Stock in Winter Ball.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Starling Marte put up impressive numbers in winter league ball.
Ben Badler of Baseball America has a list of ten players who boosted their stock in Winter Ball this year. Coming in at number eight on the list was Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte. Marte hit for a .304/.381/.464 line in 112 at-bats in the Dominican Winter League, then hit for a .422/.481/.756 line with...
The Pirates Prospects 2013 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features over 250 prospect reports, the 2013 top 50 prospects, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find. While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top 20 prospects over the next few weeks. Be sure to purchase your copy of the book on...
Back on December 21st, we heard that the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed on a two-year deal with left-handed pitcher Francisco Liriano. After a long delay, it was reported that Liriano hurt his right arm after the agreement, which was holding up the deal. Later it was learned that Liriano broke his humerus, apparently in a fall in the bathroom.
The Pirates and Liriano reportedly agreed...
Gerrit Cole is the number one prospect in the system for the second year in a row.
Today we completed the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates top 20 prospects countdown with the shocking revelation that Gerrit Cole was the number one prospect in the system. The full list of players can be found in the links below, with write-ups on each player. The full top 50 list, as well as reports on every...
The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to terms with Neil Walker and James McDonald, per a team announcement. Walker and McDonald were the final two players eligible for arbitration, and by agreeing to deals they avoid an arbitration hearing.
No word yet on the terms of the deals. I’ll update this post when that is announced.
The Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to terms on 2013 contracts with second baseman Neil Walker and right-handed pitcher James McDonald on Thursday, avoiding arbitration.
Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Walker hit .280 with 14 home runs and 69 RBIs in 129 games last season but missed significant time due to a back injury. The 27-year-old Pittsburgh native made $500,000 in 2012...
The Pirates avoided salary arbitration hearings this year by reaching deals with all their arb-eligible players. James McDonald and Neil Walker agreed to deals yesterday ($3.025M and $3.3M respectively), while Garrett Jones, Gaby Sanchez, and Charlie Morton had already reached deals a few weeks ago. All their salaries are reasonable and within the ranges of most projections, so it...
With spring training fast approaching, the Pittsburgh Pirates continue to try to work out a contract with Francisco Liriano. The holdup now appears to be that the Pirates want to sign Liriano to a minor league deal with an invitation to major league spring training and a legitimate chance to make the rotation. However, Liriano is said to at least want one guaranteed year with an...
According to the Sports Xchange, which is a wire service, the Pirates still haven't finalized their deal with Francisco Liriano yet. Apparently the club would like to bring Liriano in on a minor league deal (presumably with similar terms to the deal he's been close to signing multiple times) with a shot at earning a roster spot, while Liriano wants a guaranteed contract and...
With the beginning of spring training approaching and free agency pretty much wrapped up, we've hit the portion of the off-season where the prospect-ranking people do their prospect ranking. In turn, that means that it's time for me to start paying attention to prospects and to swear that this is the year that I do a better job of following prospects on WHYGAVS, only...
You can bid on a game-worn Luis Heredia jersey.
The State College Spikes and MILB auctions are auctioning off game worn jerseys of Pirates prospects from the 2010-2012 seasons. There will be two auctions, with one running from February 1st through February 14th, and the second running from February 15th through February 28th. Some of the top prospects in the system have jerseys included...
Baseball America has released their pre-season 2013 draft rankings today for subscribers. Because the list is only for subscribers, I’ll give a few highlights below.
**Mark Appel is the top prospect for the second year in a row.
**The Pirates currently pick 9th and 14th. The 9th ranked prospect is prep shortstop J.P. Crawford, who BA says has a “slick glove and an above-average...
Luis Heredia was named the number 104 prospect by MLB.com.
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com released his top 100 prospects on Tuesday night, with four Pirates prospects making the list. One notable player that was missing was right-handed pitcher Luis Heredia. When MLB.com posted an updated top 100 list back in September, Heredia was on the list at number 73. When the 2013 list was announced...
In playoff action from today, the Perth Heat swept a doubleheader, advancing to the Australian Baseball League Finals, which will be held next weekend. Pirates prospect Sam Kennelly, will try to help his team to an ABL title, as they face off against the Canberra Calvary in a best-of-three series starting next Friday. The games will be shown(slightly taped delayed) on the MLB Network...
The Pittsburgh Pirates have avoided arbitration with second baseman Neil Walker and pitcher James McDonald after agreeing to one-year contracts with each player.