Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 2/2/13
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 2010: A 2011: A 2012: B+ 2013: B+ 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 2011: C+ 2012: C 2013: D 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 2012: B+ 2013: B+ 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 2013: A 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. Total 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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Redick gives Clippers ‘F-minus’ grade for losing Jordan

Report: PGA pulls Grand Slam event from Trump course

Three things to watch for on Hard Knocks with the Texans

Pierre-Paul could face charges for possession of fireworks

Report: Warriors trade David Lee to Celtics for Gerald Wallace

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rivers believes Gates' PED use was unintentional

Favre felt 'bothered' by Green Bay's decision to trade him

Ned Yost explains Alex Rodriguez’s All-Star Game snub

Donovan McNabb arrested for DUI after rear-ending car

It is progress time for the Philadelphia 76ers

Andrew Luck talks Super Bowl hopes and Patriots

Matt Bonner blames iPhone 6 for elbow injury, shooting woes

Evaluating Tarasenko’s eight-year, $60M contract

Tigers should accept reality and become trade deadline sellers

5 running backs who could break the Heisman Trophy streak

Roy Halladay snaps selfie while getting a speeding ticket

National Basketball Players Association to set up heath insurance for retirees

'Corrected' 2015 MLB All-Star Game picks

NHL expansion process begins, application cutoff set for Aug. 10

Cardinals send rookies to Starbucks to pick up order

Mark Cuban fined for discussing Matthews and Jordan deals

Baseball's most productive low-authority hitters of all-time

USWNT's World Cup triumph four years in the making

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

5 RBs who could break the Heisman Trophy streak

Watch to watch on Hard Knocks with the Texans

Tigers should become trade deadline sellers

JPP could face criminal charges?

'Corrected' 2015 MLB All-Star Game picks

MLB's 2015 All-Star snubs

Gronk, David Ortiz in latest Dunkin Donuts iced coffee video

The 2015 All-Star reserves & pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Video shows De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.