Player to Watch: Patrick McAnaney

Following up on my post about State College below, where I said that Dave Littlefield had left little land mines all over the place, there's a pitcher named Patrick McAnaney in the low levels of the Diamondbacks system you may want to watch. The Pirates drafted him in the 38th round last year but didn't sign him. Here's what WTM had to say:

Several newspaper articles shortly before the signing deadline indicated that McAnaney was very close to signing with the Pirates, but their last negotiated session went very badly.  It's possible the Pirates pulled back at the last second because former GM Dave Littlefield committed all his available resources to paying Matt Morris.  Littlefield stated, after the Pirates had signed 27 draftees, that they planned to sign at least a few more.  Instead, they didn't sign any, so it seems possible that Littlefield re-directed all his resources to that one staggering blunder.  

The Diamondbacks picked McAnaney in the 8th round of the draft this year, and here are his stats:

Yakima (Northwest League): 9 games, 6 starts, 32.2 innings, 38 strikeouts, 13 walks, 0.55 ERA

South Bend (Midwest League): 4 games, 4 starts, 18 innings, 12 strikeouts, 5 walks, 1.50 ERA

McAnaney allowed just one homer in both stops combined.

Yakima is the same level as State College, and South Bend is the same level as Hickory. McAnaney probably would have been a late signing by the Pirates last year, so he wouldn't have started his pro career until 2008 even if the Pirates had signed him in 2007. He probably would have started at Hickory anyway (a rung higher than State College), but how nice would it have been to have him at State College, the level where he ended up playing most of this year for the Diamondbacks?

Of course, what's really strange about McAnaney is that Littlefield drafted him in the first place. It was incredibly rare for Littlefield to take players with upside in the late rounds. The one time in a hundred he actually got one who might be able to help, he may have passed him over so he could pay for Matt Morris. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what happens to McAnaney. The Diamondbacks have to be pretty happy with him so far. Anyway, it's probably not a huge deal and, as I said, McAnaney might not have played for the Spikes in any case, but when I say that the State College mess is the result of Littlefield not having his priorities straight, Morris-over-McAnaney is the sort of decision I'm talking about.

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