Last year I took a look at everyone who was drafted by the Pirates in the 2008 draft. I return to that draft class a year older, but not much wiser. Last year's comments are bold for players who signed. This year's updates are in italics.
This still looks like a very solid draft. It could be a great draft, but that depends on what Alvarez and Grossman do. But props to NH on this one. It looks better today than last year.
1(2), Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Vanderbilt. Playing third for the Bucs, but might turn into a better offensive and defensive first baseman than Ryan Howard. A wRC+ of 57 with the Pirates, but one can still hope.
2(48), Tanner Scheppers, RHP, Fresno State. Now a top prospect of the Rangers, but wanted first-round money to sign in 2008 while injured.Still varying opinions about him. I quote John Sickels "Health and command remain issues, but even a small improvement would get him to the majors quickly." Still tantalizing after all these years, he pitched just 44 innings in 2011.
3(79), Jordy Mercer SS, Oklahoma State. Had an OPS of 699 at Altoona last year, keeping offensive worries alive. Seems to be a capable shortstop, so he might make the majors. Seems to be showing enough to be considered as a Pirates 2012 shortstop candidate.
4(114), Chase d'Arnaud SS, Pepperdine. Had a disappointing offensive year at AA, with dreadful BABIP and an OPS of only 709. With even a moderate rebound he'll make the majors. Rebounded nicely in AAA and made the Pirates when the bodies started falling. A shortstop?
5(144), Justin Wilson LHP, Fresno State. Reduced his FIP from 4.90 to 3.49 at AA. John Sickles's #9 prospect, who notes that "he does need to lower his walk rate." Justin must have misread John. He increased his walk rate, and his FIP soared to 4.66 in AAA.
6(174), Robbie Grossman OF, Cypress-Fairbanks HS, Cypress, TX. Had an OPS of 683 at Bradenton last year. Seems to be a capable center fielder. Reduced his strikeout rate from 31% to 21%, which is still too high. Looks like a good draft pick, doesn't it.
7(204), Benji Gonzalez SS, PRBA, Gurabo, P.R. A glove-first shortstop who still has not hit. Had an OPS of 579 at WV, though the second half was better than the dreadful first half. Still not hitting, after all these years. I quote Charlie: "Gonzalez remains a terrible hitter, but he'll keep getting chances because guys who can field at shortstop in the majors are rare."
8(234), Jeremy Farrell 3B, Virginia. Had an OPS of 856 at Bradenton and was mid-season all star. Missed time due to injury. Still may be a prospect, but may need to move from third. A quote from Vlad gives a good indication of how Farrell's season went: " I think you do Holt a disservice by grouping him in with Farrell and Latimore like that. " Ouch.
9(264), Matt Hague 3B, Oklahoma State. Had an OPS of 819 at Altoona (14th in league),. Still a prospect, but will have to show more power. Had an average of 310, an on-base percentage of 373, and a wRC+ of 128. Power still on the short side, but might be playing in Pittsburgh in 2012.
10(294), Drew Gagnon RHP, Liberty HS, Brentwood, CA. DNS
11(324), David Rubinstein OF, Appalachian State. Had an OPS of 755 at West Virginia. He may still be a prospect, though he's getting a bit old for his level. Did not show much this year either. He had a 247 average and a wRC+ of 87.
12(354), Calvin Anderson 1B, Southern. A huge (and apparently poor fielding), first baseman who had an OPS of 720 and 141 K at Bradenton. Like everyone else, he hit at Bradenton. So, he's still in the mix.
13(384), Seth Gardner OF, Highland Park HS, Dallas. DNS
14(414), Mike Colla RHP, Arizona. A reliever at Bradenton and Altoona with unimpressive FIP but decent BB and K rates. Here I quote Tim Williams: "Michael Colla was a big surprise, getting thrown in to the rotation after Bryan Morris was moved to the bullpen, and sticking there due to a 3.72 ERA in 123.1 innings, along with a 96:35 K/BB ratio." I would never have predicted this. And now he's pitching in the AFL.
15(444), Chris Aure LHP, North Pole (Alaska) HS. Released in 2010. Never made it out of the GCL.
16(474), Wes Freeman OF, All Saints Academy, Lakeland, FL. Had an OPS of 495 at West Virginia. Hard to imagine he's still a prospect. Took a step back and actually hit well, but, to quote Charlie: " Wes Freeman made the transition from complete flop to semi-prospect with a strong campaign that got him promoted to West Virginia. Plenty of lingering doubts.
17(504), Jaron Shepherd OF, Navarro (TX) JC DNS
18(534), Jarek Cunningham SS, Mount Spokane HS, Spokane, WA. Had an OPS of 745 at West Virginia after missing 2009 with a knee injury. Played second base and is still in the mix. Playing in the AFL after showing more power in the FSL.
19(564), Jason Haniger C Georgia Tech DNS
20(594), Quinton Miller RHP, Shawnee HS, Medford, NJ. FIP of 3.66 in 10 starts for WV despite arm miseries. Adam Reynolds observes that, "He's built up a medical record, but he has major league stuff when on the field." No good news here. He was injured and pitched poorly when on the field.
21(624), Brent Klinger RHP, Glendale (AZ) CC. DNP in 2010, but still with Pirates (reinstated from DL at the end of the season). Released in July.
22(654), Patrick Palmeiro 3B, Heritage HS, Colleyville, TX DNS
23(684), Austin Wright LHP, Conant HS, Hoffman Estates, IL DNS
24(714), Brian Litwin 3B, St. Stephens HS, Hickory, NC DNS
25(744), Brian Leach RHP, Southern Mississippi. A starter for Bradenton with a FIP of 3.72. Still a prospect. Pitched badly with major control issues.
26(774), Zach Wilson 3B, Wilson HS, Long Beach, CA DNS
27(804), Edwin Roman OF, PRBA, Gurabo, P.R. Never made it out of the GCL.
28(834), Kyle Saukko RHP, Sierra (CA) JC Released in 2010.
29(864), Kevin Komstadius 1B, East Valley HS, Yakima, WA DNS
30(894), Daniel Martin RHP, Panola (TX) JC DNS
31(924), Ryan Hinson LHP, Clemson DNS
32(954), T.J. Forrest RHP, Bossier Parish (LA) CC DNS
33(984), Mark Carver 1B, UNC Wilmington No longer in baseball
34(1014), Matt Payne 3B, North Carolina State Released in 2009
35(1,044), Tyler Cox LHP, Illinois State. An effective reliever for Bradenton. Pitched well at Bradenton and got promoted, but is he a prospect?
36(1,074), Kyle Morgan OF, San Francisco. Released after 2010 season.
37(1,104), Matt Curry 1B, Howard (TX) JC DNS
38(1,134), Alan Knotts RHP, Louisiana Tech. Apparently out of baseball.
39(1,164), Albert Fagan RHP, Yonkers, N.Y. Released in 2009
40(1,194), Beau Didier 3B, Bellarmine Prep, Tacoma, WA DNS
41(1,224), Chris Simmons C Army. Had to fulfill Army commitment.
42(1,254), Cole White OF, Army. Came back from Army commitment and had OPS of 723 at State College. Hit pretty well at WV and Bradenton. Has not had a break out.
43(1,284), Johnny Gunter RHP, Chattahoochee Valley (AL) CC DNS
44(1,314), Mike Williams LHP, Mount Olive, NC, JC. Not impressive in relief at WV.
45(1,343), Allen Ponder RHP, Auburn-Montgomery Put on restricted list in May of 2009, not heard of since.
46(1,371), Scott McGough SS, Plum HS, Pittsburgh DNS
47(1,398), Jordan Craft OF, Kennesaw Mountain HS, GA DNS
48(1,425), Owen Brolsma RHP, Texas Tech Released at the end of 2009
49(1,452), Zach Foster RHP, Pittsburgh-Bradford. The closer for WV, but FIP of 5.04. Probably not a prospect any more. Pitched in some high-leverage situations for Bradenton. Sort of an odd year, but still pitching.
50(1,479), Craig Parry OF, South Dakota State Released after spring training in 2010
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