Looking in from the outside, it sure looks like the CBA influenced the Pirates draft. Since we've gone through 15 rounds so far, I took a quick look at how many high school players the Pirates took in the first 15 rounds of each draft since NH and FC signed on. An asterisk indicates that the player didn't sign.2008 5 (Grossman, Gonzalez, Gagnon *, Gardner *, Aure)
2009 7 (Pounders, Dodson, ZVR, Stevenson, Cain, Schoenfeld, Gourley *)
2010 8 (Taillon, Allie, Kingham, Hursh *, Kubitza *, Kime *, Weiss *, Kirsch *)
2011 11 (Bell, Brewer, Glasnow, Burnette, Creasy, Holmes, Bennett-Lowe *, Myles, Platts *, Dunatov *, Watts *)
2012 4 (Mathison, Sandford, Ross, Buehler)
Obviously, we don't know how many of the 2012 guys will sign. And I believe it was stated that a lot of college players were picked in 2008 to restock the system quickly.
The 2009-2011 Pirate drafts were pretty heavy in high school players, with most that were chosen in the first 10 rounds signed. It appears that the Pirates viewed drafting and signing a significant amount of high school players as a more efficient use of their funding.
With the new CBA in effect, and only 4 HS players drafted, it's as if the Pirates front office decided they needed to change. Too much risk of drafting a lot of HS players in the front 10 rounds, not being able to sign them, and losing that money from their draft pool.
With the potential need for additional funding to sign their 1st round pick (Appel), and still remain within their cap, I wouldn't be surprised if a few college players were selected because they are expected to sign for below cap numbers.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, not only with the Pirates, but with other teams under the new CBA. And whether any trends this season continue in future drafts.