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Draft Open Thread (Pirates Pick Moskos)

UPDATE: The Pirates have chosen Daniel Moskos, a lefty from Clemson. Great. Fiftieth verse, same as the first. Except not quite: he was a reliever in college until this season, which probably means he wasn't abused like a lot of college starters are. Unfortunately, many analysts think he'll be a reliever in the majors, and he has a high-effort delivery. Neither of those those sound good.

Here's some info:

Moskos stands to be the best left-handed pitcher drafted out of Clemson since Tyler Lumsden, a first round supplemental pick in 2004. Moskos, like Lumsden, throws hard for a lefty, sitting in the 89-92 range as a starter and reaching the mid-90s as a closer. His stuff is nasty when used in short stints, with excellent movement on his fastball which is complemented perfectly by a wicked slider. He is expected to be moved back to the starting rotation next spring given his promising third pitch, a changeup, but many believe his stuff is too nasty as a closer to move him.
Minor League Baseball:
An undersized lefty with a small frame who throws with maximum effort. Body-wise, he's maxed out without much projection... While some think he can start because of three potential pitches, the bullpen is a more likely permanent home for the hard-throwing southpaw.
This really doesn't sound good.

Bryan Smith at Sports Illustrated, in ranking Moskos the tenth-best draft prospect:

I think he projects much better out of the bullpen, as Moskos' fastball and slider are suited for short stints. However, given his success on Friday nights with Clemson this season, a team will see if Moskos can be successful throwing three or four different pitches with less effort. Moskos is very good at keeping his fastball low in the zone and inducing groundballs, so it is certainly a chance worth taking.
Baseball America:
In starts of late, Moskos’ velocity has sat at 90-92 mph, and he has a low-80s slider to go with a curveball and changeup. While he has good stuff, he has not dominated in his first extended stint as a college starter.
Honestly, I don't understand why the Pirates don't think it's worth the extra million bucks or so it would cost them to work with Boras to sign Wieters. If you flush your money down the toilet on first-round pitchers who get injured or flame out, then you have to pay a lot more later on. Dave Littlefield's unwillingness to learn his lesson is kind of unbelievable; his willingness to take the PR beating he's about to receive is equally unbelievable.

The best thing I can say in their defense is that maybe somebody in their scouting department thinks they're getting some kind of left-handed equivalent of Tim Lincecum - you know, high-effort delivery, close to the majors. At the time of last year's draft, many analysts thought Lincecum would be a reliever too. But it still looks to me that if that's what the Pirates are thinking, they're fooling themselves, and just because Lincecum hasn't gotten injured doesn't mean Moskos won't.

UPDATE: As Count Vertigo points out, Moskos will pitch on ESPN tomorrow at noon.

* * *

2:00 PM, ESPN2

I'll be at my brother's graduation in Virginia for much of the day tomorrow, but hopefully I'll be able to check periodically. Here's what might happen:

-P- The Post-Gazette reports that the Bucs want high school third baseman Josh Vitters. Vitters may not be available with the fourth pick, however.

-P- The Trib reports that the Pirates will be concerned about "signability" tomorrow, which probably rules out Georgia Tech catcher and Scott Boras client Matt Wieters. Punxsutawney high school catcher Devin Mesoraco may be on the Pirates' radar, the Trib reports. (The Trib quotes Bucs scouting director Ed Creech saying Mesoraco is worthy of a top pick.) I hadn't heard of Mesoraco until about five minutes ago, so this isn't exactly great news to me. He'll apparently be eminently signable, which may just be more evidence that he's not the best talent available. As some of you noted in the diaries, Baseball Prospectus reported this too.

-P- The Beaver County Times says that the Cubs, who many think will take Vitters with the third pick, may actually go for Wieters, in which case it's likely that the Bucs will take Vitters.

-P- For whatever it's worth, Baseball America ranks  prep third baseman Mike Moustakas the fourth-best prospect available. Moustakas will probably be available when the Pirates pick - but he's also a Boras client.

-P- Other names that have been mentioned in multiple articles as possible top Pirates picks include Missouri State lefty Ross Detweiler and Lewis-Clark State slugger Beau Mills.

With money being a huge concern, all signs point to my being disappointed if the Bucs can't get Vitters.

UPDATE: I should hopefully be here when the Pirates make their first pick. Here are some other sources of information in case you get antsy. Feel free to post here in case you find out anything.

Minor League Ball

Baseball America

1. David Price - Devil Rays
2. Mike Moustakas - Royals. Not Rick Porcello as expected. I hope that won't tempt the Pirates to go for Porcello. (UPDATE: Oops, Porcello is a Boras client, so probably not.)
3. Josh Vitters - Cubs. Ugh. That stinks. The Bucs are on the clock; I have no real idea what they'll do.
4. Daniel Moskos - Pirates.
5. Matt Wieters - Orioles.