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Link Roundup: Latin America and the Minors

Tons more cool stuff about Latin America in the Post-Gazette today. First, there's a list of the Pirates' top five prospects who haven't yet played for the Pirates' affiliates in the states. Because Latin scouting and development under Dave Littlefield was so terrible, it's basically a list of the Pirates' most expensive signees this year, but there's also Starling Marte at the top of the list. Marte, an outfielder, turned 20 in October and hit .296/.367/.455 for the Pirates' DSL team. That's a good line for that league, although Marte was a bit old.

The list was compiled by Latin American scouting director Rene Gayo, so it's not surprising he would favor the players he got to pay the most, but it's still probably the best information about this sort of thing we're likely to get, and it's manna for dorks like me.

Meanwhile, this is an interesting piece on Gayo himself, who sounds like the kind of guy who could write an amazing autobiography.

While we're on the subject of prospects, I just noticed that WTM has written a summary of the Pirates' drafts since 1999, with grades on each draft. WTM is the authority on these things, but it's striking to me that, of Littlefield's six drafts, only two get D's, and the rest get passing grades. Yes, the 2005 draft (with Andrew McCutchen, Steve Pearce, Brent Lillibridge and Jeff Sues) looks okay, and 2003 (Paul Maholm and Tom Gorzelanny) wasn't too bad. But if Littlefield's 2007 draft, for example, doesn't get an F, then what does an F draft look like? Or do we really have to wait another two years for Danny Moskos (and any number of questionable late-round picks) to flame out completely before we give that grade? And how much does grabbing Matt Capps with a late-round pick in 2002 balance against completely botching the first overall pick in that draft (Bryan Bullington)? I would have been a bit less generous than WTM is here.