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Signability Assessment For the Pirates' Remaining 2012 Draft Class

Now that most of the picks from the first ten rounds have signed, the picture is becoming clearer on the Pirates' available pool money for above-slot signings. I thought it might be a good idea to revisit the known information on signability for some of the remaining outstanding picks. Lots of info below the cut:

4) Brandon Thomas

Georgia Tech baseball coach Danny Hall believes there’s a chance that pitcher Buck Farmer and outfielder Brandon Thomas, both taken in last week’s Major League Baseball draft as juniors, could return for their senior seasons.


“I think it’s absolutely possible he could come back,” Hall said of Farmer, taken in the 15th round by the Milwaukee Brewers.

Thomas, Hall said is “kind of in the same boat.”


Prior to the draft, Hall figured both had played their last for the Yellow Jackets. - Ken Sugiura, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 6/15/12

8) Kevin Ross

New major-league rules restricting bonus money for each team should not crimp Ross’ ability to snare around a $200,000 deal. Ross confirmed that number when reminded a seventh-rounder last year got a $175,000 package of cash and school tuition. Jeffrey Borris of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, which represents such top big leaguers as Albert Pujols, is serving as Ross’ advisor (not a formal agent), and has recommended the asking price. - George Castle, Patch Media - Skokie, 6/7/12

The pool value for the Pirates' eighth-round pick is $138,200.

14) Walker Buehler

To me, Buehler is Mark Appel insurance. I see the Pirates being able to create $1 million or so in cap room, so they can offer Appel $4 million or so without losing a future first-rounder. If Appel turns it down, they can sign Buehler, a sandwich-round talent committed to Vanderbilt, for $1 million. - Jim Callis, BA: Jim Callis Chat: June 7, 6/7/12

15) Jon Youngblood

Huntington said he expected ...15th-rounder Jonathan Youngblood would be "challenging" to sign. - Rob Biertempfel, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 6/14/12

16) Max Moroff

[W]hen both the Baltimore Orioles and the St. Louis Cardinals failed to agree to terms with Moroff, he slipped into the third day of the draft.

"I was a bit disappointed. I got calls in the fifth round, but I turned it down because of the money factor. I got calls in the seventh round, but it just wasn't enough money for me. That's definitely why I slipped," Moroff said.


Moroff says the decision will all come down to money.

"I know that sounds kind of selfish but that's really it," Moroff said. "As of now, I'm going to UCF, but if the Pirates can meet that number, it's going to be a tough decision, but I'd probably end up picking pro ball." - Chris Boyle, The Seminole Chronicle, 6/14/12

The pool value of the first pick of the fifth round is $269,700, and the last pick of the fifth round is $203,900. Presumably, Moroff wants more than that.

17) Hayden Hurst

Hayden Hurst ... originally signed with Florida State but is now headed to junior college to stay draft-eligible. - Justin Barney, The Florida Times-Union, 6/22/12

If you're inclined toward a positive frame of mind, Hurst's move from a four-year school to a junior college could be seen as a favorable indication of his signability, in that it suggests that he has significant interest in turning pro sooner rather than later.

21) Jordan Steranka

Last year, the Houston Astros drafted Steranka in the 30th round, but Steranka opted to rejoin Penn State for his senior year to achieve his college degree and to elevate his draft stock for 2012.


Now, he will join his hometown Pirates... - Zack Neiner, The Daily Collegian, 6/6/12

The Collegian is Penn State's student newspaper, so if they see it as a done deal that he's going to sign, it seems like a fairly safe bet that it's going to happen at some point (though I'm a little bit surprised that it hasn't happened before now, given that he's a college senior AND a local kid).

24) Tyler Gaffney

Gaffney has said he still may return to play football as a senior even if he signs a baseball contract. - Tom FitzGerald, The San Francisco Chronicle, 6/7/12

Allowing Gaffney to continue playing college football would likely make him easier to sign, but would also decrease the chance of him becoming a successful baseball player, since only half of his attention and training time would be going toward baseball, and he would also run a significant risk of sustaining a significant football-related injury during baseball's off-season.

29) Jacob Post just finishing up high school and has a big decision to make. He has signed to play baseball at Ohio State, and Campbell said he and his family have yet to make a decision. - Mark Lazerus, The Post-Tribune, 6/7/12

No, the Post-Tribune isn't a newspaper devoted entirely to the life of Jacob Post, although that would be awesome.

31) Jack Moffit

Moffit has already decided he will not sign and instead play in college at Navarro.

"It was a cool feeling," Moffit said of being selected. "I wasn't really expecting to be drafted, so when I heard I was, it was kind of surprising. I was just hanging out with some buddies and doing a little fishing when I got a call from somebody with the Pirates."

Moffit said he opted to attend Navarro to get the college experience and an opportunity to improve his draft status. -
Justin Thomas, The Plano Star Courier, 6/12/12

33) Carlos Leal

[Delta State] Coach Mike Kinnison has not heard whether Leal will take the offer or not or come to Cleveland. - Mark H. Stowers, The Cleveland Current, in an undated article

Although he has not decided which path he will take, Leal was obviously excited about the prospect of playing major league baseball.

"It means a lot to me," said the Puerto Rico native regarding his opportunity to play in the big leagues. "Getting drafted and getting a chance to play professional baseball is great and I am very excited." -, 6/11/12

35) Jackson McClelland

As of Sunday evening [i.e. June 10], McClelland was leaning toward attending Pepperdine. - Jordan Littman, The Malibu Times, 6/13/12

McClelland's father was commenting in a few of the draft-related threads, and he indicated that McClelland would like to sign, and that he himself has been a Pirates fan since the 1970s. He also posted the following quote on a different Pirates fan site: "He's always wanted to be a pro baseball player. With a terrific scholarship offer on the table from Pepperdine, he needs enough to sustain himself the next few years while he makes that trek thru the wonderful world of minor league baseball."

36) Brody Russell

Russell very nearly went Tuesday 30 rounds earlier, but he and the St. Louis Cardinals couldn't come to an agreement on a signing bonus. Russell had asked for at least $300,000 as incentive to sign him away from Fresno State, where he has committed to play in college.

"They offered $200,000, $225,000," Russell said. "I was trying to get them to bring it up a little, and they wouldn't. I was sticking to my number, told them no." - Zach Ewing, The Bakersfield Californian, 6/6/12

37) Jacob Waguespack

The Pirates took Waguespack in the 37th round, but he hasn't heard from the organization since a congratulatory call right after the selection. Waguespack has high-round talent, but he also put out a big number prior to the MLB First-Year Player Draft.

"Clubs said I was a projectable third-to-fifth rounder, but the Pirates took (Stanford pitcher) Mark Appel, and he's soaking up a lot of their budget. Other clubs talked, but there were signability issues. I'm pretty certain I'm going to school, and I'm excited about it." - Chase Parham,, 6/8/12

The pool value for the first pick of the third round is $495,200, and for the last pick of the fifth round is, as mentioned earlier, $203,900.

"A bunch of scouts saw our games, and wanted me to go through the draft process to see how the cards would fall," said Waguespack, a 2012 first-team Class 5A All-State pitcher. "We went throught and I thought I might have been drafted a bit higher, but I was dropped to 37th, even though they weren’t expecting me to sign at 37."


"Most likely, what will happen is that the Pirates will come back, give me an offer and the money won’t be there, which is something I’m not really worried about," Waguespack said. "Right now, I’m getting ready for summer school."


"It’s every kid’s dream to play in the pros, but right now my focus is to get through school, and develop as a player and a person," he said. - The Gonzalez Weekly Citizen, 6/21/12

That second piece also says that Waguespack "inked a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates last week", but I think that's just a sign that the reporter who wrote the piece in question doesn't understand how the draft works, since it makes no sense within the context of the rest of the article and nobody else has reported a Waguespack signing.

38) Matthew Pope

[Pope] doesn’t anticipate Pittsburgh offering anything close to the type of deal he would’ve needed to bypass Kentucky’s healthy package, but nonetheless is eagerly awaiting its next call.

“They said, ‘We’re gonna look at the money and stuff and we’ll be back in touch in a couple of days,’” Pope said, adding that the call probably lasted 30 seconds.


Science Hill coach Ryan Edwards agreed that a deal with Pittsburgh isn’t likely. - Trey Williams, The Johnson City Press, 6/7/12

That's what I've got so far. Did I miss anything? If so, post it in the comments, and I'll add it to the rundown. If you could only muster up enough pool space to sign one non-Buehler player from the list, who would it be, and why?