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Pirates release Zack Von Rosenberg, Nate Baker

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have released former early-round draft picks Zack Rosenberg and Nate Baker, along with Ryan Beckman, Ashley Ponce and Chris Peacock, Tim Williams writes.

Von Rosenberg is the really significant one. He and Tony Sanchez were the keys to the Pirates' 2009 draft -- not a strong one, it turned out. The Bucs took Sanchez with the fourth overall pick even though most observers thought he should have gone much later, then spent heavily on late-round picks like Von Rosenberg, Colton Cain and Trent Stevenson. None of those pitchers have worked out (although Cain did help the Pirates acquire Wandy Rodriguez). As Tim points out, Von Rosenberg probably received a disproportionate amount of attention because the Pirates' farm system was still fairly empty at the time. He was really only a lottery ticket then, and his struggles don't necessarily reflect some broader trend.

Baker was the Pirates' fifth-round pick that same year, although he was more of a polished college type. He topped out at Double-A, never getting enough strikeouts to succeed in the high minors.

Of the other three guys, the most interesting one was Beckman, who produced fairly good results as a reliever at the low levels.