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Pirates' draft retrospective: 2015

And last but not least . . . .  A lot of these players, especially the pitchers, haven't really had a chance to do much yet and are still in extended spring training this year.

What's Left (most everybody, obviously)

Kevin Newman, SS (1): Keith Law may get the last laugh on this one, as Newman is leading the Florida State League in batting while walking more than he strikes out and hitting for just enough power to keep pitchers honest.  He does still need some defensive work.  Hopefully the orbital injury won't keep him from seeing meaningful time in AA this year.

Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B (1S): Hayes has shown and advanced glove and approach at the plate, and this year he's hit for good power, which was the main question mark about him.  He's slumped in May, but the overall numbers are still promising for a guy playing in low A who won't turn 20 until next January.

Kevin Kramer, SS (2): Kramer is hitting 289/349/376 in the FSL, which doesn't sound that great until you realize the league is hitting only 244/315/349.  It shouldn't be assumed that he won't get a mid-season promotion, although the presence of Erich Weiss in Altoona may be a problem.

Casey Hughston, OF (3): The Pirates knew Hughston would be a project.  He has great raw power and surprising speed for a big guy, but the contact issues have been massive as he simply can't hit anything on the outer half of the plate.  He's back in extended spring training after a brutal showing in low A.

Jacob Taylor, RHP (4): Drafted out of junior college, Taylor appears to have real upside, but he pitched just two innings and had Tommy John surgery.

Brandon Waddell, LHP (5): A classic college lefty with average stuff and good command, Waddell breezed past the FSL and so far has had some ups and downs in AA.

J.T. Brubaker, RHP (6): The Pirates sent Brubaker to low A for his first full year, in contrast to Waddell, but Brubaker didn't pitch at a major college.  He's had a high K rate but some control problems this year, which is exactly the opposite of his performance in the New York-Penn League after signing.

Mitchell Tolman, 3B (7): As they did with Dan Gamache and Erich Weiss, the Pirates moved Tolman to second (although Hayes had a lot to do with that).  Tolman has shown an excellent glove, but his hitting has been just decent, with very good plate discipline, and he's a college draftee in low A.

Seth McGarry, RHP (8): McGarry has good stuff but shaky command.  He also has some injury history that may keep him in the bullpen.  He's struggled a little in the West Virginia bullpen, but at least is striking out a batter an inning.

Bret Helton, RHP (9): A college righty who's mainly a finesse guy, Helton struggled in the NYPL last year and has been just OK in the South Atlantic League this year.

Logan Sendelbach, RHP (10): Very similar to Helton, Sendelbach has pitched a little better this year.

Christian Kelley, C (11): Kelley had less experience than the typical college draftee.  He's struggled severely with the bat so far, but has played well defensively this year in low A.

Ty Moore, OF (12): Moore was a contact-oriented hitter in college.  He hit decently in the NYPL, but hasn't hit at all this year in low A.  He's serving as a fourth outfielder, which probably indicates that the Pirates are less than overwhelmed.

Logan Ratledge, SS (13): Ratledge seems to have settled in very quickly as a utility infielder.  He struggled badly on 2015 on both sides of the ball while splitting his time between Bristol and Morgantown.  This year he's split his time between extended spring training and West Virginia.

Chris Plitt, RHP (14): Plitt got very good results last year in the GCL, but he was a little more advanced than most players there, having been drafted out of junior college.  He also had a low K rate.  Plitt is in extended spring training now.

Scooter Hightower, RHP (15): Another JC draftee, Hightower (who appropriately is 6'6") put up great BB and K rates at Bristol last year as a swing man.  He's in extended spring training now.

Stephan Meyer, RHP (18): A college draftee, Meyer pitched briefly in 2015 due to back problems, but pitched well when he did.  He's in extended spring training.

Ike Schlabach, LHP (19): A prep lefty, Schlabach made four starts in the GCL and struggled a little.  He's in extended spring training.

Tanner Anderson, RHP (20): Drafted out of Harvard, Anderson is getting very good results pitching in relief in low A this year, with a low K rate.

Nicholas Economos, RHP (21): Although he was drafted out of junior college, Economos went to the GCL last year and pitched mostly as a starter.  His peripherals were good, although his ERA wasn't.  He's in extended spring training.

Nathan Trevillian, RHP (22): A prep draftee, Trevillian didn't get into action in 2015 due to forearm tightness.

John Bormann, C (24): Due to his glove, Bormann was regarded by some as a good college senior signing, but he played only sparingly for Bristol in 2015 and didn't hit at all.  This year he's backing up Kelley in low A and hitting well in limited playing time.

Logan Hill, OF (25): Hill was the best hitter at Morgantown after the draft and the Pirates sent him to high A this year, but utilized him as a fourth outfielder, which isn't an indication that they view him as a real prospect.  His numbers there weren't too bad, considering the extreme pitchers' environment.  In fact, he hit at least as well as most of the position players drafted the previous year.  When the Pirates sent Hughston to extended spring training, they moved Hill down to low A and he's had a very rough time since.

Shane Kemp, RHP (26): Kemp was drafted out of George Washington, which isn't a major college baseball power.  He started off in the GCL and got good results with a low K rate.  The Pirates moved him up to Bristol for five relief appearances and he couldn't get anybody out.  He's in extended spring training.

Ryan Nagle, OF (27): Nagle was another contact-oriented college hitter.  He put up marginal numbers in the NYPL last year and is doing the same again this year in low A, where he's starting over Ty Moore.

Albert Baur, 1B (28): Drafted out of a small conference college, Baur put up weak numbers as a regular in the NYPL in 2015.  He's 24 now and is still in extended spring training.

Mike Wallace, RHP (30): A small college draftee, Wallace struggled badly in relief with Bristol in 2015.  He's in extended spring training.

Sean Keselica, LHP (33): Another small college draftee, Keselica mostly struggled last year in the NYPL.  He's spent most of this year so far in extended spring training, but was recently assigned to low A.

Jordan George, 1B (35): Drafted as a college senior, George hit well at Bristol, where he lost a lot of playing time to Carlos Munoz.  He's in extended spring training.

James Marvel, RHP (36): Marvel was drafted out of Duke, where he showed promise initially but lost most of two seasons to Tommy John surgery.  He signed with the Pirates rather than return to college, but wasn't ready to pitch yet last year.  He's in extended spring training and should be ready to pitch, possibly when the short season leagues start play.

Tate Scioneaux, RHP (39): Pitching in relief, Scioneaux has put up play station numbers through three levels so far.  He's in high A, but could be a candidate for promotion if he keeps dominating the way he has.

Daniel Zamora, LHP (40): Zamora has pitched well in relief, in the NYPL last year and the SAL this year, although he's had some control issues this year.

Other Signees

Nick HIbbing, RHP (16): Hibbing pitched well in relief last year in the NYPL, but retired during the off-season.

As we all know, the Pirates looked for gap-to-gap contact hitters with their top three picks.  All three are doing well, especially when you take into account age, in Hayes' case, and the terrible hitting environment in the others'.  The team's one attempt at finding a power hitter is going so badly that it's hard not to dismiss Hughston completely even at this early stage.  The other college hitters have ranged from unimpressive to bad, which still leaves some doubt about the team's ability to evaluate college hitters.

The pitchers weren't a high-ceiling group to begin with, being dominated by finesse guys who don't miss bats.  Waddell has been as good as anybody could have hoped and the other top college hurlers, Brubaker and Helton, haven't impressed even in low A.  The pitcher with the most potential was Taylor and he's gone until next year.  Scioneaux could be a dark horse, but pitching prospects who are strictly relievers throughout their minor league careers have to be viewed with extreme suspicion.  With most of the other pitchers, it's far too soon to say anything at all.