I think I have officially become a true Pirates fan. I say that because my first thought when I heard that the Bucs had drafted Nick Gonzales was “okay, we have Newman and Tucker and now this kid. Someone’s getting traded and somewhere Gerrit Cole is laughing.”
Be that as it may, let’s see what you knew or were able to look up about past Pirates drafts. Thanks to the Baseball Cube for the help, even if it screwed up a location that threw me off.
Which collegiate Bucs first round pick was the first who actually played for the team?
A. Robert May B. Kris Benson C. Jim Winn D. Barry Bonds
Pitcher Robert May from Ohio University was the first college player drafted by the Pirates in 1969, but he never got above Single A. Another pitcher, Jim Winn of Arkansas’s John Brown University, on the other hand, was drafted fourteenth overall in 1981 and went on to play six seasons in the majors, four of them with the Pirates.
What state has provided the Pirates with the most high school first round draft picks?
A. Massachusetts B. Texas C. California D. Florida
Seven Pirates first-round high school picks came from California. Texas and Florida are tied with five, and Massachusetts surprisingly comes in next with three, although it should be noted that the last Bay Stater, John Bedard, was drafted fifty years ago.
How many times have the Pirates had the first overall pick in the draft?
A. Four B. Six C. Never D. Two
Jeff King (shortstop/third base, 1986), Kris Benson (RHP, 1996), Bryan Bullington (RHP, 2002) and Gerrit Cole (RHP, 2011) all went first to the Pirates. Bullington was basically a bust and Cole only found his groove once he was off the Pirate Ship, but King and Benson had okay if not spectacular major league careers, King being given a slight edge over Benson by MLB Trade Rumors.
This Florida high school produced back-to-back first round draft picks for the Bucs in 1999 and 2000:
A. Oviedo B. Wellington Community C. Tampa Catholic D. Merritt Island
RHP Bobby Bradley from this Palm Beach-area high school was the eighth overall pick in 1999, but he never got past Triple A, last pitching for Indianapolis in 2005. LHP Sean Burnett went number sixteen the following year and put together a ten-year career in the majors with the Pirates, Nationals and Angels.
Pitchers have been drafted in the first round twenty times by the Pirates. What position has been drafted the most after that?
A. Outfielders B. First basemen C. Catchers D. Shortstops
Actually, outfielders and shortstops were tied with twelve, but the newest first-round pick, Nick Gonzales of New Mexico State, gave shortstops the lead. To prevent confusion, those picks such as Jeff King, who were chosen for more than one infield position, weren’t counted in this.
See you next Tuesday!