Thursday, June 09, 2011

Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Analysis: Going Retro

After 18 consecutive seasons under .500, the Pirates management utilized the 2011 amateur draft in an attempt to return to the glory years of the early 1990s. They did so by selecting players with the same last names of players from those baseball teams and others from the 1990s. Don’t believe me? Take a look.

With the first overall pick of the draft, the Pirates chose pitcher Gerrit Cole from UCLA. Sure, he was one of the top prospects available (if not the #1 rated player) in the draft, but I suspect that a deciding factor in picking Cole over Danny Hultzen, Trevor Bauer and Anthony Rendon came down to the last name. I’m sure we all remember the impact Alex Cole had the 1992 Pirates. To reach the playoffs in the future, the Pirates need a Cole on their team.

In the second round, the Pirates selected Josh Bell, an outfielder from Jesuit College Prep high school in Texas. Shortstop Jay Bell was a significant contributor to the Pirates teams of the early 1990s. The Pirates hope that Josh Bell meets and exceeds Jay Bell’s accomplishments. Plus, manager Clint Hurdle will love to have Josh Bell bunt like Jay Bell used to at Three Rivers Stadium.

The Pirates grabbed RF Aaron Brown from Chatsworth High School in California with their 17th round pick. Aaron will try to follow in the long line of Pirates' "Brown" outfielders, the triumvirate of Adrian, Emil & Brant Brown.

19th round: Mike Nunez – A pitcher from Salmen High School in Louisiana. Hopefully, he has no relation to former Pirates SS Abraham Nunez.

20th round: Trea Turner, SS from Park Vista Community High School in Florida. This selection was obviously made with Turner Ward in mind.

25th round: Josh Martin, Pitcher from Samford University. Hopefully, he won’t have two wives like former Pirate Al Martin.

49th round: Austin White, 3B from Arkansas High School in, wait for it, Arkansas. Can he replicate the long career of Rick White, a relief/spot starter from the 1994 & 1995 seasons with a return to the Bucs in 2005?

To truly return to glory and to follow through on this plan, though, the Pirates still have work to do. Therefore, I suspect that they will attempt to acquire Kyle Drabek of the Toronto Blue Jays and Scott Van Slyke from the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system. In addition, there’s already a Tomlin in Pittsburgh, and I’d definitely want him on my team!

Update: I just learned that the Colorado Rockies selected Brandon Bonilla in the 37th round. What were the Pirates thinking? Were they hoping Bonilla would slip to the 40th round? They missed a great opportunity here!

Although my random name connection ends here, my draft analysis does not.

The Pirates have had little success against the Milwaukee Brewers over the past few seasons. What better way to defeat the Brewers than drafting a Brewer, specifically Colten Brewer, a pitcher out of Canton High school in Texas?

Any time that you can get a player named for a restaurant in Pittsburgh’s strip district, you have to do it. Therefore, I commend the Pirates for picking Jordan Deluca, an outfielder from Tussey Mountain High School (PA) with their 47th round pick. Sadly, Steve Pamela’s was not eligible for this year’s draft. (Yes, President Obama is a fan of Pamela's.)

Overall, I congratulate the Pirates on a (hopefully) successful draft!

1 comment:

Marc said...

This is an awesome post.