Thursday, June 20, 2019

2019 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Recap

The 2019 Major League Baseball draft took place a few weeks ago, and I’m happy to present my annual(-ish) recap of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ selections. Please note that if you’re looking for serious, in-depth assessments of the players selected, you’ve come to the wrong place. This post is for entertainment purposes only. Actually, even places with serious, in-depth analysis of the Pirates’ picks should be for entertainment only, so maybe you have come to the right place. Welcome!


In the over 130-year history of the Pittsburgh Pirates, no player has ever had a first name beginning with the letter Q. There have been several players with the last name starting with Q including pitcher Chad Qualls, shortstop Rey Quinones, and who can forget second baseman Joe Quest from the team's 1884 season. In addition, every other letter has been accounted for in Pirates history including one player with the first name starting with U (U.L. Washington). This is why I applaud the team for taking Quinn Priester, a pitcher from Cary-Grove High School in Illinois with the #18 overall pick in the first round. Sure the Pirates could have taken University of Kentucky pitcher Zack Thompson, who was ranked #14 and taken with the next pick by the St. Louis Cardinals, but I understand that the team couldn’t pass up this opportunity to make history, especially with Quinn being ranked #19.

After taking outfielder Matt Gorski (OF from Indiana University) in the 2nd round and Matt Fraizer (OF from Arizona University) in the 3rd round, I feel like there was a directive not to select any more "Matt"s in the draft. An entire draft of Matts would have been very confusing.

Although I’m about 15 years late, I started watching the HBO series Deadwood. Sixth round pick pitcher Will Matthiesen from Stanford sounds like the perfect name for a Deadwood character. (By the way, I used a similar observation when the team selected Wyatt Mathisen in the 2nd round of the 2012 draft. Hopefully this Matthiesen with more letters in the last name works out better.) Meanwhile, sneaky pick by the Pirates here. Even though they were told not to draft anyone else named Matt, they picked someone with Matt in his last name. Very clever!


With their 5th round pick, the Pirates chose pitcher Grant Ford from the University of Nevada. Since his first name is the last name of the 18th President and he shares the last name with the 38th President, I feel like it’s only appropriate that his middle name should be Harding. (I don’t actually know his middle name, but we can dream right?) By the way, KevinInABQ deserves credit for the Harding reference.

As someone with young children, it’s hard not to see the team draft outfielder Chase Murray from Georgia Tech in the 13th round and think that he’s on the case.


In the 11th round, the Pirates picked Jase Bowen, an outfielder from Toledo Central Catholic HS. Jase can also be on the case.

I applaud the Pirates for selecting players with Pittsburgh ties. For example, Blake Sabol, an outfielder from USC and the team's 7th round pick, is Troy Polamalu’s cousin. The team also picked Pittsburgh sportscaster Guy Junker's son, Cameron Junker in the 10th round, former Pitt basketball player Chevy Troutman's nephew, Ryan Troutman in the 26th round, former Pirate Pedro Alvarez's cousin's roommate Andres Alvarez in the 22nd round, and Deion Walker from Hillgrove High School (named for Pitt and Steelers broadcaster Bill Hillgrove) in the 35th round.

In honor of this Saturday's Faith Night, the team also went with a biblical theme by selecting Eli (Wilson), Samson (Abernathy), Elijah (Dunham), Jasiah (Dixon; we’ll just say that this is close enough to Josiah), and of course, the famous prophet highlighted numerous times in the Bible, Dawson (McCarville).

The Pirates’ scouting department clearly watched a lot of late night television and were inspired by this State Farm commercial. How else can you explain the team drafting three players named Jake? 20th round pick Jake Snider, 32nd round pick Jake Wright, and 36th round pick Jake Sweeney)?



In the 28th round, the team picked pitcher Bear Bellomy of Wright State University. What a cool name! Unfortunately, Tiger Thompson was taken earlier by the (you guessed it), Marlins.

Another cool name. catcher Ethan Goforth from Carson-Newman College. I can just see his manager telling him, “Ethan, goforth and call for a slider on this pitch.”


As always, I highly recommend checking out Pirates Prospects for actual in-depth information about the players mentioned above.

To see more of my draft recaps of the Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins over the years, please click here.

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