Wednesday, July 21, 2021

2021 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Recap

Although the 2021 Major League Baseball draft occurred over a week ago, the Pirates selected too many players with great names, so I had to write about it. Oh, if you're new to this blog and just saw the post title, I should probably mention that I often write Pirates, Penguins, and Steelers draft recaps that focus on player names and other silly things. If you're looking for in-depth player analysis, I suggest looking elsewhere, but I promise that this will be more entertaining. 

Please note that I'm not going to write about every player drafted, and this isn't in any particular order.

Round 1: Henry Davis, C - University of Louisville

Sure, I could mention that Davis batted .370 with 15 home runs along with an on-base percentage of .482 and a slugging percentage of .663 during his junior season at Louisville, but what fun would that be? Instead, I'll share that my kids watched a few episodes of the Nickelodeon TV show Henry Danger recently. 

Whenever I see the show title, I think of the band Harvey Danger who created one of my favorite songs from the 90s, Flagpole Sitta. While I can easily hear Pirates announcer Greg Brown yelling "O Henry" every time Davis makes a great play or hits a home run, I hope that nickname Flagpole Sitta catches on for Davis. Just picture it. HOME RUN, FLAGPOLE SITTA!

(My apologies to Brendt Citta who was the Pirates' 38th round pick in the 2018 draft and who is currently in AA Altoona. The #1 overall pick gets this nickname.) 

Round 6: Mike Jarvis, SS - San Diego State University

First, Go Aztecs! Second, this is quite the unusual draft pick. Jarvis was a college basketball coach at George Washington University and St. John's University. He just seems a little (okay, A LOT) old to get drafted.

Round 9: Luke Brown, OF - University of Louisville

This is a country singer. The Pirates drafted a country singer. You can't convince me that Luke Brown isn't a country musician.

Round 15: Tyler Samaniego, P - University of South Alabama

Where in the world is Tyler Samaniego? Do it, Rockapella!

Round 4: Owen Kellington, P - U-32 HS (Vermont)
Round 13: Owen Sharts, P - University of Nevada

There have been plenty of jokes about the last name Sharts, but this is a high-class blog, so I will refrain from such sophomoric humor. I mean, Baby Sharts (doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo) is a potential nickname, but again, I want to focus on the first name Owen. Although baseball has been around for well over 100 years, according to Baseball Reference, there has only been one person with the first name Owen to ever play in the majors.* That's Owen Miller of the Cleveland Indians who made his debut in May. Owen Miller is currently batting .106 (5 for 47). Actually, besides retired long-time hockey player Owen Nolan and I guess NFL TE Owen Daniels, can you think of other successful professional athletes in America with the first name of Owen? (I'm not including Owen Hart.) There's not a good track record here, so these are highly questionable picks by the Pirates. Prove us wrong, Owens, prove us wrong!

Round 3: Bubba Chandler, P - North Oconee HS (Georgia)

Bubba has already committed to play baseball and football at Clemson, and honestly, someone named Bubba seems like the perfect fit as the Clemson quarterback. Looking at Baseball Reference again, there is not a great history of baseball players named Bubba. The most successful is probably Bubba Church who pitched from 1950-1955 for the Phillies, Reds, and Cubs. He went 36-37 with a 4.10 ERA and a career WAR of 7.8. Before you start bringing your thoughts about how great Bubba Trammell or Bubba Crosby were, they were not. Back to Bubba Church (which sounds like a really fun place for a Sunday service), he had 274 strikeouts in 713.1 innings. Most pitchers now have that many strikeouts in about 300-350 innings!

Round 12: Chazz Martinez, P - Orange Coast College

While there have been very few people named Owen or Bubba to ever reach the majors, Chazz Martinez could be a trailblazer. Yes, there's Chaz Roe, a mediocre relief pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays (and even as a mediocre pitcher, he's earned over $6 in his career), but there has never been a major leaguer named Chazz. Good luck, Chazz. We're all counting on you!

We interrupt this draft recap for a fun fact!

Of the 21 players selected by the Pirates, none of them primarily play 1st base or 2nd base. Some of the position players could certainly move there as they go through the minors. Typically, the best athletes play shortstop in little league and high school, but they may no longer be the best athletes once they join the Pirates.

Round 8: Sean Sullivan, P - California

Great pick! Anyone named Sean is a fantastic pick. Sean Sullivan is welcome to write a post here anytime. 

Round 14: Braylon Bishop, OF - Arkansas HS (Arkansas)

Check mate! (I'm here for all of your chess joke needs.)

Round 16: Daniel Corona, SS - The Baylor School (Tennessee)

I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on the new name, image, likeness opportunities for college athletes, but if I'm Daniel Corona, I call the Corona beer people and request to be in a commercial with Snoop Dogg, Bad Bunny, or Tony Romo. I'm sure Corona is looking for an entry into the Wake Forest University community, and this is their chance. (If Corona says no, Corona should sign with the Pirates.)  

Please click here to see past draft recaps. 

* Update! This is incorrect. There have been about 10 major league players with the first name Owen (some with the given name). For example, Donie Bush, who was third in the 1914 MVP voting as a member of the Detroit Tigers, was born Owen Bush. Owen Wilson apparently went by Chief Wilson and had 36 triples for the 1912 Pirates. Thanks to John Dreker of Pirates Prospects for this information.

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