Thursday, July 21, 2022

2022 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Recap

Welcome to my annual-ish Pittsburgh Pirates draft recap. As always, this is for entertainment purposes only. While I have not analyzed anyone’s pitching mechanics or bat speed, I found some interesting facts that you won’t read or see anywhere else. Please note that I’m not including every draft pick, and the players mentioned below are in no particular order.

Want to feel old? The 2022 Major League Baseball draft may be the last one to feature players born in the 20th century. 16 of the 21 Pirates’ draft picks were born in 2000 or later. The remaining 5 were born in 1999.

12th Round: K.C. Hunt – Pitcher, Mississippi State University

There are a lot of upset people in Pittsburgh right now. The home of the Pittsburgh Steelers recently changed its name from Heinz Field to something like "Are You Sure" Stadium. Some people blame the Steelers for selling its name to the highest bidder including one with no apparent Pittsburgh connection. Some feel like Heinz should have continued its partnership with the team. In any event, people don’t like the new name. Enter K.C. Hunt. Hunt’s ketchup is likely the second largest in the United States and clearly inferior to Heinz. However, if K.C. Hunt becomes a star, think of the sponsorship opportunities and possibilities for him if that other ketchup company wants to make larger inroads in Pittsburgh and beyond!

(By the way, KC stands for Kyle Clemente as in the legendary Roberto Clemente. That’s very cool.)

7th Round: J.P. Massey – Pitcher, University of Minnesota

While I wish that JP stands for John Parker (as in Dave Parker) or James Pena (as in Tony Pena), based on his 6.70 career ERA in college with 106 walks in 123.2 innings, I think his name might stand for John Polcovich!

18th Round: Elijah Birdsong, Pitcher- University of the Pacific

If I asked you where the University of the Pacific is located, you would probably guess somewhere extremely close to the Pacific Ocean. You would probably think it’s like Pepperdine University in Malibu overlooking the ocean. Nope. The University of the Pacific is in Stockton, California, about 90 miles from the ocean. It’s not as ridiculous of a name as the University of South Florida in Tampa, but it’s close.

Competitive Balance-A (between the 1st and 2nd rounds): Thomas Harrington, Pitcher - Campbell University

Given the connection with one of the greatest Pittsburghers, I’m amazed that Harrington is the first player from Campbell ever drafted by the Pirates.

1st Round: Termarr Johnson, SS - Mays High School (Georgia)

Sure, Johnson has been called the best hitter in the draft and a combination of Wade Boggs and Vladimir Guerrero Sr. but look at the first name. Termarr has the perfect number of “R”s in his name to be a Pirate! (Credit to @thesteelersnat for this joke.)

Fun fact: Johnson is the only player drafted by the Pirates under 6 feet tall.

8th Round: Cy Nielson, Pitcher - Brigham Young University

With the name Cy, he just had to be a pitcher. Even if he turns into the greatest pitcher of all time, I think it’s safe to write that he’s going to have significantly less wins than Cy Young’s 511. When people talk about records that will never get broken, no one is getting more wins than Cy Young. Or more than Young’s 315 losses. Or more than Young’s 749 complete games. Or his 7356 innings pitched. Seriously, you can spend hours looking at Cy Young’s Baseball Reference page.

10th Round: Tanner Tredaway, OF - University of Oklahoma

Big Enya fan.

11th Round: Dominic Perachi, Pitcher - Salve Regina University

I love this pick. First, I always root for Division 3 athletes to do well. (Go Tim Locastro!) Perachi was the D3 pitcher of the year. While his competition doesn’t compare to a pitcher from the SEC, I’m glad the Pirates are giving him a shot. I’m rooting for him.

Plus, remember several draft picks ago when I wrote about the University of the Pacific? C’mon, that was like 2 minutes ago! It’s right up there! Anyway, Salve Regina could be named University of the Atlantic. It’s in Newport, Rhode Island, and the baseball field is about a 5-minute walk from The Breakers mansion built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II, the grandfather of Gloria Vanderbilt and great-grandfather of the guy who does New Year’s Eve shows on CNN.

3rd Round: Jack Brannigan, P/3B - University of Notre Dame

Yeah, yeah, two-way player. Ohtani. Maybe like Bubba Chandler who the Pirates drafted last year. Now that we got that out of the way, Brannigan’s last name reminded me of the late Bennigan’s restaurant chain. I miss Bennigan’s. Turns out that there are still 11 restaurants in the United States. Many are in Iowa, but the closest to Pittsburgh is in Steubenville, Ohio. I think Brannigan should do an appearance there. Amazingly, there are also more than a dozen restaurants internationally. I’m definitely going next time I’m in Bahrain or Cyprus.

Sure, I could have gone with a Jack Brannigan /Laura Branigan joke that I think he has Gloria’s number, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this song and commercial.

Good luck to all of the players drafted by the Pirates. I hope that they have successful and productive baseball careers. 

Please click here to see more of my Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins draft recaps.

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