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Thread: 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Summary: Hope Springs Eternal

      
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    Default 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Summary: Hope Springs Eternal

    In the last days of the old Pittsburgh Tribune Review forum I laid out an aggressive plan for the future: a plan that represented what I saw was the only way the Pirates could successfully rebuild. That plan was to go "full-out" and completely destroy the major league roster (not trading some players and holding on to others, but a complete overhaul), to draft the best players regardless of signing bonus, procure the best Latin American (LATAM) talent, and start building from a position of strength. As we sit here today, we are one month away from the third full year of the Neil Huntington reign and I can officially say check-check-check and check. Neil Huntington has check off all of my plan points and capped it off this year with an organizational changing draft.

    [IMGL]http://oriolecentral.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/jameson-taillon-p1.jpg?w=298&h=368[/IMGL]On June 7th of this year Neil Huntington and his staff set on a path that would completely change the face of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise. They decided to take a chance, a leap, and draft the best High School Prep pitcher who has come out in at least five years. As the commissioner walked to the podium and announced, "With the 2nd selection in the 2010 MLB Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates select Jameson Taillon, starting pitcher, The Woodlands High School" the future of the Pittsburgh Pirates was changing. The Pittsburgh Pirates had acquired a new face of their organization. The Pirates had acquired their Stephen Strasburg. The Pirates have acquired their Josh Beckett. The Pirates have acquired the ACE that their staff has not had during its 18 years of misery.

    Jameson Taillon is a dominating figure, standing 6'6 and weighing in at 225 lbs, but it is his moxy, his makeup, and his rhythmic delivery that make Taillon a good bet to follow in the footsteps of Josh Beckett and Zach Greinke as one of the few Prep pitchers to have success in the major leagues. Taillon knows how to pitch. Taillon has the competitiveness, work ethic, and makeup to be a top-end Major League starting pitcher. Add to that his solid plus-three pitch repertoire which is capped by his dynamic fastball and the possibility of adding a changeup, and the Pirates have a kid whose potential is unquestionable.

    Neil Huntington and his staff did not stop with the selection of Taillon. When their time came in the second round, after having to wait an excruciating 50 selections, another Prep star pitcher fell into their laps: Stetson Allie. In years past the Pirates would have taken the safe approach with the second round pick and would have gone with an easy-to-sign college or junior college (JUCO) player. However, Neil Huntington and his staff had decided to make this draft a draft for the ages and selected Allie knowing his commitment to North Carolina and his signing bonus demands. Neil Huntington, again, delivered here as he signed Allie for 2.25M and added yet another dynamic arm to the Pirates system.

    The Pirates plan for Allie to be used as a starting pitcher, however, I believe he will [IMGR]http://images.maxpreps.com/site_images/editorial/article/7/e/0/7e036914-6577-df11-a5ba-001cc494dda6/b467fa53-e177-df11-a5ba-001cc494dda6_original.jpg[/IMGR]end up developing to be the next Billy Wagner. Allie has a closer mentality and has stated before that he truly loves coming in that last inning and giving it his all. Furthermore, his trademark 100 MPH fastball (which he states has gotten up to 102 MPH) is best suited for the closer role. Either way, Allie, 6-4 and 225 lbs, has a fluid motion despite the velocity he gets and with his plus-fastball, plus-slider, and developing change-up it certainly appears that Allie has a good future no matter which direction he goes. Allie has some work to do on his delivery in order to improve his consistency and control, but if those matters are taken care of Allie profiles as a top MLB closer.

    After, excuse the pun, hitting a home run with the first two picks, many would consider going safe the rest of the way in order to guarantee yourself at least a decent return if you ran into trouble with the top picks. Neil Huntington, though, had other plans. In years past the Pirates have focused in the middle 10 rounds on acquiring tough-to-sign Prep players. The Pirates did not deviate from that path this year either.

    After drafting toolsy JUCO outfielder Mel Rojas Jr. in the 3rd round the Pirates returned to the Prep ranks and selected Nick Kingham. Kingham, like Taillon and Allie before him, is a projectable Prep player with a domineering presence. He stands at 6-5 and weighs in at 220 lbs. Kingham possesses a plus-fastball and a projectable plus-curveball and will likely develop a change-up as well.

    In the fourth round the Pirates tabbed Oregon State righty Tyler Waldron. Waldron would likely have been drafted higher if he would have improved on his sophomore season. Instead, he regressed during his junior year (although he did improve his k/bb ratio) and was available in the 4th for the Pirates. Tyler has a plus-fastball that has good sink on it. He adds to that fastball with a plus-slider. Some believe Waldron best profiles as a relief pitcher. However, with improvement in his control and consistency he has good enough stuff to profile as a middle-of-the-rotation starter in the major leagues. Certainly he does need to make some adjustments, but his ability is there.

    In the fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds the Pirates selected high-end Prep players Jason Hursh, Austin Kubitza, and Dace Kime. Unfortunately, the Pirates were unable to come to an agreement with any of these players, but their willingness to draft these players gave them a chance at three more great athletes.

    As the draft progressed the Pirates were also able to pickup some other notable players: Brandon Cumpton, right hander from Georgia Tech, Daniel Grovatt, outfielder from Virginia, Andrew Maggi, shortstop from Arizona State, Matthew Curry, firstbaseman from TCU, Ryan Hafner, another Prep pitcher, and Jared Lakind, a Prep firstbaseman.

    [IMGL]http://collegebaseball360.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/5502984.jpg[/IMGL]I have already gone on record as being thrilled about the Drew Maggi and Matt Curry selections. Matt Curry is a kid who I have stated before could very well be the power hitting firstbaseman of the future for the Pirates. Curry possesses elite power but also has great plate discipline and a solid glove at firstbase. Curry is most notable for his 8th inning home run in the college world series that allowed TCU to advance. Curry is a player who has the champion attitude and ability to succeed at the major league level.

    Drew Maggi is everything the Pirates haven't had in a shortstop prospect. He carries a plus-bat, plus-speed and baserunning ability, and a plus-glove. Recently Maggi was voted the best defensive player at a tournament he played in while a member of the US National Collegiate team. Pirate fans will also be interested to know that Maggi broke Barry Bonds', yes our Barry Bonds, record for stolen bases while he was at Arizona State. Maggi comes to the Pirates as a draft eligible sophomore which gives him even more time to develop into the starting shortstop of the future.


    The Pirates did not quit when the draft ended and when the draft-signing deadline came and went on August 16th, however. The Pirates also procured the best LATAM pitcher available when they signed Luis Heredia from his Mexican League team for 2.6M. Heredia has projectable velocity and a good enough makeup and competitive drive that the Pirates LATAM head of scouting Rene Gayo suggested Heredia may skip the Dominican instructional league entirely and head straight to the Pirates instructional Golf Coast League team. At the age of 16 this is quite a feat for Heredia. There is always a risk in signing 16 year old LATAM players, but it is almost impossible to procure top-end talent without taking some risks and after losing out on Miguel Sano last year the Pirates were determined to make their hard-work pay off...and they did. Whether the end result (Heredia becoming an elite MLB pitcher) is positive or negative this international signing marks the first significant entrance of the Pirates organization into the LATAM market.

    In total the Pirates spent over 12M on this year's draft, the highest ever for this franchise and believed to be the highest in MLB as well. The Pirates then went and spent another 2.6M in the signing of Heredia. For an organization who has been tabbed by disgruntled fans as being unwilling to spend, Bob Nutting opened his wallet for Neil Huntington and his crew and Neil Huntington delivered.

    As I have stated before, many fans want immediate gratification, and that is certainly understandable for a fanbase that has endured 18 epic years of abysmal play by their hometown Buccos. However, the plan all along to build a solid winning franchise in Pittsburgh was to completely dismantle the major league roster, draft well, sign international free agents, and develop the young players in order to build from a position of strength. For the first time in 18 years, the Pirates are on the right track...and with youngster Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Jose Tabata, and Pedro Alvarez already giving fans the taste of what is to come...HOPE finally springs eternal and renewed for the Pirates and their fans.
    Last edited by Kipper; Aug-19-2010 at 09:43 PM. Reason: dont need title and header anymore
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    Default Re: 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Summary: Hope Springs Eternal

    Nice read Benny. The one thing you forgot to mention, and it may be premature to stamp yet, is the fact that because of our draft position, we stand to land another bumper crop in next year's draft. The concrete has been poured and now has to cure. If we hit another homerun next draft, (and even if it's only a triple), the future is really looking up.

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    Default Re: 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Summary: Hope Springs Eternal

    Quote Originally Posted by exNCite View Post
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    Nice read Benny. The one thing you forgot to mention, and it may be premature to stamp yet, is the fact that because of our draft position, we stand to land another bumper crop in next year's draft. The concrete has been poured and now has to cure. If we hit another homerun next draft, (and even if it's only a triple), the future is really looking up.
    Yeah. This is kind of intended to be a two-part article...one on this year and one on the prospects next year...I mean if we land Rendon on top of this draft class...well...lets just say the future would be really nice.
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    Default Re: 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Summary: Hope Springs Eternal

    This is an article All Pirates fans NEED to read. Outstanding, hope you don't mind but I had to share this with my Facebook friends.
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    Good stuff!
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    Default Re: 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Summary: Hope Springs Eternal

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    This is an article All Pirates fans NEED to read. Outstanding, hope you don't mind but I had to share this with my Facebook friends.
    No, I dont mind at all. I think its important for casual Pirate fans to understand that what the front office is doing is exactly what the front office SHOULD be doing. Arguing that there have been bad trades or that major league roster moves have not always worked out etc...well those are arguments you can say about even the best and most perennial winning organization.

    The front office has done what is has needed to do...despite what the Pittsburgh media may lead you to believe.
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    Default Re: 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Summary: Hope Springs Eternal

    Good Article Benny. Meant to comment on it earlier but got caught up in a lot of things..

    The positives no matter which way anyone tries to slice it is that the Pirates added more legit potential talent into the system on top of what Huntington had signed in the first 2 drafts and received in Trades. The key word is "talent". It's possible that a lot of these guys don't pan out. It's highly possible that Taillon joins the ranks of most of the other pitchers Taken Top 3 in the draft and becomes a Bust or arms get blown out but .. the goal is to put the best talent you can get into the system. the System which is the lifeline of a small market team like the Pirates.

    People want instant gratification and aren't and won't get it, but with every Draft and trade and such, the Pirates move more steps closer to building one of the better systems in all of Baseball and all that will do is produce talent for the MLB club (that we've lacked all of these losing years) and also produce talent that we could use in a trade to get pierces for the MLB club that we can't obtain any other way.

    Fantastic Time to be a Pirates fan
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    Default Re: 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Summary: Hope Springs Eternal

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Good Article Benny. Meant to comment on it earlier but got caught up in a lot of things..

    The positives no matter which way anyone tries to slice it is that the Pirates added more legit potential talent into the system on top of what Huntington had signed in the first 2 drafts and received in Trades. The key word is "talent". It's possible that a lot of these guys don't pan out. It's highly possible that Taillon joins the ranks of most of the other pitchers Taken Top 3 in the draft and becomes a Bust or arms get blown out but .. the goal is to put the best talent you can get into the system. the System which is the lifeline of a small market team like the Pirates.

    People want instant gratification and aren't and won't get it, but with every Draft and trade and such, the Pirates move more steps closer to building one of the better systems in all of Baseball and all that will do is produce talent for the MLB club (that we've lacked all of these losing years) and also produce talent that we could use in a trade to get pierces for the MLB club that we can't obtain any other way.

    Fantastic Time to be a Pirates fan
    Mark my words...the Pirates will have 3-4 players in Baseball America's top prospects list next year.
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    Default Re: 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Summary: Hope Springs Eternal

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    Mark my words...the Pirates will have 3-4 players in Baseball America's top prospects list next year.
    It's definitely possible. It wouldn't suprise me
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    Default Re: 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Summary: Hope Springs Eternal

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Fantastic Time to be a Pirates fan
    I LOVE what the Bucs did in this draft and generally like the approach snce NH took over in the draft, but until the team can play competitive baseball consistently despite the inequitabe nature of basebal's system, it is crazy to say it is a "fantastic time to be a Pirates fan." How many organizations - top to bottom would you trade the Bucs straight up for? 30? 25?

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    Default Re: 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Summary: Hope Springs Eternal

    Quote Originally Posted by PE1 View Post
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    I LOVE what the Bucs did in this draft and generally like the approach snce NH took over in the draft, but until the team can play competitive baseball consistently despite the inequitabe nature of basebal's system, it is crazy to say it is a "fantastic time to be a Pirates fan." How many organizations - top to bottom would you trade the Bucs straight up for? 30? 25?
    How many organizations were wiped out and completely void of impact minor league talent in the system and their best players were all aged with no control?

    The answer is zero. The Pirates have had to do a lot of work to get to where they are now because of what the mcclatchy regime left.

    so yeah, of course the current MLB level product stinks. It's supposed to stink right now and bottom out like most other rebuilds of this similar fashion (Milwaukee, Detroit, Tampa Bay) have.

    It's still a Fantastic time to be a Pirates fan. There's a future that one can actually see that wasn't there during McClatchy and Simmons years. Prior to Nutting, Coonelly and Hutnington taking over, there was absolutely no positive signs.
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    Default Re: 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Summary: Hope Springs Eternal

    "The GCL Pirates were scheduled for a double header, but had one game cancelled. They lost the other game 5-1 to the GCL Braves. ..... Ryan Hafner (18.00) made his debut, allowing two runs on two hits, with a walk and two strikeouts. ..... Jared Lakind (.000) made his debut, going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts."



    Read more: Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch 8/24/10 | Pirates Prospects http://www.piratesprospects.com/2010...#ixzz0xcepFon7

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    Default Re: 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Summary: Hope Springs Eternal

    Quote Originally Posted by tocchet92 View Post
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    "The GCL Pirates were scheduled for a double header, but had one game cancelled. They lost the other game 5-1 to the GCL Braves. ..... Ryan Hafner (18.00) made his debut, allowing two runs on two hits, with a walk and two strikeouts. ..... Jared Lakind (.000) made his debut, going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts."



    Read more: Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch 8/24/10 | Pirates Prospects http://www.piratesprospects.com/2010...#ixzz0xcepFon7
    That belongs in this thread for what reason again?
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    Default Re: 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Summary: Hope Springs Eternal

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    That belongs in this thread for what reason again?
    To mention 2 prospects debuts and how they did in a draft summary thread?

    I know, I know, it does indeed seem like spam
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    Default Re: 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Summary: Hope Springs Eternal

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    That belongs in this thread for what reason again?
    Two prospects made their debuts last night. I am interested in the how/when the draftees play this summer but I did not think it needed its own thread. This seemed like a good place to track the progress of the prospects and defile your thread. Sort of a 2fer...

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