2005 Pirates Amateur Draft: Five Years Later

McCutchen is one of the lone bright spots from the 2005 draft.


In 2005 the Pirates drafted 11th overall and took a high school centefielder from Fort Meade, Florida who is obviously one of the top players on the current team, Andrew McCutchen. Just five years later I thought I’d take a look at what happened to the other 49 players taken that day and what ever became of them. The pick of McCutchen was obviously a success but other than him the only other player who has actually played for the Pirates in the majors is Steven Pearce and considering he was taken in the 8th round out of college. Pearce cost the team just $40 K to sign and they still have an option left on him, he was still a pretty good pick. Unfortunately, he is the only other player left in the system which shows you how poorly the Pirates picked that year. However, Brent Lillibridge was also picked, and he has played parts of three seasons in the majors and was the minor leaguer included in the Adam LaRoche deal. 

As for the rest, the list of players who never appeared in the minors is a relatively short one considering how bad the top went. You have to go all the way down to Michael Klindt taken in the 33rd round to find a player without minor league experience. The others are 34th pick Gary Bucuren, 37th pick Eric Marshall, 39th pick Jason Brock, 40th Kenneth Weida who was also taken in the 48th round in 2006 by the Pirates, 41st round pick Nick Beghtol who the Bucs took in the 34th round in 2004, 43rd rounder Scott Kuhns who was taken in the 41st round in 2006, 45th pick Philip Riley, 48th pick Paul Dickey and 50th pick Stephen Merino. They seem to like drafting lower round guys twice who don’t want to sign. 

That still leaves 37 players and tops among them was Brad Corley, the 2nd round pick who never saw a pitch he didn’t like. He posted 193 RBI’s his first two full seasons but as many predicted,without the ability to take a pitch, he wouldn’t get past AA pitchers who would expose his weakness. After showing no improvement in 2009 and 2000+ AB’s with just 77 walks, the Bucs let him go. He played briefly in the Rockies system to end 2009 but did not appear in a game in 2010. 

James Boone looked like a talented player taken in the 3rd round but he was injured more often than he played and by the time he reached AA the missed time caught up with him. He averaged just 62 games per year in his five seasons in the organization, showing brief glimpses of his talent but was an overall bust. He also was let go during the 2009 season from Altoona and he went on the play Indy ball to finish the year. 

Fifth rounder Jeff Sues didn’t throw a pitch until 2007 due to injury but in 2008 he had made it up to Altoona striking out over a hitter per inning and was named the minor league pitcher of the year. He was also added to the 40 man roster but his success was fleeting. He struggled in 2009, was upset over how he was used in 2010 and was released in August, signing with the White Sox organization but got in just 7 total innings with them. 

Sixth rounder Cameron Blair looks like a pretty big overdraft. He didn’t hit well in short-season ball in 2005, didn’t hit much for Hickory in 2006, returned in 2007 and looked worse and has been playing Indy ball since then. Seventh rounder Justin Vaclavik actually looked good in Hickory in 2006 posting a 3.16 ERA with a good strikeout rate so they decided to challenge him by jumping him to Altoona the next year. To say he got hit hard is an understatement. He posted an 8.39 ERA and a WHIP over 2.00 and it was enough to force him into an early retirement less than a year after showing well, and 2 years after being drafted. 

Ninth rounder Derrik Moeves basically followed the Vaclavik model, pitched well in 2006 in Hickory, got promoted, then got hit so hard in 2007 he was out of baseball by the end of the season. Only difference with him was the fact he ended up back in Hickory to take his last beatings. He had very poor control and was strictly a reliever, not a good combo. To round out the top ten the Bucs took another pitcher, Derek Antelo who really never pitched well but he lasted until 2008 in the system finishing in Altoona with a career 5.09 ERA in 101 games, 22 as a starter. In total the Bucs spent approximately $3.7 M in the first ten rounds. 

Chris Jones was taken in the 11th round, about 20 rounds too soon. He was almost immediately made an organizational catcher playing just 113 games total before his release in 2008. For as bad as the Bucs picked with some of these guys they seemed to have made a good pick in the 12th round with Jason Delaney who couldn’t field much but he could hit line drives all day. Seeing him play a lot in person, I thought he had a good chance for a bench job in the majors at some point but the Pirates gave up on him in 2009 and this past season he struggled badly in AA with Florida making his release the previous year seem like perfect timing. 

The Pirates took huge (6′ 8″ 240 lb) RHP Matt Swanson in the 13th round. He pitched well, albeit as a college pitcher in relief, with Williamsport in 2005. He pitched okay with Hickory in 2006 and a little worse with Lynchburg in 2007 to round out his career. Fourteenth rounder Albert Laboy broke a string of twelve straight college players picked. The 18 year old outfielder didn’t hit much his first two years but was pretty good for Hickory as a 20 year old in 2007 hitting .287 with 6 homers in 63 games. They must not have thought much of him because he was back at the level in 2008 after struggling to open the season with Lynchburg, was released at age 21 and he hasn’t played since. 

Jarred Bogany didn’t sign out of high school in 2005 but has played the last three years in the Cardinals organization, currently in high-A ball hitting .248 in 196 games so far. He was the highest pick not to sign that year. Eric Krebs, signed in the 16th round is still in pro ball, currently in the Dodgers system after being sent to them in the Delwyn Young deal. He spent two seasons in rookie ball for the Bucs despite having a year of college ball already and then in three seasons in full season ball he posted an ERA over 4.00 as a reliever. He has a high strikeout rate in his career but walks a lot of batters as well. Darren Newlin, 17th pick, signed and went to short season ball pitching okay as a reliever but never pitched again in the pros. 

Ryan Searage, 18th pick, is the son of current pitching coach, and then Hickory coach, Ray Searage. It was obviously a favor done for dad as Ryan had little business in pro ball hitting just .124 with a high strikeout rate and little skill in two years at Williamsport. Just to jump ahead a little but for good reason, the Bucs took Juan Mesa in the 23rd round, son of then closer for the Bucs, Jose Mesa. Juan spent two years in the GCL without much to show for it before being released. Daniel Rios, 19th round, wasn’t the son of Armando Rios but he played like a son of a Pirate, spending three years in short-season ball with poor results. He went to Japan to play in 2008 and lasted just 11 games getting just one hit. 

Ryan Lollis, 20th round, has been drafted three times, most recently with the Giants in 2009 spending this past season in low-A ball hitting .288 while playing full-time but he is 24 already. 

Elias Otero, 21st pick, didn’t sign until 2008 with the Rays. He is now 23 and has played three years in short-season ball with little to show for it. 

David Dinatale, 22nd pick, didn’t sign out of high school but was picked by the Rockies in 2009 in the 28th round. He has hit just .185 in 51 rookie league games since signing. 

Jared Brown, 24th round, signed with the Bucs and went to the GCL as a 23 year old lasting 7 games. He was released, then pitched poorly in 2 seasons of Indy ball and hasn’t been seen in a boxscore since. 

Michael Wanamaker, 25th round, hasn’t played pro ball yet but he pitched this past season in College for Penn State so I didn’t write him off yet, but his stats were not that good so a career in the minors seems unlikely at this point. 

Tony Mansolino, 26th pick, signed as a 22 year old and went to the GCL which is almost never a good sign. He did last 4 seasons in the Pirates system but never hit anywhere he went. He played briefly for two Phillies teams,hit a little less than normal and has been recently seen hitting under .250 in Indy ball. 

Nash Robertson, 27th pick, was a college senior who went right to the GCL (see Mansolino to see if that’s a good sign). He pitched just 6 games, one less than college draftee Jared Brown, and hasn’t pitched anywhere of note since. 

Clayton McMillan in the 28th round was probably a pretty good pick because the Braves took him in 2006 in the 17th round. He pitched up until 2009 and posted a 3.27 ERA in 66 games but was released just prior to the 2010 season. 

I lied earlier about guys who didn’t go pro, but when I saw how 29th pick Iain Sebastian did in college I just had to give him more than a passing reference. He pitched 3 years in college, two different schools, pitched in 20 games, 4 as a starter but lasted just 24 innings total giving up 33 earned runs! He also had just one career hit but amazingly it was a home run. His lowest ERA you ask? 8.83. 

Chad Povich didn’t sign out of the 30th round but inked with the Red Sox after being taken in the 42nd round in 2007. He lasted three seasons posting a 5.01 ERA in 75 games, 16 as a starter. 

Jason Herman, 31st round, went to the GCL as a 23 year old after signing, need I say more? He lasted till the end of the 2006 season before moving onto a career in Indy ball. 

Matt Acors signed as a 22 year old out of the 32nd round and tied Jared Brown with the most appearances by a college pitcher for the GCL Pirates who didn’t last past the 2005 season. Like Nash Robertson, his career was over when the season ended. 

Lyndon Estill didn’t sign out of the 35th round but the White Sox took him in the 8th round in 2007. It wasn’t as bad of a loss as it seems by not signing him as he lasted just two seasons and had a horrible time making contact striking out 208 times in 448 AB’s. 

The Pirates liked Justin Byler, 36th round, to draft him two years in a row and he looked like a good hitter, especially after hitting .312 with some power in 2007 at State College. He then he missed all of 2008 with an injury and didn’t hit as well in 2009 as a 24 year old in short-season ball so they released him. 

Carl Uhl didn’t sign out of the 38th round but was drafted two more times, most recently by the Phillies in 2009 who kept him just one season. He did get to play for Williamsport though, three seasons later than he probably would’ve been sent there by the Pirates. 

Kyle Sweat, 42 round, didn’t sign and was never drafted again but he got into one game of Indy ball in 2009 narrowly avoiding the list of guys who never played pro. He might want to forget that game as he gave up 4 runs in 2 IP. 

Jordan Latham didn’t sign out of the 44th round but was taken 15 rounds higher by the Cubs in 2006 and is still in their system. He has pitched strictly as a reliever posting a 3.17 ERA in 109 games. 

Kody Hinze, 46th round, didn’t sign and wasn’t drafted again but signed with the Astros in 2008 and this past season he hit 19 homers and drove in 97 runs in low-A ball. He’s 23 already but it’s possible he’s a late bloomer, he strikes out a lot but takes his share of walks as well. 

Ryan Lormand, 47th rounder also didn’t sign but was taken in the 2008 draft by the Giants and has played as high as AAA already. He is a light hitting middle infielder with some speed. Bucs didn’t do too bad with these last two late picks except for the signing them cheap part. 

Last but almost not least, the Bucs took pitcher Francisco Ortiz in the 49th round. He didn’t sign in 2005 but they took him in the 18th round the following year and signed him. He pitched three season in the GCL, possibly a record. He finished the 2008 season pitching poorly for Hickory to finish the year. He was released following the season but has recently appeared in Indy ball and he’s still just 23 years old.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Marco Rincones

I too had become quite pleased with Lincoln out of the pen. The trade is done and it might be a great one if Snider is an everyday producer but I wondered if Hanrahan had been dealt and Lincoln and/or Grilli had been moved to the closer role if we would have been able to get more in return and not had Hammer’s contract on the books if he stays thru 2013….??? Hanrahan has been dancing thru some of his own messes lately in the 9th. Should we be concerned?

Also, Bedard has got to be shelved if he continues his brutal ways of late. Correira has reason to be upset if Bedard keeps getting the starting call and, yes I realize that Bedard out of the pen is almost impossible given his ailments.


How’s his defense?

John Lease

I’d much rather have Shane Victorino than Snider. Chances to win don’t come around every day.


This comment might not be popular, but I would have rather traded Hanrahan to the Jays for Travis d’Arnaud and Hechavarria. That takes care of SS and C, giving the Pirates 6 of 8 positions with good players. Make Lincoln the closer and bring up Morris.


Potential + $7 = 1coffee at Starbucks.
I hope Snider is great if not we only lost a relief pitcher and we have somebody to cook for Clement at Indy.


I think a lot of Lincoln, but to get something you have to give up something, Lincoln is much more replaceable in the Pirates system than a left handed power hitter. The Pirates are still a work in progress and by no means a mature team, the goal is to be competitive for years to come, the Pirates are doing it the right way, as they mature they will go deeper into seasons with winning baseball.
IMO, the Cubs are very hot right now, I thought Bedard threw very well yesterday, good break on his pitches, zip on his fastball, he just could not miss without getting clobbered, hot teams do that to you. It will take a supreme effort by Burnett to stop the Cubs and possibly get us one out of these three.

Kirk Lee

I would rather see Harrison demoted than Mercer, but that fails to account for the fact that the Pirates refuse to ever PLAY Mercer, so yeah, if they intend to keep him perpetually on the bench, Mercer’s the odd man out. Snider’s “Major League Success” this year is about as trustworthy as his 35% K rate: both come over 40 PAs. But I too like this move. It should upgrade our team this season, since we weren’t going to try Lincoln as a starter again this year, and it has a good chance of being a long term upgrade too. Only way this comes back to hurt us at all is if Lincoln becomes a good major league starter going forward, or if Snider is an absolute bust. If both happen, then it’s a REALLY unfortunate trade, but I just don’t think that’s likely and it could certainly work out the opposite way, with Snider hitting 35 HRs a year and Lincoln settling in as a good not great reliever.


I think they now need to hold on to Correia, despite his trade request. The second half struggles of JMac and last night’s stinker from Bedard are proof of the need for depth in the rotation. They really only have Jeff Locke at Indy, what with the trade of Owens and that crazy wildness of Justin Wilson. I guess there is Vanden Hurk but…….

Kirk Lee

Correia becomes more of an asset to the team, yes. But they don’t NEED to hold onto him. If they get a good return, then deal him. If not, we have 6 starters available.

Lee Young

Tim…I LOVED Lincoln, but I agree with everything you said. Ask the Giants how getting Beltran last year worked out!

Bring up Morris, pls. Send Mercer down, pls, for playing time.

Justin Hunter

Agree on every point. You seem like a pretty smart guy… whoever you are. Hope to see Morris up today and Mercer getting the AB’s.

Lee Young

Start KC….get rid of Bedard. Wandy stinks. Pedro’s a bust. Why are we trading for AJ.

Other than those opinions, I ARE very smart. Of course, *I* think you are smart, too….lol

Are you locked out of Plus also?

Justin Hunter

Indeed I am. Can see everything just can’t do anything. I’m shocked they don’t have search parties out looking for us!

Honestly though I like this setup. Will have to post here a little more often. I’m getting A LOT more work done too.

Lee Young

Replied in wrong spot below…see…I ARE smart!

Justin Hunter: I see CFJ asking about me…nobody asked about you, tho….lol

I’ve been sending emails out with various links, etc to the guys who I converse with ‘offline’. Jersey is NOT one of them, lol

Send me an email at leefoo@verizon.net if you want. I’ll make sure I put you in my Spam folder….lol

Dave Parker's Unfiltered Camel

Probably my biggest issue with this trade is that I keep wanting to call him “Chris”. This trade is a function of the market. Just look at what teams want in return for rentals and you can understand why Huntington made this move. I like the fact that it moves Jones back to first in a platoon role where he’ll get 70% of the AB’s, and mcGehee in a situation where he can excel against left handlers. I also like the kind of player coming to Pittsburgh. He’s a hard worker and plays with intensity. We will enjoy watching him play. The outfield defense is dramatically improved. The only issue that I have with this deal is that it doesn’t help the leadoff situation.

Couple of thoughts/questions:

Did you think at the beginning of the year that the Bucs would be a power hitting club?

What if Tabata had produced and what happens with him now?

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Walker get some AB’s in the #2 spot.

Justin Hunter

I do think one thing missing in this is how much the bench improves. Now you can send McGehee out vs. LHP or as a D replacement and Presley is in a 4th OF role that I think will suit him much better. Sutton/Harrison are fine in utility roles and Mercer probably heads back to Indy to get the AB’s.

Lee Young

Justin….I was wondering if they’re gonna try to get a RH OFer to platoon with Snider (of course, he HAS hit LHs well this year so far unlike previous years).

Woulda loved Reed Johnson.

This DOES make the bench stronger, tho. I like Presley off the bench. He can also sub for Marte against some tough RHPs.

Still hoping Dempster gets traded before tonight.

Justin Hunter

Johnson would have been a perfect fit. Unfortunately Sutton/Harrison are still the only RH corner OF options off the bench. Not a big fan of that but at least they provide some level of versatility. Saw tweet earlier they are still looking for bench help… my guess is that’s exactly what they want.

Regarding Dempster… hopefully he’s giving hugs in the dugout before throwing a pitch.

Lee Young

I see CFJ asking about me…nobody asked about you, tho….lol

I’ve been sending emails out with various links, etc to the guys who I converse with ‘offline’. Jersey is NOT one of them, lol

Send me an email at leefoo@verizon.net if you want. I’ll make sure I put you in my Spam folder….lol


Jones for a big-time prospect and bring up Clement? That would be super ballsy but I’d love it.

Benjamin P. Glaser

You think Toronto will use Lincoln as a reliever or do you think they’ll try him out as a Starter again?

Justin Hunter

Simply because he’s not stretched out I’m guessing he’ll be used as a reliever the rest of this year. It’s an interesting question long term though but definitely an option.

Justin Hunter

In an ideal world the Pirates get a high OBP, great plate discipline type of player with multiple years of control without giving up a cornerstone piece. Well the ideal world usually doesn’t exist so they got a power hitter with multiple years of control without giving up a cornerstone.

I would have liked to have improved a weakness but at the same time there is nothing wrong with improving a strength. I would have rather they got the best player possibly with the longest period of control over the ideal 2012 fit… he should help both long and short term.

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