There’s been a lot of debate lately about who the Pirates should take at the 1-8 position of the 2012 draft. Should they take the light-hitting Marrero, who is a near-lock to stay at SS? What if Carlos Correa falls into their lap? How does Max Fried (I think he was a Batman villian in the ’80’s) and his power LH arsenal strike you? Do they risk a pick on Lucas Giolito, even with his injured elbow?
I’m not sure about all of that, but I do know with near-certainty what the Pirates will do in the 2012 draft.
They’ll draft at least 2 guys named Zack. It could Zach. Or Zack. Or Zac. Or Zech, which I’m counting. But under Neal Huntington, the Pirates have drafted at least 2 guys in the Zack-class of names each year.
Zachary Wilson — 26th round, did not sign, re-drafted 21st round by Yankees in 2011, currently in High A Tampa
Zachary Foster — 49th round, signed, currently in High A Bradenton
Zack Dodson — 4th round, signed, currently in Low A West Virginia
Zack Von Rosenberg (the Count) — 6th round, signed, currently in EST
Zachary Fuesser — 34th round, signed, currently in Low A West Virginia
Zachary Nuding — 37th round, did not sign, re-drafted in 30th round by Yankees, currently in High A Tampa
Zachary Weiss — 10th round, did not sign, currently at UCLA
Zackary Powers — 28th round, did not sign, currently at Florida
Zachary Thompson — 48th round, did not sign, currently at Texas-Arlington
Zechariah Lemond — 50th round, did not sign, currently at Rice
A few observations:
1. The 2009 draft must have been a bumper crop of Zachs in the nation, as the Pirates tried to exploit the market by drafting 4 of them.
2. Those Pirates really like to make the fans sweat, huh? The nerve of them to wait until the 48th round last year to draft their first Zach! But they finished strong with a cool variation in Zechariah in the 50th round.
3. Apparently the Yankees scouting department has picked up on this Zach trend and have scooped two unsigned Pirate draftees in later drafts. Our unsigned Zachs from 2010 and 2011 are already being fitted for Yankees caps.
Think about the name Zach, in all its variations, for a second. How many Zachs do you know in your everyday life? I think I know one. It’s not that popular of a name. And not only is it a less-than-common name, but then layer on the fact that there are only a few Zachs that possibly play baseball, let alone well enough to be considered draftable.
The number of draftable Zachs must be so miniscule and the Pirates have consistently drafted at least 2 Zachs in each of the past 4 years. Perhaps number cruncher extraordinaire Dan Fox has determined the win probability for a player named Zach is optimal. I imagine the Amish community has a lot of Zachs floating around there — if the Pirates can sign 2 guys from India that never played baseball (with one doing moderately well, I might add), surely they can mine the Amish Country for some strapping young barnbuilder.
So you can all wait with bated breath for the 8th overall pick. As for me, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that Zach Eflin (ranked 16th by Baseball America, RHP High School) falls to the Pirates in the supplemental round. Plus I’ll be furiously monitoring the draft status of Zach Quintana (190, RHP HS), Zach Isler (196, RHP, Cincinnati), and Zach Jones (199, RHP, San Jose State) to see which ones we can welcome into the fold, let alone any other Zachs that may be floating outside the Top 200 and have the ability to either hit or throw a spheroid object at high rates of speed.