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Saturday, December 10, 2022

First Pitch: A Quick Review of Where the Pirates Stand With Draft Signings

The Pittsburgh Pirates have had a busy week signing draft picks. So far, they have agreed to deals with 21 players, officially announcing the signing of most of those players. The agreements include three of their first four picks, with all three prep players receiving seven figures. There are still players left to be signed, and still about a month to make that happen. At the rate the Pirates are currently signing players, they might only need another week. Here is a quick rundown of where they stand.

Top 10 Round Players Remaining Unsigned: Connor Joe (Comp A), Jordan Luplow (3), Nelson Jorge (7), Kevin Krause (9)

I’d expect all four to eventually sign. However, the Pirates will need to create some slot money, because…

Money Available For Over-Slot Deals: ($140,300)

The Pirates are currently over-slot. If all of the remaining players sign for slot, they will have exceeded their bonus pool. That’s not an issue, since it would only result in a $70,150 tax at the moment, and no loss of draft picks. They need to create at least $140,300 with their remaining signings, if not more. The biggest source of money would probably come from Connor Joe.

Why They Could Need More Bonus Pool Money: Gage Hinsz

The Pirates will need more than just the $140,300 listed above. It would be nice if they created enough slot room to sign 11th round right-handed pitcher Gage Hinsz. The projectable right-hander finished in our top 25 prospects, and was the fourth best player ranked from the 2014 draft. He falls behind Cole Tucker, Mitch Keller, and Trey Supak, who were the three guys receiving seven figures so far. Hinsz would be a great addition for the Pirates. If they don’t sign him, then someone like 24th round pick Denis Karas or 23rd rounder Zach Warren would be good investments.

Links and Notes

**SALEGet 24% Off the 2014 Prospect Guide and Other Pirates Prospects Gear

**2014 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

**Prospect Watch: Kingham Shines in Triple-A Debut; First Homer For Gushue. Great start by Kingham in Triple-A, especially with the Pirates needing pitching in the short and long-term. He’s going to need several more starts before being considered for the majors, but more like this could have him up by the end of the year.

**Minor League Schedule: Doubleheader For West Virginia, Minarik Makes Pirates Debut

**Trey Supak Signs With Pirates For $1 M Bonus. This is a main reason why the Pirates are over-budget at the moment.

**Signing Bonus Information on Alex McRae and Michael Suchy. Two deals for slightly under-slot money. If the Pirates get similar savings on guys like Jorge and Krause, they could erase their overage. Then any savings from Joe or Luplow would be available to be applied to someone like Hinsz.

**2014 Jamestown Jammers Season Preview. The offense got off to a good start tonight, with great debuts from 2014 draft picks Taylor Gushue and Carl Anderson.

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.


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It’s starting to look like maybe they didn’t have a deal verbally worked out with Connor Joe after all. The problem they have is that CJ has some additional leverage now just by being a 1A pick. I’m fairly sure there’s no protection/compensation for that pick if he does not sign. And his slot value would be lost. I think he will sign, but it’s going to be a lot closer to slot value than his rankings would justify. And that may well cost the Pirates Hinsz and any of the other late round prep guys. I also suspect Luplow may be looking for slot or more, so his signing may not be a sure thing.

Lee Young

Soooooooooo….THIS is why they took Connor Joe, as Jim Callis surmised…to save money for over slots?

William Wallace

Anybody have any idea about the PTBNL for the Ike Davis trade? I am getting a bad feeling it will be a big name.

Lee Young

William….check the 2013 draft tracker….they can’t announce until one year after they sign….I guess we’ll be ‘checking them off’ one by one?


A lot of rumors are around Neil Kozikowski. So we’ll know soon after June 21st.

Quick note about the signing tracker, make sure you check the player page for the player’s actual signing date. The date on the signing tracker is the “agreed to terms” date, if applicable. For example: Neil Kozikowski agreed to terms on June 17, 2013, as shown on the signing tracker, but didn’t sign until June 21, 2013.


What’s your definition of a big name? It certainly won’t be Meadows or McGuire.


Tim: How far can the Pirates extend themselves beyond the Bonus pool without incurring a loss of a draft pick? If they lose a draft pick, where would that loss be assessed – which pick in 2015? The Pirates are just too well situated right now to imagine they will get a first round pick any higher than somewhere between 15-20 in 2015, so it may be worthwhile to do what is necessary to sign Gage Hinsz. Taylor Gushue 2 for 5 with a HR in his first start for Jamestown, and wow, did Gregory Polanco announce his presence last night?


emjay – …for the bonus info you need.


They would have to forfeit their first round pick next year if they exceed their draft pool by about $353,000 or more.


there is no way that Gage Hinsz is worth giving up a first round draft pick. Not even a close call.


Looks like Hinsz would be worth it. Pirates tried to take him 2nd round 64th pick but wouldn’t give him money he wanted, then signed Keller & Supak overslot as secondary choices to Hinsz? Seems like the Pirates made a mistake.
See article here:


Looks like it would be worth it. Should be valued as high or higher than Keller & Supak. See article here:


For the sake of Yinz, Hinsz needs to sign and make it as a Pirate.

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