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Morning Report: The 2013 Draft Class Has Produced Four Majors Leaguers and a Top Prospect

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The last two Morning Reports have covered the progress of the 2014 and 2015 draft classes for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Last year at this same time, I wrote about each class and gave updates, so it was perfect timing the last two days to update the updates. As luck would have it, one year ago today, I took a look at the 2013 draft class, so it would make sense to continue with the updates.

The Pirates signed 28 draft picks in 2013 and spent nearly $9,000,000 on those players. At this time last year, 15 of those players were still in the system. The Pirates used Blake Taylor, JaCoby Jones, Buddy Borden and Shane Carle as trade pieces, so they were seeing benefits from the draft, but not yet as far as players from the draft making it to Pittsburgh.

Here are updates on the 15 players who were still in the system at this time last year, along with one extra rejoining the organization:

Austin Meadows – At this time last year, he was on his way to Altoona after rehabbing from his Spring Training eye injury. Now he is in Indianapolis, currently on an 11-game on base streak after a very slow start.

Reese McGuire – He was catching for Altoona until July 31st, when he was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays. He’s still in Double-A, currently with a .734 OPS and his usual plus defense.

Cody Dickson – Starting pitcher for Altoona last year, now in the bullpen for Indianapolis, with a stop in the Altoona bullpen in between.

Trae Arbet – Extended Spring Training (EST) last year, now stands at second base for West Virginia and has a solid bat.

Adam Frazier – Was playing all over the place with Indianapolis last year, to filling the utility role with the Pirates since late June last year.

Buddy Borden – The asterisk here because he wasn’t with the Pirates at this time last year. He was doing poorly for Tampa Bay in their Double-A bullpen and now he’s dominating for Altoona in the same role.

Neil Kozikowski – EST at this time last year, released last month. Made a stop in Morgantown bullpen in between.

Chad Kuhl – Starting pitcher for Indianapolis, to starting in Pittsburgh since last August (though he was up for a short time before that as well).

Erich Weiss – Second baseman for Altoona last year, now a bench player for Indianapolis barely seeing playing time.

Nick Buckner – EST at this time last year and didn’t last much longer before he was released.

Billy Roth – EST last year to released over the off-season. He took quite a plunge in under a year because the reports from EST last April were strong and led to him being assigned to West Virginia shortly afterwards.

Justin Topa – In EST recovering from Tommy John, to released last month. He returned for 12.2 innings last year.

Jeff Roy – Bradenton outfielder last year, released mid-season.

Brett McKinney – Altoona reliever last year, pitched for Indianapolis until last week. Now “in EST” but technically just a paper move for now.

Henry Hirsch – Bradenton reliever last year, released this spring.

Justin Maffei – Altoona outfielder last year, now the 27th man for Altoona. He’s with the team, waiting for an opening.

Michael Fransoso – In EST last year, asked for release shortly afterwards so he could sign with an independent team.

So including Borden, the Pirates have nine players left from the 2013 draft. Those players include two Major Leaguers and one of the best prospects in baseball. The other six players could produce a marginal MLB player, with Cody Dickson and Erich Weiss having the best shots at this point, though Buddy Borden seems to be pitching very well lately and he could perhaps sneak in there. When you include JaCoby Jones and Shane Carle, you get four players from the draft class who have made the majors already.

PIRATES GAME GRAPH


Source: FanGraphs

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates won 2-1 over the New York Yankees on Sunday. The Pirates now host the Chicago Cubs for three games. They will send Chad Kuhl to the mound to make his fourth start. His last time out, he gave up two runs over six innings in St Louis. The Cubs will counter with 29-year-old lefty Brett Anderson, who has a 4.40 ERA in three starts.

In the minors,. Both Indianapolis and Bradenton are off today. Blake Cederlind will make his first start of the season tonight for West Virginia. The 2016 fifth round draft pick made six starts last year for Bristol before being shutdown due to forearm tightness. His longest outing this year was three innings, though he threw more pitches in each of his other two outings, topping out at 46 pitches last time out. Altoona’s Alex McRae gets his fourth start in the only other game.

MLB: Pittsburgh (8-10) vs Cubs (10-8) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Chad Kuhl (2.60 ERA, 7:14 BB/SO, 17.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (4-12) @ Pawtucket (7-9) 6:05 PM 4/25 (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Eppler (1.06 ERA, 1:11 BB/SO, 17.0 IP)

AA: Altoona (9-7) @ Erie (8-7) 6:35 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Alex McRae (2.16 ERA, 5:13 BB/SO, 16.2 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (10-8) @ Ft Myers (8-10) 6:35 PM 4/25 (season preview)
Probable starter: Mitch Keller (5.02 ERA, 1:11 BB/SO, 14.1 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (8-10) vs Charleston (9-8) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Blake Cederlind (3.52 ERA, 2:8 BB/SO, 7.2 IP)

HIGHLIGHTS

Here is an RBI double from Austin Meadows. On Sunday, he extended his on base streak to 11 games.

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

4/20: Chris Diaz assigned to Altoona

4/19: Brett McKinney assigned to Extended Spring Training. Johnny Barbato added to Indianapolis roster.

4/18: Starling Marte suspended 80 games by MLB. Pirates recall Jose Osuna

4/18: Brandon Waddell placed on disabled list

4/18: Joey Terdoslavich added to Indianapolis roster

4/18: Pedro Vasquez added to Bradenton roster. Julio Eusebio assigned to Extended Spring Training

4/17: Pirates acquire Johnny Barbato from New York Yankees. Barbato optioned to Indianapolis.

4/15: Cam Vieaux added to West Virginia roster. Mike Wallace assigned to Extended Spring Training

THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY

Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, and all four lasted just one season with the team. The four players were spread out pretty well throughout Pirates history. First baseman Jim Field played for the team in 1885. Pete Falsey played for the Pirates in 1914, right out of Yale. Dixie Howell caught for the Pirates in 1947 and Bob Beall was a September call-up for the 1980 Pirates.

The 1889 Alleghenys opened their season on April 24th with an 8-5 win over the Chicago White Stockings in front of 4,000 fans. Hall of Fame pitcher Pud Galvin picked up the win. The Alleghenys began the year with eight games at home, then went on a crazy road trip. From May 3rd until June 17th, Pittsburgh played one home game and 32 road games. The strange part is that by the end of the year, the Alleghenys played four more home games that season(70-to-66). Part of the reason for that long road trip? The Johnstown flood made it impossible for them to get home by train.

The Pirates opened up the 1919 season in Chicago against the Cubs after a long layoff between games. The 1918 season was ended early due to the war, wrapping up on September 2nd. Wilbur Cooper was on the mound on a very cold Chicago Opening Day and he took a 5-1 loss, with all of the runs against him coming in the second inning. The Pirates lineup on that day, which had three future Hall of Famers in a row in the 2-4 spots, was as follows:

Howdy Caton, ss
Max Carey, cf
Casey Stengel, rf
Billy Southworth, lf
George Cutshaw, 2b
Tony Boeckel, 3b
Fritz Mollwitz, 1b
Walter Schmidt, c
Wilbur Cooper, p
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John Dreker
John Dreker
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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