With our weekly 2020 draft slot update every Sunday now until the end of the season, I’ve also been using Sundays to take a look at the stats from draft picks each year. Last week it was the 2018 draft picks and the previous week it was the 2019 class. Today we look back at the 2017 draft class. This one was smaller than the 2018 and 2019 classes from the start. The Pirates signed 37 players in 2017, but they didn’t add any non-drafted free agents during the season. The class has shrunk over the years due to players either being released, retiring or being traded. The stats below are just for the players still with the Pirates. They are sorted by current team and then draft order. Conner Uselton isn’t listed below, but he is still technically with the Pirates for now. High school draft picks have an asterisk next to their name.
Blake Weiman, LHP, 8th round – (Injured part of the year, includes Altoona stats) 2.90 ERA, 31.0 IP, 1.00 WHIP, .205 BAA, 34:8 SO/BB
Jason Delay, C, 4th round – .237/.289/.404 in 66 games, 12 2B, 8 HR
*Cody Bolton, RHP, 6th round – (Includes Bradenton stats) 3.28 ERA, 101.2 IP, 1.04 WHIP, .204 BAA, 102:30 SO/BB
Jared Oliva, CF, 7th round – .279/.354/.402 in 120 games, 24 2B, 6 3B, 6 HR, 35 SB
Bligh Madris, RF, 9th round – .260/.325/.380 in 129 games, 26 2B, 8 HR, 43 BB
Beau Sulser, RHP, 10th round – 2.72 ERA, 96.0 IP, 1.24 WHIP, .241 BAA, 63:31 SO/BB
Chris Sharpe, OF, 14th round – (includes Bradenton stats) .256/.334/.444 in 129 games, 31 2B, 16 HR, 17 SB
Shea Murray, RHP, 18th round – (Includes Greensboro/Bradenton stats) 4.46 ERA, 40.1 IP, 1.44 WHIP, .188 BAA, 64:31 SO/BB
Robbie Glendinning, SS, 21st round – (includes Bradenton stats) .298/.368/.488 in 101 games, 23 2B, 13 HR, 8 SB
Brett Pope, IF, 22nd round – .258/.329/.332 in 97 games, 15 2B, 24 BB, 7 SB
Jesse Medrano, IF, 31st round – (includes Bradenton stats) .185/.250/.269 in 78 games, 9 2B, 3 HR
*Calvin Mitchell, OF, 50th overall pick – .251/.304/.406 in 118 games, 21 2B, 2 3B, 15 HR
Dylan Busby, 3B, 3rd round – .213/.316/.453 in 114 games, 16 2B, 4 3B, 22 HR, 42 BB
Deon Stafford, C, 5th round – .229/.318/.342 in 79 games, 9 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 35 BB
Gavin Wallace, RHP, 15th round – 4.13 ERA, 109.0 IP, 1.34 WHIP, .281 BAA, 90/22 SO/BB
Hunter Stratton, RHP, 16th round – 4.25 ERA, 72.0 IP, 1.36 WHIP, .209 BAA, 64:42 SO/BB
*Mason Martin, 1B, 17th round – (Includes Greensboro stats) .254/.351/.558 in 131 games, 32 2B, 35 HR, 129 RBI, 68 BB
Lucas Tancas, 1B/OF, 26th round – .280/.342/.427 in 106 games, 28 2B, 9 HR
Ryan Valdes, RHP, 34th round – 6.83 ERA, 27.2 IP, 1.84 WHIP, .279 BAA, 24:20 SO/BB
Drew Fischer, RHP, 35th round – (Injured most of the season) 2.89 ERA, 9.1 IP, 1.18 WHIP, .242 BAA, 6:3 SO/BB
*Steven Jennings, RHP, 42nd overall pick – 4.68 ERA, 125.0 IP, 1.34 WHIP, .269 BAA, 107:39 SO/BB
Alex Manasa, RHP, 11th round – 3.48 ERA, 139.2 IP, 1.19 WHIP, .253 BAA, 120:32 SO/BB
*Jacob Webb, RHP, 19th round – 2.76 ERA, 16.1 IP, 1.71 WHIP, .258 BAA, 15:12 SO/BB
Indianapolis has been eliminated from the playoffs.
Altoona has been eliminated from the playoffs.
Bradenton season has ended.
Greensboro has been eliminated from the playoff race.
Morgantown has 2 games left. They are tied for the division lead and they are 1.5 games back in the wild card.
Bristol plays game three of their best-of-three playoff series against Johnson City.
GCL Pirates season has ended.
DSL Pirates1 season has ended.
DSL Pirates2 season has ended
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates won 11-4 over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night. They will send out Steven Brault for the series finale. He gave up three runs over five innings against the Philadelphia Phillies in his last start. Brault allowed just three runs total over 13 innings in his previous two outings combined. He has a 4.50 ERA in 44 road innings and a 3.63 ERA in 44.2 home innings. The Rockies are expected to counter with right-handed pitcher Jeff Hoffman, who is being recalled from the minors today. He has a 7.81 ERA, a 1.66 WHIP and 43 strikeouts in 40.1 innings over nine starts with the Rockies. Hoffman’s last start was back on August 13th when he allowed seven runs over two innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The minor league schedule includes a must win game for Bristol in their best-of-three series. They ended up going with Dante Mendoza last night and pushing Adrian Florencio back to tonight. This will be his fourth start against Johnson City. He gave up one earned run over 4.1 innings in the first game. That was followed up with six runs over 4.2 innings and four runs over three innings, so the results haven’t been positive recently.
Pedro Vasquez gets the start for Altoona. He ranks fifth in the Eastern League in both ERA and WHIP. He threw seven shutout innings in his last start, which followed him getting knocked out of his previous appearance after four runs over two innings. Greensboro is going with Steven Jennings for his final start of the season. He has allowed just one run over 15 innings in his last three starts combined, but he’s facing a team that has scored ten runs in 14.2 innings (6.14 ERA) against him this season in three starts. Fourth round pick JC Flowers goes for Morgantown today. He has a 6.38 ERA in his last five outings after giving up one run over six innings in his first three appearances. Alex McRae will start for Indianapolis for the 22nd time. He has faced Louisville three times this season already and each time he ended up with a Quality Start.
MLB: Pittsburgh (59-77) @ Rockies (59-78) 3:10 PM
Probable starter: Steven Brault (4.06 ERA, 75:39 SO/BB, 88.2 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (65-72) @ Louisville (58-80) 6:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Alex McRae (5.00 ERA, 99:42 SO/BB, 113.1 IP)
AA: Altoona (69-69) @ Harrisburg (74-63) 1:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Pedro Vasquez (2.79 ERA, 87:26 SO/BB, 116.0 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (73-62) (season preview)
Low-A: Greensboro (79-57) @ West Virginia (67-70) 2:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Steven Jennings (4.68 ERA, 107:39 SO/BB, 125.0 IP)
Short-Season A: Morgantown (40-34) @ Mahoning Valley (35-39) 4:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: JC Flowers (5.18 ERA, 22:10 SO/BB, 24.1 IP)
Rookie: Bristol (34-33) vs Johnson City (35-33) 5:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Adrian Florencio (4.75 ERA, 38:24 SO/BB, 47.1 IP)
GCL: Pirates (18-36) (season preview)
DSL: Pirates1 (34-36) (season preview)
DSL: Pirates2 (56-16) (season preview)
From Indianapolis on Friday, Jason Martin goes a long way to catch this one
Our outfield has been 🔥🔥 lately to save some runs.
— Indianapolis Indians (@indyindians) August 30, 2019
For Altoona, Brett Pope has been hitting well recently, to go along with his strong defense. Here he is driving in Altoona’s only run on Friday
A well-placed single down the line for @BdPope13 plates our first run of the game
⬆️8⃣ Harrisburg 4, Curve 1 pic.twitter.com/A4lzxlBTgm
— Altoona Curve (@AltoonaCurve) August 31, 2019
8/31: Jesus Liranzo and Elvis Escobar promoted to Indianapolis. John O’Reilly and Joe Jacques promoted to Altoona
8/31: Pirates claim Wei-Chung Wang off of waivers from the Oakland A’s.
8/31: Michael Flynn, Orsen Josephina and Julio Rosario promoted to Morgantown.
8/31: Pirates sign Heiron Montalban.
8/30: Pirates recall Geoff Hartlieb. Montana DuRapau optioned to Indianapolis.
8/29: Pirates place Yefry Ramirez and Chris Stratton on injured list. Recall Montana DuRapau and Parker Markel.
8/29: Matt Eckelman promoted to Indianapolis. Shea Murray promoted to Altoona.
8/28: Connor Kaiser placed on Greensboro injured list. Andres Alvarez added to Greensboro roster.
8/28: Domingo Gonzalez added to Morgantown roster.
8/27: Pirates recall Yefry Ramirez. Parker Markel optioned to Indianapolis.
8/25: Matt Eardensohn promoted to Morgantown.
8/22: Darnell Sweeney placed on Indianapolis injured list.
8/22: Blake Cederlind promoted to Indianapolis. Kevin Kramer activated from Indianapolis injured list.
8/22: Osvaldo Bido activated from injured list. Ryan Valdes placed on Bradenton injured list.
8/22: Quinn Priester promoted to Greensboro.
THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including the son of a Pirates great.
Dave Rucker, 1988 pitcher. Lefty reliever signed as a free agent prior to the 1988 season. Spent all of 1989 in the minors for the Pirates. In 31 appearances, he had a 4.76 ERA over 28.1 innings. The Pirates had an 85-75 record during the 1988 season, but they were 6-25 in games that Rucker pitched.
Vic Barnhart played 74 games total for the 1944-46 Pirates. He is the son of Clyde Barnhart, who spent his entire nine-year career with the Pirates (1920-28), hitting .295 in 814 games. Vic passed away in 2017 and was the last player alive from any pre-1947 Pirates teams.
Jim Hopper, 1946 pitcher. Was managed by HOF pitcher Burleigh Grimes when the Pirates signed him out of the minors. Grimes played for the Pirates three different times, and said that Hopper was the best young player the Pirates had. Unfortunately, before he played a game for the team, he was called into active duty for the war. The Pirates signed him thinking he wouldn’t go to war because he had two young kids at home. Hopper missed two full years before returning in 1946. He started the fifth game of the season, then pitched again a month later, in what ended up being his last big league appearance.
Fred Nicholson, 1919-20 Pirates outfielder. The Pirates purchased him from the Tigers on June 30, 1919 for $2,500. He hit .273 in 30 games in 1919, then batted .360 over 99 games during the 1920 season. Prior to the 1921 season, he was involved in a trade that included two future Hall of Famers, Billy Southworth and Rabbit Maranville.
Sam Brenegan, played one inning on April 24,1914. If he played in this era, he would be one of the most hated Pirates. Brenegan made his Major League debut in the sixth inning of a game the Pirates were losing to the Cardinals. Manager Fred Clarke decided to give starting catcher George Gibson a rest, sending Brenegan in to catch. Two batters into the inning, he committed a passed ball and walked after the ball behind him, which immediately irritated Clarke. A couple of pitches later, a wild pitch hit his finger and he walked after the ball again. Instead of going back behind the plate, he walked to the bench and sat down. That was his entire big league career.
On this date in 1890, the Pirates/Alleghenys lost all three games of a tripleheader to Brooklyn. It is one of three tripleheaders in Major League history. Pittsburgh lost 10-9 in the opener, 3-2 in the middle game and 8-4 in the last game. Only 915 paying customers showed up and the games took a total of four hours and 48 minutes to play.
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.