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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Pirates Discussion: Draft Day Two

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) there are no MLB games on the slate for Monday.

The obvious talk of the town today is the Pirates drafting Termarr Johnson with their first selection, and then Thomas Harrington and Hunter Barco with their other two picks on Day One of the draft.

The Pirates Landed the Draft’s Best Pure Hitter and Two Starting Pitching Candidates

I had previously said that I felt the Pittsburgh Pirates and Ben Cherington would go with a prep pick this draft, but it also helped that the draft boards leaned heavily in that direction leading up to draft day.

What are your feelings on the Pirates first couple selections, and are there any specific players you’re eyeballing for Day Two of the draft?

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Raised in Cranberry Twp, PA, Jeff attended Kent State University and worked in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before moving to New Orleans in September of 2012. His background is as an Engineering Designer, but he has always had a near unhealthy passion for Pittsburgh sports. Hockey and Baseball are his 1A and 1B, combined with his mathematical background, it's led to Jeff's desire in diving into analytics. Jeff is known as Bucs'N'Pucks in the comments, and began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2022 after contributing so many useful bits of information in the comment section.


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Pick 4 (110th overall): Pirates, Michael Kennedy, LHP, Troy (N.Y.) HS (No. 89): Make that five of MLB Pipeline’s Top 90 prospects heading to Pittsburgh. Kennedy will be looking to follow Ian Anderson’s path out of upstate New York, and his advanced feel for a slider and changeup should give him a chance to start in the pros, event at just 6-foot-
Pick 27 (133rd overall): Astros, Trey Dombroski III, LHP, Monmouth (No. 111): Houston may have picked up the best control in the entire Draft by taking the Monmouth southpaw. The 6-foot-5 lefty walked only 10 batters in 95 innings, and that strike-throwing ability came with a full bevy of four pitches. The stuff may not match his size, but the command and control could make him a No. 5 starter in time.
Pick 4 (290th overall): Pirates, Tanner Tredaway, OF, Oklahoma
Pick 5 (291st overall): Nationals, Murphy Stehly, 3B, Texas
We’ll group these two together because it’s interesting that the Red River rivals went back to back. Tredaway ranked third in Division I with 105 hits, and Stehly was just behind him in fifth with 103 knocks. Tredaway (24 steals) is the faster of the two, while Stehly (19 homers) is the more powerful. Both are fifth-year senior signs and should provide the Bucs and Nats with bonus pool cover for other areas.


Unless I’m forgetting someone, the blurb on Kennedy should say four of MLB Pipeline’s Top 90 prospects (though they could add one in rounds 11-20): Johnson, Harrington, Barco, and Kennedy.


Not bad. Wonder if some of the pitchers actually were pitching much better than the numbers. Were they getting their pitches hammered or were they more weaker contact but with metal bats were getting through or dropping in over the infielders heads? I dunno bud we all shall find out and we shall see what the scouts came up with since they went with the top guy available and therefore not a ton of extra money to go after lower round high upside guys like last year.


I like the picks so far. Other than Johnson, no flashy picks but some pretty solid picks. Time will tell. Maybe get some prep kids on day 3


Was at work and couldnt follow as closely as i wanted today, whats everyone’s general thoughts? Seems like people are whelmed


One thing that I think is interesting is that fangraphs gave only eleven (out of 72) pitchers 60 or higher FVs on command and we drafted three of them (https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2022-mlb-draft/scouting-pitching?type=3&sort=10,1).


not a sexy draft. but a solid one so far


Ok i can be happy with this! Shoot for the moon in the 11th round and ill be content


What’s the good draft outcome? Is it one starter, one bench and reliever???? I forget, but the point is that they have an uphill battle to get there!


It’s at least better than 2020 even if just looking through round 5: Johnson is more highly regarded than Gonzales was, Harrington and Barca seem to have similar upsides as Mlodzinski did and more upside than Garcia, and Kennedy is comparable to Jones (very different types of pitchers but similar value though I might give Jones a bit of an edge). Then you have a couple of guys who are longshots.

If we can get a Bishop and a Bowen tomorrow, the draft will look good even if not as good as last year.


Are the Pirates deliberately making picks that have zero chance of ever getting to the 40-man status or are they just using the old eeny meeny miny moe method of picking???

Last edited 4 months ago by RAS TN

Other than Johnson aka Joe Morgan where is the beef in this draft…

My question: If the Pirates do not spend their draft monies do they get to keep it as it sure looks like there are zero reasons to spend all their monies…

Hats off to Texas with the Rocker pick and signing for way under the slot value, if he is healthy maybe they now can be the model team for the Pirates instead of Tampa or is it, St. Louis…


I don’t think they’ve ever spent less than the allotted amount, and I think they always spent the extra 5%.

Last edited 4 months ago by john_fluharty

If the Pirates do not spend their draft monies do they get to keep it as it sure looks like there are zero reasons to spend all their monies…”

The signing pools are what you’re allowed to spend but the money they’re spending or not spending is Nutting’s, so yes they get to keep it. That said, there are lots of highly ranked HS players remaining (https://www.mlb.com/draft/tracker/2022/undrafted) and I’m sure we’ll end up spending our full amount when all is said and done. Tomorrow should lead to at least a couple of interesting picks along the lines of Bishop and Bowen.


Here’s my dilemma with this and it’s quite a list, you would think that a good number of these undrafted well at least the higher ranking ones would have been drafted by the 10th round if they had any inkling to turn pro. So even if the Pirates have saved monies from the draft so far I find it puzzling that any of the higher ranked would sign now, so what does that leave for the Pirates to spend all their savings on…


It’s the way the slot system is set up. You may know this, but if we draft a player in rounds 1-10 and he doesn’t sign, we lose that slot amount from our pool which can affect our ability to sign other draftees. E.g., we take Gavin Guidry in the round 7 and he decides to go to college, we have $243k less to spend–Bob might be happy but the rest of us wouldn’t be.

If we take a chance on a HS kid in rounds 11-20 and he decides to go to college, it has no impact on our pool amount. The top HS kids go off the board early but most of the rest, as the link shows, last until rounds 11-20. Tomorrow will be interesting–in 2019 Bowen was one of my favorite picks and last year Bishop was one of my favorites (I don’t follow amateurs closely enough to have known about them beforehand but after reading about them after we drafted them, they were in my top five from each draft).


They took a players 3rd overall that barely belonged to go in the first round who a bunch of scouts said he didn’t really have much left with his shoulder,saying the went the pirate way is not accurate at all they simply just drafted someone cheap to get a good HS arm,pirates got 5 top 100 kids,rangers I believe got 2 that’s the difference,it’s simply not the same


Darn we missed on Mule and Dombrowski. and Porter. lol

Last edited 4 months ago by joebaseball

The Rangers gamble paid off!


Doesn’t feel like a gamble, it feels orchestrated to me, I’m ok with it. But I don’t think there was anything left to chance, Kumar signs right away and he probably told every team it will take this much to sign knowing that it was the amount Texas promised.


The gamble was that Porter would still be available in the 4th round so that they’d have a worthy player to spend the savings from Rocker on.

They still could have spread out the savings on several HS picks, but I think when you save as much as they did on Rocker, you’re really hoping a player like Porter is there for you to draft. The bigger risk for them was that they didn’t have a pick between 1-3 and 4-3.


They probably had a list of guys they wanted to sign who’d require over slot money, and Porter was likely the best one available when they picked.


Not a Rangers fan but I like how they took a risk and it worked to get more talent than you’d expect by only having two picks in the first four rounds.

Last edited 4 months ago by TNBucs

F@ck Angels took Joyce


Branigan was part of the Notre Dame team that shocked both Tennessee (best college team in years) & Texas in the College playoffs. Very scrapy gritty team with no superstars.

Branigan was Notre Dame’s 3rd baseman in the series, & the announcers during the games said that he was the most highly rated player on the team. While he played pretty well that series as the 3rd baseman, they noted he’s also a pretty good pitcher. So i’m curious what position the Bucs announced him as – anyone know?


On MLB.com they announced him as TWP.

Also, he played on the Cape last year and we know Ben likes those guys (he didn’t show much power (ISO of .090) but had a good OBP (.387)).


They announced him as a “2 way player”. I’m assuming that means they want him as a pitcher. He wants to play 3B, but the consensus is he’s a better prospect in the mound

Wilbur Miller

Whoa, serious overdraft. Not sure I like this.


Wonder if this is a senior sign, without being a senior. Kid wants to play 3B, but is probably only a prospect on the mound, pirates give him a chance to do both, save some cash, and hopefully make a run at someone later today, or in round 11


I would like to move off Draft coverage for a moment to congratulate myself on a truly meteoric rise through Tim Williams’ PP message board prospect rankings. Labeled a green “prospect” only weeks ago, I find my profile now in AAA despite a FV 20(minus) due to 5’8 frame, makeup issues, back/neck pain after sitting ten minutes or more in a motor vehicle & questionable nutritional decisionmaking. I just want to thank the PP community for their faith & me and want to humbly say that you just got yourself the best blogger in the draft.


Hey how are doing GIF, that option has disappeared for me!


I get that some of us are down on picks like Harrington, for me this is an excellent pick, plus change and command and a frame to add. Not to mentioned the cleanest mechanics on this draft. This is a high floor guy, not one of the many future relievers we currently have in the system!

Wilbur Miller

I think what they’re trying to do is find hidden upside in standard, “safe” demographics. College righty, standard pitch mix, average-ish velocity . . . yawn. But — obscure school, impressive outing in big Regionals game, athletic with good command, strong change. They’re probably gambling that being challenged more, getting pro-level coaching, etc., will help him step forward more than the usual for his demographic.

Last edited 4 months ago by Wilbur Miller

it’s a fine strategy……if you get results. pirates unfortunately haven’t shown much in that regard yet


And if they could save a bit of money for later rounds the better.


You have to like the Johnson pick based on what the scouts had to say about his hitting, which honestly is all most of us know about it. Hitting the ball hard regularly is by far the hardest thing to do in any sport and all the other tools don’t matter if that one’s missing and don’t matter as much if it’s present.

Personally I would have liked a player who’s closer to the majors than most 18 year olds are, but if he continues to show the ability to hit higher level pitching maybe the Pirates will allow him the chance to progress faster and debut in Pittsburgh at 21y/o instead of the usual 23-24. Guess I’m saying I’m getting too old to want to wait 5-6 years, when many of the current group of prospects are getting close to leaving town, to see if he can hit major league pitching. Over all I think it was about as good a choice as possible without a crystal ball that would allow a view of the future.

It’s hard to have much of an opinion about the other first day choices, but you can hope that at least one of them might develop into a major league pitcher in some capacity.


As is the case the day after the picks start coming in, there is a lot of kool-aid drinking regarding the Pirates picks. Given their track record at drafting and developing players – which has been poor at best – I don’t share in the immediate excitement. Yes, Johnson appears to have a great bat for a HS prospect and by all indications is a great kid and prospect – BUT, he’s a second baseman and he doesn’t profile to be able to play anywhere else other than DH. The Pirates passed on the player with the highest upside in the draft (Green), who also plays a premium position very well – CF – with the speed and athleticism to play either corner OF spots as well. Not surprisingly, the Nationals quickly grabbed him with the next pick.

In 3-4 years, I hope we are not viewing this selection like the Swaggerty over Nolan Gorman ill-fated decision…..

I will reserve my excitement when Johnson actually starts playing and we will see if he is more like Robinson Cano or more like Josh Harrison. I loved Josh Harrison as a super utility player, but I would never have drafted him with a #4 pick in a draft. He was a role player, not one to rebuild a team around….


Green can be the next Victor Robles…

I don’t get how you can be down about the best hitter in high school…. Who cares that he doesn’t play center field.


Dedward is full of contradictions, ain’t he?


He’s pretty consistent with his Debbie downer impressions!


Just a side note: Finally got the tech bugs worked out and I can read all the articles. Thanks guys! 😎


Other than TJ there is not much to get excited about. I am sure they know what they are doing, so let’s hope the next five picks increase the excitement and not the anxiety.


The Pirates possibly landed the best hitter in the draft with Termarr – 70 hitter, 60 power for a young HS LH swinger. We do not need another MI, but his bat should play anywhere.

Termed the next 2 picks – Harrington and Barco – as decent, but both were not thought of as highly as the Pirates picked them. So, waiting for the other shoe to drop today – Nazier Mule’, HS upper 90’s FB/SS with hit and power, Tristan Smith HS LHP, Brock Porter HS RHP, thought to be unsignable. How about drafting 2 of those 3?

Right now the Pirates are loaded at AA and AAA, and I counted 14 very talented and high performing pitchers between 18 and 21 in the Complex League or at A Ball. Therefore, not necessary to sign any of these kids, and still be loaded with the next surge of pitchers after the ones already at MLB or close at AA/AAA.


He could still be the SS or 2B in 2-3 years. If Cruz, Peguero, and even Gonzales all develop as planned, one or2 of the 4 will be helleva couiple of trade chips if they all turn out. You want multiple prospects at multiple positions to give your self opportunities to get players you want in a trade to fill other holes and still not run the cupboard dry.


i wish we went for an outfielder given our complete lack of impact prospects in the outfield, but at least it was one of the 2 or 3 best players on the board. regarding the next two pitchers…. happy to finally see a lefty drafted higher than the 5th round, but these both look like money savers….theres a couple highly ranked players still on the board, do we go for one more impact player today and throw money at him? we shall see


Michael Gupton, HS OF, elite speed, plus power

Nolan McLean – power arm, power bat


Sam Highfill – NCSU RHP, struggled with back issues this year

Ryan Clifford, NC HS 1B


I saw Highfill earlier this year & was impressed as well. However, my initial thinking was this seems like a guy STL will take


Not necessarily the ‘best’ options but all from the NC Triangle area


Brock Porter appears unsignable since everyone, including the Pirates, thought better of committing even a second round pick to him. My hope is they take Tristan Smith or Gavin Guidry. Any top-80 HS talent feels like the way to go after the last two picks were more oriented toward high-floor rather than high ceiling. But I wouldn’t mind Jonathan Cannon, if only because that’s the best baseball name for a pitcher I’ve ever heard.


I think Texas taps Porter with their savings from Rocker. Guidry is supposed to be a tough sign.

Last edited 4 months ago by ArkyWags

Porter still needs to be there in Round 4


The three things I’m most interested in today:

  1. Our picks (of course).
  2. Does the team who picks Sam Horn seem to have the resources to make him break his commitment to Missouri (I want to see him as QB of Mizzou this fall).
  3. Does Porter make it to the Rangers and if he does, do they pick him? That would seem as if they hit the jackpot on their gamble.

I wonder if the Rangers have a deal with Porter. Even with Boras as Rocker’s agent, they should save enough on Rocker that they could draft Porter and pay him first-round money. There are a few other teams that should have money to spend after their first round, so if not the Rangers then maybe a team like the Cubs.

Wilbur Miller

Well, Rocker already agreed to nearly $2.5M below slot, so . . . .


Not the Cubs!!!! Maybe the Rangers will get Rocker cheap, but they also lost a couple of draft picks so their overall bonus pool is not real high.


Yeah, probably not the Cubs since any savings on their top pick will likely need to got to Ferris.

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