Prospect Roundtable: First Impressions of the 2022 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft

The Pittsburgh Pirates completed their 2022 draft this week, selecting Termarr Johnson with the fourth overall pick.

For our full coverage of the draft, check out our new Draft page, with the Signing Tracker and all of the latest updates.

We’ve got two Prospect Roundtables for you this week that are draft related. We’re going to get things started with a simple question: What are your first impressions of the 2022 Pittsburgh Pirates draft?

JOHN DREKER

I’m not a big fan of the draft. I think when you have a bonus pool that goes over $14 million with the 5% overage (which the Pirates have used almost every year), you have to add more potential impact talent.

The Pirates did an amazing job last year in the draft, and fell flat this year. They had all of that money and the 4th, 36th, and 44th overall picks. You’re going to get someone with upside with those picks, it’s inevitable, but I think they did the minimum and really didn’t even play it safe doing it. The Pirates took a lot of players who showed potential at one point in college, some of them recent, some in the past. They took some players who had no success at any time, or guys who broke out as seniors and other players with injury issues.

I really thought they had a plan going into day two after I saw the first day picks. When day two lacked excitement, I figured day three was going to be a game changer, especially with some senior picks on day two to secure bonus pool space. Day three was a reminder of the days when the late rounds used to mean rounds 21-40 — not 11-20. Until they picked Yoel Tejeda — who needs to be signed, otherwise this draft looks even worse — the day was rather boring.

I’m sure they will get some big league players from day 2-3, but how many even have the potential to be big league regulars, let alone impact players?

This draft class is going to ride heavily on the shoulders of Termarr Johnson. I have high hopes for him, but he could have still been picked and been surrounded by other potential impact players. I don’t see $14 million worth of talent here (almost $16 million when you add in round 11-20 slot prices), so I don’t think the Pirates came close to maximizing the potential of their bonus pool.

WILBUR MILLER

Especially on days 2 and 3, this was a very low-upside draft. Most of the pitchers taken after day one profile as relievers, except the college seniors, who mostly profile as organizational innings-eaters. The two outfielders look awfully similar to Luke Brown. The two prep pitchers have some upside, but neither is on a level with the three prep pitchers the Pirates drafted in 2021. Josiah Sightler and Nick Cimillo might have some upside with the bat, but neither was drafted as a junior and I’ve always viewed senior-year “breakouts” with a lot of skepticism.

Especially puzzling is the decision, in a year that was universally viewed as historically awful for college pitching, to devote two-thirds of the team’s draft to college pitching. The Pirates’ tendency in all three drafts under the current front office has been to look for hidden value among college pitchers by drafting from obscure schools – Chapman U., Campbell U., Salve Regina U. – drafting pitchers with injury histories, or simply drafting pitchers with really odd backgrounds, like Miguel Fulgencio. If we could believe the Pirates have found some magic scouting formula that puts them ahead of everybody else, that’d be one thing, but the evidence for that is lacking. A look through last year’s college pitchers is instructive. Except for Tyler Samaniego, they’re all struggling in the low minors. It’s also doubtful that the other 29 teams haven’t figured out that they can find pitching outside the SEC.

This looks mainly like an attempt to shore up organizational depth. Except for Altoona and the DSL Pirates Gold, the team’s affiliates have had mediocre to bad pitching this year. Relief pitching has been especially bad at the lower levels, so the Pirates may have trouble rounding out the staffs at Indianapolis and Altoona down the road. This sort of depth is what the Pirates used to look for in rounds 20-30, but those days are gone now. The logical result of the cutback to 20 rounds should have been much less emphasis on drafting organizational players, as teams instead can look to find them among non-drafted free agents. This doesn’t seem like a sensible use of most of a draft.

ANTHONY MURPHY

It’s hard to look at the draft and not think about how the Pirates navigated through last year’s edition. The thing about doing what they did in 2021 is that it takes a lot to fall into place for things to happen the way it did.

Expecting to have multiple drafts like that probably isn’t realistic. The Pirates did, however, land four players on MLB Pipeline’s Top 90 prospects — a respectable grab. Also, in Termarr Johnson, they got one of the best prep hitting prospects of the last decade, according to some.

After that, it was mostly pitcher after pitcher, and ones with admittedly probably not the greatest upside. We are probably talking, if everything pans out, a few that may help a Major League bullpen in a couple of years.

They did add some depth, which is never a bad thing, and with so many having starter experience, does allow some flexibility to be cautious with some of their younger arms (Anthony Solometo, Bubba Chandler, Carlos Jimenez, etc…).

While there are some players who, with the right adjustments, could be a bit more than their current potential — which you would have to think the development staff feels like they could do — it just kind of feels like a lot of the eggs are in a very small basket of players.

TIM WILLIAMS

There are so many individual aspects to a draft, that it becomes easy to get them tangled into one overall view.

There’s the aspect of finding talent. That’s where the amateur scouts come in. The Pirates have gotten good results from their amateur scouts in the past, producing a lot of MLB talent beyond the first round. The development system didn’t maximize that talent in Pittsburgh.

We’ve become accustomed to downplaying the first round pick in a twisted system where teams take a lesser player in order to load up on day two and three. Major League Baseball created this confusing system specifically to prevent teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates from spending freely to add the best player available with every pick, regardless of cost. As a result, we cheer the 2021 draft not so much for the first rounder, but more because of five picks spread out between day two and three.

This is only the second full draft under Ben Cherington — unless we count the abbreviated five round version in 2020. We have yet to see what a “take the best player available” strategy looks like, and I think we just saw it.

The Pirates are going to say that Termarr Johnson was the best player available for them. Objectively, he was probably a different “Best Player Available” than Henry Davis. In 2021, Davis was the best player available in a draft that didn’t have standout talent, but had a lot of depth in the prep ranks. Objectively, you could argue that Davis wasn’t the best player available. Jordan Lawlar was rated higher at the time, and is currently the 11th best prospect in the game in Baseball America’s latest update. Oneil Cruz is 12th. Henry Davis is 44th.

It’s easy to justify that approach when you can dream on the upside of guys like Bubba Chandler, Anthony Solometo, Lonnie White Jr., Owen Kellington, and my sleeper favorite, 14th rounder Braylon Bishop. Not all of those guys will make it, but there’s enough upside that we can envision a future justification for taking Davis first overall.

I think the Pirates went the opposite direction this year.

It’s easy to find ways to justify that Termarr Johnson was the best player available. He was widely regarded as the best pure hitter in this draft. He’s regarded as one of the best pure hitting prospects to come out of the prep ranks in decades, with ridiculous Hall of Fame player comps. He probably won’t stick at shortstop, but the Pirates don’t need a shortstop. They need bats. When you’re routinely losing 16-0, you go for the best pure hitter and a lot of pitching, and worry about fine tuning the defense when it’s more like 8-7.

That’s what the Pirates did with this draft.

Sixteen of the next 20 picks were pitchers. Six were left-handers, which is good for PNC Park. One was announced as a two-way player, and others have the previous experience. There were only two prep players after Johnson. There were four position players — two outfielders, a first baseman, and a catcher. I hate to completely strip away any name after the first round, but the draft is largely a collective effort. I could tell you who I think might have been a first round talent if… or who could be better than previously seen if… or who could be a sleeper because…

Actually, that last one will be tomorrow’s Prospect Roundtable.

It’s easier to feel comfortable about the collective day two and three results when it’s led by Chandler, Solometo, White, Kellington, and Bishop. It makes all of those stories of hope from the college ranks are “in addition”, rather than the feature.

It’s also easy to envision a first rounder making the majors when you’re routinely picking inside the top five. There’s a difference between making the majors and making a long-term impact in the majors. The former can help a contending team. The latter leads a team to contending.

There are other aspects to consider with the draft. The area scouts identify talent, but that talent needs to align with the system. It doesn’t matter what you have in the system when you’re adding someone like Termarr Johnson. They could add as many Termarr Johnson’s as they want, and if they ever had an issue where they had too many Termarr Johnson’s and not enough positions in the majors, it would only be a good thing. They could trade the extra Termarr Johnson’s for future Termarr Johnson’s and continue to win in perpetuity, led by an army of Termarr Johnson clones.

In the middle rounds, when you’re drafting 30-35 and maybe 40-45+ grade guys, you have to factor in system needs. There are only so many 30-45 grade guys you can put your hopes on. I think the Pirates did well here, for reasons I’ll break down in tomorrow’s column.

When you’re evaluating the draft, you also have to consider the particular system. That’s where I come to my biggest concern with this draft. I can envision the desired result in theory: Termarr Johnson being a star, and the Pirates getting a few other MLB players from the remaining 20 picks. We won’t be able to predict those future MLB players today, even if we tried.

In practice, the Pirates haven’t been able to execute this plan. This draft looks like a larger scale version of the 2020 draft, where the Pirates took the best player available in Nick Gonzales. He was highly regarded due to amazing contact skills that generated lofty comparisons, but have yet to generate contact results in pro ball. The one prep pitcher from that draft, Jared Jones, shows potential, but not enough to justify missing on Gonzales. They drafted college pitchers with the remaining picks, and might get some MLB pitchers, but won’t build a contender through that route.

The jury is still out on Gonzales. This development system is untested. The fact that Gonzales has struggled doesn’t add comfort.

Two years later, the Pirates go a “best player available” draft, and it’s hard to object to the execution of the strategy or the fit for the system needs.

I think the biggest concern with this draft is that we still don’t have any examples to turn toward to show that the Pirates can take the best player available and get him to that lofty upside which justifies putting all of the eggs in one basket.

Termarr Johnson seems like the type of player you want to take that gamble on.

Are the Pirates the type of system that can execute the plan to perfection?

The jury is still out.

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jaygray007

We probably just got a little spoiled last year. last year, they had the game’s largest bonus pool and they had their top pick take huge haircut.

Between paying what we project to be ~slot for Johnson, and also not having the games largest pool, of course this year was gonna end in disappointment compared to last year.

The only way we were gonna see a haul anything close to last year was if they struck a deal with a Parada/Collier/Lee type, and even then 1) that only approaches last year’s goodness if you like Parada/Collier/Lee similar to Hank Davis, and 2) this doesnt even address the fact that the pirates no longer had the game’s largest bonus pool.

It doesnt seem to me, personally, that this group is bad or anything. it’s more just that all of the forces were acting in their favor for the 2021 group.

Or maybe they shouldve taken a Neto type so that they could go totally insane from rd 2-20. that’s a legit strategy too i guess. Get a brock porter in there to be this year’s Chandler. but i think that wouldve come with regrets too.

ArkyWags

Yep. Your first paragraph is right on. I think a lot of people are frightened of the all it hanging on Termarr for the success of the class. The spread it out strategy to a bunch of different guys sounds safer, but I’m not sure it is.

TNBucs

Fun article at MLB.com on each team’s most interesting day 2 and 3 picks. There isn’t consistency though as in some cases the choice seems to be based on upside (e.g., Reds’ pick of Brutti) and in other cases based on the backstory (e.g., ours with K.C. Hunt), and sometimes a combination of both (e.g., Brewers’ pick of Cijntje, Cubs’ pick of Mule):

https://www.mlb.com/news/most-interesting-2022-draft-day-2-3-picks

jeffw3000

I find it disappointing that the Pirates pick, they hardly talk about what he can do on the field. Just about where his name came from.

Slackboss2

Think about what Tamarr is going to cost once he reaches Arb years. Cherington just created the salary space he needs in the future to pay for Tamarr. Nobody else in this class is going to earn the kind of moola Tamarr will. Very forward looking move by Ben.

DangerWilRobnsn

Why dumpster dive looking for other teams rejects for the bullpen when you can grow your own.

Cobra

I’m voting thumbs up on this comment on condition it was sarcastic

Scrappy2499

With the game going away from starters consistently pitching 7-9 innings to pitching 5-6 innings, it feels like the team was looking at guys who have maybe 2 better than average offerings and will make good mult. inning guys 2-3 innings. Have a Keller pitch 6, a newbie pitch 2 and then the closer…Have to replace the Underwoods out there.

Colin

KC’s bullpen was a big factor in them winning their World Series

TNBucs

The quickest and cheapest way to go from bad to average or from average to good, which is one of the more frustrating things about Ben’s inability or lack of effort in building a decent pen in the past three years.

TNBucs

I’m curious as to whether there is a team where PP writers and subscribers agree had an outstanding draft, comparable to ours last year? In skimming over MLB’s draft tracker, we did about as well as anyone with number of players in the top 100. There are a few teams like the Padres who didn’t benefit from as large a pool but still ended up with as many. The Rockies ended up with six but their highest ranked player is only 23rd. The Reds also had four in the top 100 but another six between 101 and 200, and may have gotten lucky with Collier dropping to them.

So my simplistic analysis might say the Reds and Padres, but on paper the large majority of teams don’t look to have had a better draft than we did. Again, curious to hear what others noticed.

NMR

Really liked the players Seattle, NYM, Milwaukee, and Arizona ended up with but I don’t think any of those clubs needed to do anything fancy. Just preferential.

smqesq

Tim:

I’ve tried emailing you – 3 times now. Maybe a comment will work instead.

I am locked out despite having a valid subscription – paid through November 2022. I am also curious – since I maighthave your attention – about the status of the physical pirate prospects books.

Thanks

Sean Quinn

michaelbro8

I’m having the same problem (for the 4th different time). Frustrating to pay a subscription for content that you can’t access,

docdon385

The 2021 draft was an aberration. The Pirates worked it very well but also got lucky that the players they drafted in rounds 2-4 were still there and that they were able to convince them to sign. Maybe that draft will be looked on as the cornerstone of a successful rebuild in the future but who knows?

This draft was more the norm where a few possible high upside players are taken toward the top with a bunch of pitchers being drafted in later rounds in the hope a couple of them might develop into more. Is there a Brubaker hidden somewhere in round six or later? Time will tell.

It’s obvious that the ultimate success of this draft will be determined by whether Johnson becomes what the scouts predicted. If that happens and one or two of the pitchers make an impact in the majors, this draft will have to be considered a success.

roberto

Actually if one or two of the pitchers make MLB it will be a success.

Another point. None of us scout amateur players (writers or members). The Bucs have a substantial, experienced group of scouts, supervisors, and cross checkers. Please explain why your off-the-cuff assessment merits my attention.

TNBucs

In some sense we’re all scouts, some are just better at it and I hope that’s true of the people the Pirates employ :). But when I go to a minor league game, say, I pick out players that I like more than their stats or rankings suggest (Lopez being the latest example) and other players who I end up thinking are overrated (last year I came away unimpressed with Mlodzinski while being highly impressed by Peguero despite their similar rankings at the time).

If someone watches any sport enough, they start picking up on things that might separate one player from another–that’s all scouts do. Also, as the book Moneyball emphasizes, scouts can get into bad habits–don’t overrate professional scouts.

NMR

Bro you’re commenting on an anonymous message board. Nobody forced you to read it.

TNBucs

Cherington and staff were widely praised for last year’s draft; that they went a different route this year gives me confidence in this year’s draft. For example, they could have gone the route of the Cubs and Rangers where they signed a high-upside HS pitcher later and/or they could have gone with a college bat like Parada, Lee, or Berry to be a little safer. That they went with Johnson shows they’re not married to a certain approach and that’s good and it makes me think they really like Johnson (as do I).

skliesen

If Johnson turns into a player anything close to Robinson Cano, who is a comp I’ve heard, then this draft will be a huge success. No matter what else happens.

hoffmark83

Overall not a bad draft just not a splashy one like last year. A lot of bullpen guys and lord knows the Pirates use a lot of them. Time will tell if they did the right thing just like it will tell if we got it right last year.

skliesen

I wanted them to take Lesko and use the savings to select this year’s Chadler, Solomento, Kellington, & Bishop. Instead Pirates took Johnson and a poor man’s version of Lesko in the form of Barco.

I’m thinking they probably got it right. Of course this depends on Barco recovering fully from TJ surgery.

bradlej31

This is a better version of the 2020 draft. I think folks are WAY underselling what Barco could be.

TNBucs

I agree on both statements. I also think Harrington is being undersold if what people say about his command is accurate.

NMR

Telling myself they intentionally took a Cleveland Indians approach to these arms.

Draft command and secondaries, teach velo.

jaygray007

i dont hate it

TNBucs

I posted this elsewhere but it was interesting to me that Fangraphs gave FVs of 60 or higher for only eleven draft-eligible pitchers that they had scouting data on (one 70, ten 60s out of a total of 72 pitchers). The Pirates drafted three of those guys which seems more than a coincidence to me.

James_Robert5

+1 good find

TNBucs

The logical result of the cutback to 20 rounds should have been much less emphasis on drafting organizational players, as teams instead can look to find them among non-drafted free agents.”

Looking at the UDFA who have signed, it looks like several teams have done what you recommended. Here’s a list of teams that so far have signed at least two college pitchers:

White Sox (7 total, 4 pitchers), Tigers (3,3), Dodgers (3, 2), Marlins (5, 3), Brewers (3,3), Yankees (3,3), Padres (13,8), Jays (2,2) , Nats (3,2).

I like what I’ve read about many of the pitchers we drafted but there are a few who seem to offer nothing over what an UDFA would offer as organizational depth.

agent00

to me this draft was aimed at adding pitching depth to the system. cherington can say whatever he wants about ‘best player available’, but their intent was clear. shore up depth. specifically the reliever depth. and the way the pitching staff is trending, they will need better relievers.

they picked some players with interesting qualities, if overall they seem underwhelming. but i think this puts even more pressure on their development system. to take these players with interesting qualities, and round out the rest of their games.

the jury is still out on how good the pirates are at doing that.

regardless, i liked a few of their players drafted. johnson is a slam dunk pick. barco is an interesting lefty prospect if he can fully come back from tj surgery. harrington has such clean mechanics and good control…if he can gain velo…he really could be something special.

i’m just excited to see these players get into the system and start playing. where are these signings??

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I think this draft mimicked Ben’s returns at the 2021 trade deadline. Although maybe not so much with “high helium” prospects, but filling gaps with depth.

agent00

which is fine….if they already had the high end prospects. but…..i don’t think they do

roberto

I am sorry, but that’s a perspective that requires justification.

ArkyWags

It doesn’t need justification, it’s pretty much true. Do the Pirates have any prospects who are 60 level in baseball right now? Nope. They did, in Cruz, who was (still does) have a higher bust rate than most prospects who have that grade.

The strength in the Pirates system is in its depth, coming into the season. Some of those 45/50 types could break out, and that’s the good part about having so many. But none of them have done so, have they? In fact, most guys at that level have gone backwards.

Pittsburgh didn’t have as many high end guys as say, Seattle, who had a much shallower pool. But more high end guys. What kind of system would you rather have?

agent00

to me, high-end prospects have superstar potential. pirates have…..maybe one (davis).

Colin

Absolutely! Seeing several top picks already in agreement on terms. Let’s get em signed GMBC

agent00

comment image

NMR

Historically speaking, there’s essentially zero track record across the entire league of late-round HS kids turning into impact players.

For some reason we’ve attached the “high upside” tag on any kid with a pulse, and I think it’s really skewing our perception of value in the draft.

As much as it’s fun to figure out how to game the system, arguably the singular instance of a club successfully pulling off the cut up top in order to add later still comes down to Carlos Correa turning into a superstar.

Just take the best damn player!

TNBucs

In terms of dreaming on “high-upside” HS kids drafted in later rounds, some of my favorite picks in the last three years have been Bowen, Harbin, Dixon, Walker, and Bishop. Of course it’s way too soon to know about Bishop but none of the others are looking like impact players or, with the exception of Bowen, even major leaguers. So, I agree in that players like these affect views of a draft but that optimism isn’t likely to lead to anything.

On the other hand, Burrows. Maybe Tejeda will be this year’s Burrows.

Last edited 19 days ago by TNBucs
NMR

Yep, and Burrows was able to be selected while not trying to get cute up top.

NMR

Swag was slot-appropriate and differences that minor are extremely common, I don’t think strategic.

Either way, I’d agree. That decision not to play ball with Hoglund is still super weird to me and one of those discussions (along with Nick Lodolo!) that I’d love to have been a fly on the wall.

Last edited 18 days ago by NMR
ArkyWags

Right. I’m also pretty much agreeing mostly with Tim. I think the Bucs were extremely fortunate last year that they were able to employ a good first round pick and not get their pocket picked for high slot options. That’s really unusual. It seems like the idea of finding 3-4 contributors in the draft takes off with something like the 2021 draft and makes it look achievable year after year.

Each draft year and where you stand in the draft is different. So they took the actual BPA and the rest is what they end up with. If Termarr is a star, it’s ok. If he’s not or busts, it shouldn’t dissuade them from taking BPA in the future. We don’t know yet if the 2021 path was a better one anyway!

NMR

Also worth accepting that 2021 was really only notable because of Bubba Chandler.

Opinions on Solomento, White, and Bishop were wide enough that you have to be exceptionally committed to spinning a certain narrative backed by certain outlets to make them remarkable selections for the club with the top choice in the draft and pool to come with it. They could’ve pretty easily figured out how to pick all of them AND a Marcello Mayer or Jordan Lawler.

Bubba was singularly the dude who truly required them to be creative.

Was there a Bubba Chandler in this year’s draft? More than one?

I don’t think so.

There simply isn’t enough viable talent in any given draft for more than a team or two to try this route and it actually have a chance of coming to fruition.

roberto

There was a Bubba Chandler in this draft. Nobody drafted him. His name is Sam Horn. He has committed to Missouri as a QB. He’s big and strong with a big fastball and curve. I don’t care about MU football and think Bubba has more potential in baseball, but nobody drafted a top 100 prospect?

NMR

As a QB/SP comp, sure, but this is exactly the point I’m making.

Bubba Chandler was a no-doubt first round talent and was paid as one.

Horn, by all accounts, was a third or fourth round talent but wanted paid like a first rounder.

Why would it make sense for a club to pay for leverage of a college commitment over actual talent?

goodtymes31

Horn is supposedly a much better QB prospect than Chandler was, and have to imagine he’s going to get paid in NIL as football money is much stronger there. I read somewhere that his price tag to sign for baseball was $5 mil +

TNBucs

Also worth noting that there were a total of 8 HS players that Pipeline had ranked in their top 100 and another 27 in the next 100 who went undrafted, so Horn had plenty of company who either had strong college commitments or required too high of bonuses to be drafted.

In following Mizzou sports, Horn had seemed to be a QB first (good chance to get playing time this season) and baseball player second but he will be given the chance to play both in Columbia so we may see him in the draft again in three years.

RAS TN

They probably got the best player available, but from there on got a bunch of eventual Rule 5 players…This is exactly what the Pirates can not due unless they are going to spend monies for FA’s…

jsdspud

At first glance, I am underwhelmed as well. I think that the biggest difference between the ’21 & ’22 drafts is the bonus paid to the first round pick. With Davis, they saved $2.5M from slot which allowed them to select 2 of Chandler, Solometo, & White. This year, I suspect that Johnson is coming in at slot or a little higher. I felt better about Barco when I saw that Carlos Collazo at BA projected him as pick 10 when he did his way to early mock draft in July ’21.

One explanation for remainder of the draft that I can think of is that the system lacks pitching in the upper levels and that they decided to bring in a group of college pitchers to match the timeline of when they think that they will be competitive. I don’t agree with that logic as I would rather have a better prospect. The other explanation is that the prep players that were available didn’t want to play here because they received better deals elsewhere.

roberto

Your second sentence gets to the heart of the matter. Your last sentence needs to be rethought: after the top tier, prep players seldom got drafted.

justin

I mostly agree with John. I kept expecting the next pick to be some high upside high schooler we could get excited about, but it never really came.

Outside of the first three picks, I’d say I’m ‘intrigued’ by this draft. We certainly needed LHPs, even if they’re mostly considered ‘low-upside’. I’m also a fan of the 2 way players, Tejeda and Brannigan, as we can essentially get 2 cracks at them developing into something useful.

bradlej31

The first 3 picks ARE your draft.

NMR

This critique also happens to identify the obvious potential flaw in the plan John’s suggesting they followed…any single club has absolutely no control over another team selecting a player they were targeting.

Who’s to say they didn’t have HS kids targeting for day 2 and 3 and were simply sniped by another club?

John Dreker

My plan would have been to take the HS upside kid with picks 36 and 44, not wait. I just figured that’s what they were doing after I saw the day one and day two picks. I definitely wouldn’t have attacked it that way, hoping someone good slips. I say go for them right away.

I think they could have put together a much better draft going high upside at 36/44 and best available on day two, then work with the remaining bonus pool from there on out. They still could have run the draft basically the same. I’m not huge on the Kennedy pick based on so many of the reports that think he’s maxed out already, so he just doesn’t have that prep pitcher excitement. I don’t hate him, I just didn’t get that “there’s what we’ve been waiting for” feel. I’m sure his bonus will be high though, so substituting a higher pick for him isn’t really a huge difference in price, but it would give them a better chance at an impact player.

TNBucs

They might view Harrington in a similar way as a HS upside kid as he was a sophomore which meant that his opportunity to have been drafted as a high schooler was in 2020. So he lost his senior HS season and there were only five rounds to give him a chance to be drafted (and it appears from Pipeline that he didn’t even make himself eligible to be drafted and from Perfect Game that he was considered a SS prospect at that time). In any case, I don’t see much room for criticizing picking the #45 prospect at 36, and a guy who Longehagen said was a similar prospect to Hjerpe who the Cards drafted at 22.

As for Barca, he was ranked 34th in 2019 and drafted in the 24th round by the Mets, so they’re essentially drafting that high-upside HS kid three years later. Wouldn’t the upside still be there?

NMR

Would you say a 21 yo in AA has the same upside as their 18 yo self in rookie ball?

Of course not.

Rob Baran

This is a well presented rebuttal to the present Groupthink. Several reputable Analysts had Barco rated in the top half of the 1st round coming into this Spring as well. The Upside is there.

NMR

Right on, I can appreciate that. A Robby Snelling and Jackson Cox over the two college arms and you’re on board. Slot-appropriate dudes who woiuldn’t necessarily need anything fancy, but on your terms higher upside than the college arms. Fair enough, thanks John!

joebaseball

OK. So who would have been your picks for each slot after the first pick?

NMR

Snelling and Cox would be the obvious ones selected soon after the Bucco’s second and third picks.

roberto

I am just curious. Do you have any inside info that the Bucs didn’t consider these players?

NMR

Fucks sake, calm down dude. You are miserably defensive for some reason.

I’m not the one critiquing the club!

ArkyWags

If you’re talking high upside HS kid at comp and 2nd round, are you gonna be able to sign them for above slot? With Termarr likely going for the full freight, I doubt it.

NMR

Disagree here, you can cut plenty enough with good ole senior signs in addition to the 5% overage in order to get those types.

ArkyWags

I guess you could. Depends on how many senior signs you wanna punt on, I suppose.

NMR

Big reason I’m a fan of popping those types early, you already have a couple million bucks in the slot to work with!

Add in the half million bucks or so from the overage and you can damn-near sign any HS arm in the draft, at least with as much as should probably be spent to begin with.

I mentioned elsewhere but this draft seems to be the one where the kids got over their skis in asking price. Those that ended up in college had to have had astronomical asks. At some point it just ain’t worth the risk.

dangreen1984

The only way I make sense of this draft is that the team is concerned about the return of “draft and follow”. Perhaps they assume the prep players they used to be able to lure away from college would now take their chances at a JUCO and try to get a better draft position – all the while they are negotiating the bonus offer from the Pirates. I can’t fathom how the great strategy from 2021 just seems completely gone in 2022. How else do you explain the college seniors after round 10.

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