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First Pitch: The First Overall Pick, Two Pitchers, and Other Pirates News


The winter meetings didn’t bring a big splash to the 2023 Pittsburgh Pirates, but it did bring the number one overall pick in 2023, a few additions to the bullpen, and a few minor league Rule 5 losses.

With so much happening last week, I wanted to use First Pitch as a recap. We had a few of our biggest traffic days in years last week — including the second biggest traffic day of the paywall era (2015-2022) on Wednesday. There were also a lot of articles, and I know that some things were missed.

**The most exciting update was that the Pirates won the first overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft lottery. John Dreker had an early look at who the Pirates could take with the pick.

**The Pirates agreed to deals with right-handed pitcher Vince Velasquez and left-handed pitcher Jarlin Garcia.

**We had an abbreviated article drop last week. I looked at the ZiPS projections to see where the Pirates should add. I also looked at who projects to be the starter at second base from within the system.

**John Dreker and I provided scouting reports on all of the players added and lost in the Rule 5 draft.

**In our latest Roundtable, we each picked a player that we would have liked to see protected from the minor league Rule 5 draft.

**I wrote about the modern day importance of the Rule 5 draft, where you’re unlikely to lose anyone of impact. The Pirates saw Blake Sabol picked, and I addressed that scenario in the column.

**Wilbur Miller looked at the left-handed pitching depth that is building in the lower levels of the system.

**Jeff Reed had a wrap-up of the winter meetings in last week’s Pirates Discussion.

**In his latest Pirates Winter Report, John Dreker profiled the progress for Rodolfo Nolasco this winter, along with updates on all of the Pirates in winter ball.

**The Pre-Arbitration Bonus Pool is a new concept that Ethan Hullihen breaks down in this week’s Pirates Business update — which also looks at the payroll estimate after last week’s moves.

**Missed last week? I broke down whether the Pirates are really changing their ways. That was one of my favorite articles to write in awhile, so check it out if you missed it with all of the winter madness.


The Pirates addressed the bullpen last week, and we will be focusing on that in Tuesday’s article drop. I would expect the Pirates to be busy with moves, leading up to the holidays, and we’re going to be reacting to anything and everything that happens throughout the week. Check Pirates Prospects Daily for all of the latest updates.


You may notice the site has new advertisements, which are way better than the Google Adsense ads we had prior to this.

The site joined an ad network that caters mostly to niche publishers who specialize in long-form content. This will give us much better advertisements than the previous option — both in terms of content and in terms of money to the site.

I talked a few weeks ago about how I am aiming to monetize the masses that visit this site. We’ve been able to survive for over a decade on the support of our readers, and that includes as a subscription site for six years. That plan results in a few thousand people paying for a site that a few hundred thousand people access.

The advertisements alone would flip the tables, and make it so that everyone pays, without actually paying money. What we’re hoping for is a combination, so that we can grow the site from where it is today.


Pirates Prospects is now free for everyone, supported by ads. I’m building this site with the hope that our supporters still provide the level of support we’ve seen over the years. This will allow the site to continue growing, and will allow me to fairly compensate everyone involved in this site for their time. All I ask is that you Contribute at some point in the future to help support our work. We’re not going to impose any pricing limits, content restrictions, or timelines on anyone. We just hope that you enjoy the site and check back often!


I usually go with some sort of theme for the playlists, or I load it up with new music. This playlist is literally just a bunch of my favorite songs that I’ve been listening to over the weekend, and which I’ll probably keep listening to through the middle of this week.

Next week, I’m going to do a “Best of 2022” playlist. Any suggestions on new albums that were released this year? Leave them in the comments below!


Oneil Cruz might be on this list one day. There was a lot of time on this, and I got all 16 with plenty of time remaining.


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Tim Williams
Tim Williams
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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