Pirates To Select First In 2011 Draft

No team in baseball will have a worse record than the Pirates this year, so Pittsburgh will have the top selection in the 2011 first-year player draft. The Mariners and Pirates could both finish 61-101 if the Mariners lose all of their remaining games and the Pirates win all of theirs, but even if that happens, the Pirates will have the first overall pick. Pittsburgh's record was worse than Seattle's in 2009, so the Mariners will not select higher than second.  For a look at how the rest of the picks are shaping up, check out MLBTR's reverse standings.

The Pirates will have the first overall pick for the fourth time in franchise history. The organization selected Jeff King (1986), Kris Benson (1996) and Bryan Bullington (2002) with its other top picks.  Baseball America's Jim Callis took a closer look at those three picks on Monday.

The Pirates have a poor major league product that clinched an 18th consecutive losing season earlier this year, but GM Neal Huntington has spent aggressively on amateur talent. For example, the team signed second overall selection Jameson Taillon to a reported $6.5MM bonus this year, so look for the Pirates to draft the best amateur player available next June.  Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon might be the favorite; Huntington told Dejan Kocacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last night, "Prior to the [ankle] injury, Rendon's a very interesting player. We've got to see where he is post-injury."


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37 Comments on "Pirates To Select First In 2011 Draft"


4 years 11 months ago

Let’s hope they do better with the pick in 2011 than they did with the last three. Let’s Go Bucs.

MadisonMariner
4 years 11 months ago

Um, I think their picks in 2008, 2009, and 2010 were pretty good.

It’s their picks for several years before that that sucked fairly badly.

damnitsderek
4 years 10 months ago

I think he was referring to King, Benson, and Bullington.

MadisonMariner
4 years 10 months ago

Yes, I suppose in the context of the article(i.e. overall #1 picks), he did mean that.

I thought he was referring to the Pirates’ last 3 first round picks. His response was kind of ambiguous, I think. Thanks for the clarification. :)

4 years 11 months ago

Lets see Gerrit Cole, Matthew Purke, Daniel Norris or Sonny Gray, hell even George Springer…..Choices, Choices.Choices….ummmmmmmmmm I’ll Take Gerrit Cole for $8 Million…………..

crashcameron
4 years 11 months ago

they’ll select the next Stephen Strasburgh
and book an appointment with Dr. Andrews the next day

start_wearing_purple
4 years 11 months ago

Wow. This team has a history of really awful first picks. Seriously if the best of a group is Anna Benson’s husband then it’s an awful group.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 11 months ago

Yeah, but thats because all of the fails have been college pitchers for the most part. Thats why they will select Rendon and not Purke.

basemonkey
4 years 11 months ago

I wouldn’t necessarily put the blame on picking college vs. HS. HS picks can be high potential, but it can also be pretty high rates of attrition and busts. In terms of that college guys can be higher percentage bets. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be low potential guys either. Look at Prior (pre-injury), Teixeira, Strasburg, Price, Wieters, Longoria. All of them were college picks.

penpaper
4 years 11 months ago

Mostly because they didn’t think they would be able to sign the best player/the one they wanted. The Pirates have turned the corner.

basemonkey
4 years 11 months ago

I agree with this assessment.

It probably hit a zenith of fan dissatisfaction when they passed on Matt Wieters because of signability, and the historic minorleague campaign he went on afterwards. The following draft they seemed to swear not to let such players drop anymore and picked Alvarez. Since then, they have been pretty solid in terms of picking up guys they should be picking at their respective slots.

derekbellstutu
4 years 11 months ago

The Pirates draft strategy changed for the better when GM Dave Littlefield was axed and Neal Huntington was hired. Hopefully the Pirates will continue having successful drafts so that the ML team can be competitive.

Rich
4 years 11 months ago

Can’t imagine them going with anyone but Rendon, assuming he keeps producing and doesn’t get injured again.

damnitsderek
4 years 11 months ago

Dunno, with Alvarez at 3B and a pitiful pitching staff, I wouldn’t surprised to see them take Cole or Purke.

dbreer23
4 years 11 months ago

By the time Rendon reaches the majors, Alvarez will likely be at 1B. That said, the Pirates might still go with Cole/Purke/Gray.

InTheKZone
4 years 11 months ago

As good as Rendon sounds, if I were the Pirates, I’d also go for pitching.

4 years 11 months ago

NO!!!!…….. I know it isn’t Oppenheimer’s fault but, I almost went beserk when Gerrit Cole didn’t sign. He better make it up this year, he has had horrible drafts, which is why i’m losing trust in him as a scout.

Vote_For_Pedro
4 years 11 months ago

If i were the bucs i would not get pitching they just got three guys this year that are very good and have guys in A and AA ball that look promising.Who do they have in the way of position players Tony Sanchez,is that it?

Rich
4 years 11 months ago

Starling Marte is looking pretty promising, and D’Arnaud might be a decent second baseman. Really though the position player pool is weak. I’d rather see them trade for a position player.

damnitsderek
4 years 10 months ago

You can never have enough pitching.

Well, unless you’re Tampa Bay, the magical city where every pitching prospect reaches his full potential.

bbxxj
4 years 11 months ago

I am no HS/College baseball prospect expert but I think I would go with Rendon with the first pick. As a few have said before the Pirates have a whole mess of good to elite starting prospects like Taillon, Allie, Morris, Heredia, Von Rosenberg, Locke, Owens, etc but only have a good bat/excellent glove catching prospect and a few raw toolsy outfielders – Marte, Hernandez, Lambo – for legit positional prospect.

When(if) Rendon makes it to the bigs Alvarez could slide to 1B and have a nice home grown middle of the order.

But if I’m NH and my scouts are telling me one of the pitchers available is the clear best player available then you have to take the pitcher.

Bucs666
4 years 11 months ago

I agree. They have done a really good job restocking the system with pitching the last 2-3 years, but they are still rather light on bats. The only impact hitters that I can see are Tony Sanchez and Starling Marte. But all of this is presupposing that Rendon is healthy. If not, I wouldn’t mind seeing them take Cole, Purke, or Jungman.

4 years 11 months ago

purke would be filthy in pnc

5_tool_MiLB_fool
4 years 11 months ago

i think the entire pirates team plays filthy in pnc

wickedkevin
4 years 11 months ago

It’s sort of sad how quickly the Nationals became a team to be reckoned with and yet the Pirates are still….the same Pirates.

arthur3
4 years 11 months ago

Huh? The Nationals are in last place in their division, 26 games back, about to lose 90 games, about to lose their 2nd best player,Adam Dunn, and lost their best player (Strasberg) to a serious arm injury. Plus, they are the recipients of the oft-suspended Nyjer Morgan’s embarrassing tirades. I can not imagine a franchise that the Pirates would least like to emulate than the Nats. You are kidding, right?

invader3k
4 years 11 months ago

I think he meant more that the Nats have a bright future, where the Pirates seem to be stuck in their never ending “rebuilding” stage. At some point you have to stop rebuilding and start building.

moonraker45
4 years 11 months ago

your post makes no sense as a rebuttal to arthur3’s very accurate statement. Both the nationals and pirates are essentially in the same position. Looking up in the standings and hoping that their farm system produces better days.

BeatEmBucs
4 years 11 months ago

Sure…if you call 68-90 “to be reckoned with.”

Tko11
4 years 11 months ago

What does that make the Mets then!?!?

moonraker45
4 years 11 months ago

dynasty

bucco_nation
4 years 11 months ago

Team to be reckoned with? Guarantee you the Buccos will be competitive before your Natty Lites. PS – Thanks for sending Hanrahan over here.

Corey Italiano
4 years 11 months ago

I like the Natty Lite reference. I’m gonna use that in the future.

BeatEmBucs
4 years 11 months ago

Put me on record as hoping the Pirates draft Rendon from now until next June.

derekbellstutu
4 years 11 months ago

The Pirates shouldn’t draft based on need. These guys are at least 2-3 years away from the bigs if they’re coming out of college and 3-5 years if they’re coming out of high school. They should select the best player.

Corey Italiano
4 years 11 months ago

Bingo. Trade off excess for more pieces.

baseballz
4 years 11 months ago

Is anyone else concerned about how skinny Purke is ? He’s Strasburg skinny and I would think moreso injury prone then someone like Cole. Though that said, I hope the Pirates draft Rendon he could be a beast and until this year he hasn’t been injured.