Huntington Talks Taillon, Allie, Presley, Draft

Pirates GM Neal Huntington spoke to some reporters today, and Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the audio up. Here's some highlights:

  • Huntington feels it's unfortunate that top prospects Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie are often linked so closely because they're very different cases. Taillon has been pitching his whole life and therefore has a more accelerated schedule with his innings, whereas Allie was more of a position prospect until his emergence on the mound during his senior year of high school and will be handled more slowly.
  • Minor leaguer Alex Presley will continue to "make it a challenge" for the Pirates to keep him off the Major League roster if he continues playing at his current level. Huntington points out that it's a good problem to have when players are excelling at Triple-A but there isn't a Major League roster spot open. Presley is following up a .320/.373/.494 effort in 2010 with a .367/.413/.560 performance so far in 2011.
  • Huntington says he trusts his scouts will make an informed decision to draft the best player possible, but it's difficult without a consensus #1 like the Nationals had with Stephen Strasburg. Most expect the Pirates to draft either UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole or Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon.
  • Ultimately, the decision will come down to scouting director Greg Smith, who has final veto power on the first overall pick. Huntington says he has "complete trust and faith" in Smith, but if the pick goes wrong, it will be his own fault, not Smith's.
  • 2011 would be a great year to be able to trade the #1 overall pick if Major League Baseball's rules allowed it, due to the depth of the draft. Huntington says it's a great year to be Tampa Bay, San Diego, or Toronto with all of their high picks.

Overall, the 12-minute clip offers some great insight into the Pirates' means of evaluating players and their approach to the draft. It's definitely worth a listen.


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14 Comments on "Huntington Talks Taillon, Allie, Presley, Draft"


Mike Adamson
4 years 3 months ago

If I have a choice between pitching and batting I would go Pitching everytime!!!! Cole is my pick unless one pulls away from the other in the scouts opinion.

Lee Foo Young
4 years 3 months ago

I want Rendon or Lindor in that order. College arms get overworked and that scares me.

Lee Foo Young
4 years 3 months ago

I’d rather have Rendon or Lindor, in that order. College arms that are overworked scare me.

jwredsox
4 years 3 months ago

You always draft a top talent hitter over top pitcher who isn’t heads and shoulders above the competition (Strasburg). Rendon should go 1

arthur3
4 years 3 months ago

DH’s are not number 1 draft picks. Rendon’s stock will drop if his shoulder does not respond soon. I predict that the Pirates will draft Garrett Cole.

pirateswillwinin2013
4 years 3 months ago

he will be fine he has about 2 years before we need him to get that shoulder all rested up, his defense is well above average

BeatEmBucs
4 years 3 months ago

A Yankee fan complaining about signing costs. I’ve seen it all.

ZeroZeroZero
4 years 3 months ago

Who is complaining about singing costs? I don’t care what any team pays any player. Unlike way too many baseball fans, teams payrolls dont matter one way or the other to me. What I dont like is Scott Boras and what he has done to the game and I dont like liars. Cole wouldnt even listen to a reportedly $4m offer to play with one of the leagues elite because he really wanted to go to college. Now he is going leave college after only 2 years when he moved up 20 or so spots in the draft for no reason other than money. He isnt going to get Strasburg money either, because 1) he isnt Strasburg and 2) the Pirates would never spend that kind of money. And really, when was the last time the Pirates drafted a talented pitcher in the first round and didnt develop him into a middle reliever or an real estate agent? Sean Burnett? Bryan Bullington? Bobby Bradley? John Van Benschoten? Daniel Moskos? The Pirates track record is nearly perfectly failure where pitching is concerned so there is no reason to think it will suddenly change with Cole.

Todd Smith
4 years 3 months ago

#1. No team has spent more money in the draft the past three years than the Pirates. Jameson Taillon got a bigger signing bonus last year than #1 pick Bryce Harper did.

#2. All of the drafted pitchers you listed were selected by previous administrations not by the current owner, president and general manager, so your so-called track record is irrelevant.

#3. Gerrit Cole did what was best for his career – not what was best for the Yankees. It’s exactly what a player and agent should be doing. Leave the blind, ignorant loyalty to the fans.

Mike Adamson
4 years 3 months ago

The Pirates at one time drafted based on signability not talent… Things are different now. Anyone who cant see the Pirates are doing things right then they aren’t paying attention.

John Lease
4 years 3 months ago

We want him to throw, not sing.

stl_cards16
4 years 3 months ago

Yes, Scott Boras is the reason players are getting paid so much these days! Wow.

4 years 3 months ago

Scott Boras isnt the reason for such high contracts George Steinbrenner is read up on history.

pirateswillwinin2013
4 years 3 months ago

thank you