Sunday, June 08, 2008

Finishing up on the draft

We've already talked a lot about the draft, but there's a few more links and opinions I'd like to give before we move on to business as usual.

In his draft round-up, Dejan confirmed the injury to Scheppers as a slightly damaged labrum rather than a stress fracture in his shoulder. It seems like the team's plan is to see how the shoulder looks as the August 15th signing deadline approaches, then make a decision on what to do from there. As it's been noted by just about everyone everywhere, Scheppers is pretty much the antithesis of a Littlefield pick. He's a top-10 talent if he's healthy and he's a top-ten talent, but labrum damage can be really serious stuff. The question is whether it's a risk worth taking. Given the high potential involved, it certainly seems like it is, with the caveat that we don't know a lot about the injury.

Wilbur Miller has a write-up on every single draft pick the Pirates made. If you want to know about the draft, you check WTM's site.

Some other interesting picks include 6th rounder Robert Grossman (who's very talented but a signing issue), 8th rounder Jeremy Farrell (Red Sox pitching coach and one-time Pirate managerial prospect John's son), 14th rounder Wesley Freeman (again, projects very well, but signability is an issue), 15th rounder Christopher Aure (who's from Alaska, meaning that if he ever makes it to Pittsburgh the Pirates would have had four of the ten Alaskans to ever play Major League Baseball on their roster), 22nd rounder Patrick Palmeiro (awesome first name, Raffy's son), and two players West Point (Chris Simmons and Cole White) taken in the 40th and 41st round, who should take advantage of the new rule allowing them to play minor league ball instead of fulfilling their service requirement.

For the people that complain about our payroll, please pay attention to the signing bonuses doled out to players in this draft. The Pirates have never previously spent more than $5 million in signing bonuses on one draft class. This year Alvarez and Scheppers could exceed ten million dollars between the two of them and there are several later that Huntington and Coonelly will likely offer bonuses well above slot money to attempt to persuade them to sign and skip college. This is exactly where the Pirates should be spending money right now, rather than trading for Matt Morris or signing Jeromy Burnitz. It's obviously far too early to know what's going to come of this draft, but it's really hard not to like what Huntingon and scouting director Greg Smith did in their first real step towards rebuilding the Pirates.

What did everyone else think? There's a poll in the sidebar, so make sure you vote.