I thought it might be worth mentioning that during last night’s game, MLB.com Draft expert Jonathan Mayo got in touch with me to praise what the Pirates did on Day 2 of the three-day Draft. Mayo’s perspective was totally unsolicited and unbiased, even though Jonathan does happen to live in the Pittsburgh area.
Mayo’s point — which spoke exactly to the organization’s goal — was that the Pirates nabbed some talented high school players who other teams passed on only because of signability. These are players like LHP Zachary Von Rosenberg (sixth round; Zachary (La.) HS); LHP Colton Cain (eighth round; Waxahachie (Tx.) HS); C Joseph Schoenfield (10th round; Santiago (Calif.) HS); and RHP Jordan Cooper (17th round; Shelbyville Central (Ky.) HS). All of these players have already committed to play baseball at big-time college programs.
After Day 2 came to an end, GM Neal Huntington said that 21 of the 30 players that the Pirates drafted have asked for signing bonuses of at least $100,000. That would explain why other teams would be scared away. And it speaks exactly to the point that Huntington has made for weeks now — the organization plans to use it’s money to offer those six-figure bonuses and lure players away from college commitments.
Now, though, the key is getting these targeted players signed. If the Pirates can’t do that, then their Draft strategy can’t be labeled as a success, especially considering the Pirates, by almost every accounts, did not get the best player available with their No. 4 overall selection.
“We may have to stretch to sign and we’ll do that when appropriate,” Huntington said. “We’ve given ourselves a large option to sign. If player A doesn’t want to sign, we can go aggressively to player B.
“The resources given us will allow us to aggressively pursue every one of these players. We’ve given ourselves options. We haven’t locked in to one or two players. No team ever signs 50 players or goes in with the anticipation of signing 50 players.
“We have the opportunity to sign a higher number of players or sign fewer if we go for the more expensive guys.”
Here is a story, courtesy of the Shelbyville Times, on 17th-rounder Jordan Cooper and his prospect of signing with the Pirates.