Chuck Finder in the Post Gazette reports that Bucco prez Frank Coonelly said "2010 is the beginning of the next dynasty of the Pirates..." Woohoo! About time, we say.
But hey, every dynasty needs its warriors. The Pirates have Andrew McCutchen as a fairly sure thing to be an above average MLB player, maybe even a difference maker in time. The rest of the gang? Well, they're on the way.
Here's how the baseball world sees the up-and-coming Pirate pups, who are supposed to lead the bumbling Bucs to the promised land:
-- JJ Cooper of Baseball America picks his Top 100 Prospects. Out of those hot-shots, he includes two Pirates-to-be: Pedro Alvavrez, #8, and Tony Sanchez, #79.
-- Keith Law of ESPN also compiled a list of the Top 100 prospects; he likes Alvarez, but at #35, Jose Tabata at #57, and Sanchez, #82.
-- MLB.com selects a Top 50 with vids; the only Bucco baby they rank is Alvarez, at #8. To add a little insult to injury, they select Tanner Sheppers, the pitcher the suits didn't sign, as #39.
As you can see, the pundits don't think there's a lot of Grade A help on the horizon; that makes the dynasty talk a bit premature.
But hey, if the Pirates continue to overdraft - remember, as their payroll increases, their draft budget will shrink - and guys like Brad Lincoln, Chase d'Arnaud and Jarek Cunningham continue to mature, along with the rest of the gang, there should be a light at the end of what's been a very long tunnel.