The FO stuck to the tried and true, going after over-slot, high school pitching, adding college position players later in the day. They got their top guns, but only signed six of their top ten selections, and just two of those before mid-August.
The Bucs paid $8.75M to ink their top two draft picks, high school pitchers Jameson Taillon ($6.5M) and Stetson Allie ($2.25 M), signing them on August 17th. Neither played; they instead reported to the Florida Instructional League after the season.
-- OF Mel Rojas, 20 (#3 - Wabash Valley JC) Rojas was considered raw but toolsy, and signed at slot, $423,900. In 164 at-bats for the SC Spikes, he hit .207 with virtually no power. Rojas will move to West Virginia in 2011.
-- RHP Nick Kingham, 18 (#4 - Sierra Vista HS): Signed for $480,000 and has a rep as a hard thrower. He's likely to end up in State College next year after pitching 3 innings of GCL ball in 2010.
-- RHP Tyler Waldron, 21 (#5 - Oregon State): Waldron signed at slot, for $173,500. He was 4-7 with a 3.90 ERA at State College with OK peripherals except being weak on the K rate. Waldron will move up a level next season.
Three high school pitchers, Jason Hursh, Austin Kubitza and Dace Kime, were drafted 6-7-8; none signed. Neither did #10 choice Zach Weiss, another prep pitcher.
-- RHP Brandon Cumpton, 21 (#9 - Georgia Tech): Cumpton signed for $124,500 and got three starts at State College; the college fireballer will advance to West Virginia next season.
-- OF Daniel Grovatt, 21 (#11 - Virginia): He went to State College, but as a mid August signee, only got in 11 at-bats. He's also due to move up next year.
-- RHP Vincent Payne, 19 (#12 - Cypress College): Payne went 2-2, 2.36 between the GCL and State College; he should start at SC in 2011.
-- RHP Bruce Weidman, 19 (#14 - SW Oregon CC): Worked 8 innings in the GCL and was shut down in mid-July. He'll probably move on to SC.
-- SS Drew Maggi, 21 (#15 - Arizona State): Inked to a $468,000 bonus, Maggi hit .156 in 18 games for State College, but should move to WVA next year.
-- 1B Matt Curry, 22 (#16 - TCU): The big lefty hit .299/7/29 for State College and will advance at least a level in 2011.
-- RHP Ryan Hafner, 18 (#17 - Lee Summit HS): Signed for $450,000 and pitched a couple of innings in the GCL. He's considered a project, and may start at the same level in 2011.
-- 1B Jared Lakind, 18 (#23 - Cypress Woods HS): Signed for $400,000, and reported to the GCL, where he homered once in four games; his rep is as a big bopper.
Other Draft Picks:
#20 - OF Justin Bencsko, 23 (State College: .188/0/3)
#22 - 2B Adalberto Santos, 23 (State College: .319/3/35)
#24 - 1B Justin Howard, 23 (GCL - .341/0/3)
#25 - RHP Casey Sadler, 20 (State College: 3-0, 3.00)
#27 - RHP Kevin Kleis, 19 (GCL: 0-1, 2.78)
#30 - C Matt Skirving, 20 (State College: .217/0/10)
#31 - RHP Jason Townsend, 22 (State College: 1-1, 3.60)
#32 - 3B Chase Lyles, 23 (State College: .241/6/33)
#33 - LHP Justin Ennis, 22 (State College/WVA: 3-3, 5.67)
#34 - SS Kelson Brown, 22 (State College: .293/0/26)
#36 - RHP James Archibald, 20 (GCL: 0-3, 5.40)
#39 - RHP Kevin Decker, 22 (State College: 8-1, 3.75)
#41 - RHP Bryton Trepagnier, 19 (GCL: 1-2, 4.74)
#49 - RHP Logan Pevny, 18 (GCL: 0-0, 5.79)
FA - IF Kevin Mort, 22 (GCL/State College: .281/0/21)
This draft is boom or bust. They got the two best power arms on the board with Taillon and Allie, although the jury is out on Allie's potential as a starter vs closer. Kingham and Hafner also have great upside; they're similar guys to 2009's Zach Von Rosenberg and Colton Cain.
Nobody's jumped out among the position players. Rojas is a physical specimen with uneven credentials who is far and away the most highly touted non-pitcher in the draft. Matt Curry had a good year; Adalberto Santos and Kelson Brown formed a pretty good middle for State College.
It's way too early to get a handle on this group, but it doesn't seem as deep as past classes, though it does have more potential star power.
Latin Players Signed:
The Buccos inked RHP Luis Heredia, 16, for a $2.6M, a Pittsburgh international record bonus. He's already a big kid, at 6'6" 185 pounds, and can throw 92-93 MPH.
They also added Venezuelan OF Willy Garcia for a $280,000 bonus, higher than any international bonus the team gave in 2009. Garcia, 17, is 6' 1", 200 pounds - they sure feed 'em good down south.
Others signed are are RHP Brayan Almonte, 18, (Dominican Republic): LHP Angel Sanchez, 17, (Dominican Republic); RHP Jose Luis Acosta, 18, (Venezuela): and 1B Jose Roman, 19, (Venezuela); SS Dilson Herrera, 16, (Colombia); RHP Yhonatan Herrand, 18, (Dominican Republic - $185,000 bonus); and RHP Oderman Rocha, 17, (Colombia).
The Pirates also inked OF Yunior Aquiles, 16; LHP Cristian Henriquez, 18, (Dominican Republic); RHP Yunior Montero, 16, (Dominican Republic); LHP Melvin Rosario, 18, (Dominican Republic); OF Miguel De Aza, 17, (Dominican Republic - $150,000); 2B Rodney Polonia, 17, (Dominican Republic: son of former big leaguer Luis Polonia); RHP Isaac Sanchez, 17 (Dominican Republic - $180,000 bonus); and C Heriberto Figueroa, 21 (Dominican Republic).
Actually, it was a good year for the Pirates below the border. Heredia is a stud, and Garcia, Herrand, Sanchez, and DeAza are all highly thought of prospects. It's a crap shoot, considering the age teams sign these kids, but at least the Buccos are rollin' dem bones again.