Tuesday, June 6, 2017

6/6 Draft: Candy Man, John Smiley, Neil Walker, Gerrit Cole, Josh Bell, Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, Chad Kuhl & More

  • 1968 - The Bucs selected HS outfielder Dick Sharon first (#9) in the draft; he spent three years in MLB as a reserve. They did hit on their 11th rounder, C Milt May, who played six of his 16 big league seasons with the Pirates and 14th rounder RHP Bruce Kison, who spent half (1971-77) of his career with Pittsburgh and won a memorable World Series game in his 1971 rookie season. Pittsburgh also selected RHPs Wayne Garland and Paul Mitchell, who worked in MLB.
John Candelaria 1975 SSPC
  • 1972 - High school SS Dwayne Peltier was the Bucs first round (#23) pick; he never made it to the show, stalling out at AA ball. But the second round pick did - LHP John “The Candy Man” Candelaria, who pitched 12 years for the Bucs and won 124 games. 2B Willie Randolph, who played 18 years, mostly with the Yankees, was a seventh round selection. Shaler grad Ken Macha was picked in the sixth round.
  • 1978 - The Pirates picked HS first baseman Brad Garnett in the first round (#19) of the draft; he never advanced beyond Class A. In fact, none of their first 17 selections make to the majors. They did get a couple of keepers in the later rounds - Butler and Point Park RHP John Stuper (18th round), LHP Dave Dravecky (21st round) and SS Vance Law (39th round), Pirate Cy Young winner Vern Law’s kid who played for 11 seasons in the show.
  • 1979 - Pitt’s Dan Marino was selected in the fourth round of the draft by the Kansas City Royals. For some reason, he stuck with football, as did another KC pick that same year, John Elway. The Pirates, without a first rounder, picked LHP Scott Fiepke in the second round. He never got past AA, but the team had better luck in the third round with RHP Jose DeLeon, who spent 13 years in MLB.
John Smiley 1988 Topps Toys 'R' Us
  • 1983 - The Pirates selected high school OF’er Ron DeLucchi first (#12) in the draft, but he never made it past Class A ball. There only notable selection was twelfth rounder LHP John Smiley, who lasted 11 years, won 126 games and was twice an All-Star.
  • 2004 - Pine Richland HS C Neil Walker was drafted in the first round by the Pirates, 11th overall, and signed for a $1.95M bonus. IF Brian Bixler, the next selection, was the only other player to receive more than a cup of coffee at the MLB level.
  • 2006 - The Pirates selected RHP Brad Lincoln from the U of Houston as their first round draft pick, the fourth overall player selected. He signed for a $2.75M bonus. RHP Jared Hughes (fourth round) and OF Alex Presley (eighth round) were also members of that draft class. The Pirates really missed the boat with Brad - the draft’s following picks were #6: Andrew Miller, #7: Clayton Kershaw, #10: Tim Lincecum and #11: Max Scherzer. OF Travis Snider, who would later join the Pirates in an ironic swap for Lincoln, was the #14 selection of the day.
Gerrit Cole 2012 Bowman Black
  • 2011 - The Pirates drafted RHP Gerrit Cole of UCLA first overall and signed him to a record $8M bonus/minor league deal (his agent, Scott Boras, turned down an $8.5M major league deal, saying that Cole would make more in the long run under the MiLB arrangement). The Bucco choice was made after a media debate whether Cole’s college teammate, RHP Trevor Bauer, would be the better choice (he went third to the D-Backs) or if the Pirates should get a hitter like 3B Anthony Rendon (sixth round to the Nats). Then they signed high school phenom OF Josh Bell for $5M to lure him away from a commitment to Texas. They also signed a tall, skinny California prep P, Tyler Glasnow, in the fifth round (152nd pick) for $600K. Pittsburgh invested a MLB record $17M on its draft 2011 picks before a cap was put in place (most likely because of the Bucs free spending) in 2012.
  • 2013 - The Pirates picked high school players OF Austin Meadows (#9) and C Reese McGuire (#14) in the first round of the draft. Meadows received slot value to sign, $3,029,600, while McGuire inked a $2,369,000 deal that was $200K under slot. U of Delaware P Chad Kuhl was selected in the ninth round and was inked at slot value, $145K. Meadows has become the Pirates top prospect, Kuhl is pitching in Pittsburgh and McGuire was traded to Toronto.

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