Saturday, June 30, 2012

Unlikely Extension Candidate

Starting pitcher Brad Lincoln has been a disappointment for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Over the last 2+ seasons, the Bucs have given the, now-27 year old, several shots to grab a spot in the rotation and it just hasn’t worked out. He’s been OK at times, good at others but mediocre far too often. As a starter, Lincoln becomes too much of a one-pitch pitcher. His fastball doesn’t maintain its velocity as well over extended outings and his change has not been very effective against major league hitters so he is often left with hitters just sitting on his curve. For a former #4 draft pick, a player taken ahead of Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw, this…well…sucks. Hear me out, though…

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Early Look at Names for the 2013 Draft

The 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft is about as fresh as it can get, concluding earlier this afternoon.  Save for a guys who were eager to start their professional careers, the ink hasn't dried yet on the recent draftees contracts; virtually none have even signed yet.  So that means it's time to start speculating about the 2013 draft.  A mock draft would be nearly impossible for two reasons: things will change so dramatically between now and next June and the draft order isn't even set yet with well over half the major league season still to be played.

That said, we can go ahead and take look some names to start watching for the 2013 draft.  The list will include both high school and college players.  The players are not ranked in a particular order. Check it out after the jump.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

MLB Draft Day 2 Preview

Day 1 is in the books.  Mark Appel and Barrett Barnes are the newest Pirates to be (assuming they sign).  It's not over though.  The Pirates have 39 more selections, including one in eight picks in the second round.  Here's a preview of players to watch.

MLB Draft Day 1 Recap


Yesterday marked Day 1 of the Rule 4 MLB amateur entry draft.  The draft started at 7 P.M. and by the end of the night, the first round and first supplemental round saw their conclusion.  The Pirates had two picks out of the first 60 selections that were made yesterday, number #8 overall and #45 overall.  The first pick was the Pirates natural selection in the first round due to last year's record while the second pick was compensation for losing Ryan Doumit to the Twins.  With that #8 selection, the Pirates picked Stanford pitcher Mark Appel.  The #45 selection was used to nab Texas Tech outfielder Barrett Barnes.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

MLB Mock Draft 2.0

It's almost here.  The Draft is upon us.  Here's my final mock draft.

#1 - Houston Astros
Kyle Zimmer

Position: P
School: San Francisco

Throws: R; Bats: R

Measurables: 6'3, 210

DOB: 09/13/1991

The Astros are going through a transition time.  They have a new general manager and will be moving from the National League Central to the American League East.  Luckily, they have the #1 overall pick in this year’s draft to help restock an improving farm system.  Unlike some years – notably 2009 and 2010 – there is no clear best player in this year’s draft.  With the door wide open, pitcher Kyle Zimmer has all the qualifications to step through that opening.  Standing at 6’4 and weighing 220 lbs, Zimmer has prototypical size.  Zimmer is also an excellent athlete.  On the mound, Zimmer can bring premium heat, with a fastball that sits in the mid 90’s and can touch 99.  A curveball that is almost as good compliments the heater and Zimmer rounds out his arsenal with a potential plus changeup.  As a total product, Zimmer offers a very good floor and very good upside, which is a good combination to procure with the #1 overall pick.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Welcome to the Bigs - Jordy Mercer

As I sit in my basement watching the Pirates square off in a rubber match against National League Central Division rival Cincinnati Reds, Jordy Mercer has already made quite the visual impression.  In the bottom of the first, Mercer did a good job fighting off a pitch from Johnny Cueto for a lazy flyball that easily dropped between second baseman Brandon Phillips and right fielder Jay Bruce.  The single was Mercer's first major league hit, even if it wasn't necessarily pretty.  In the top of the second, Jordy Mercer did accomplish "pretty."  A sharp line drive hit pitcher A.J. Burnett in the back.  Mercer reacted immediately, charging towards second base, but stopped, performed a pirouette, and snagged the deflected ball before making a strong, accurate throw to Matt Hague to record the out.  The Jordy Mercer era had begun.

Castro's on the block...

Apparently the Chicago Cubs are in full-blow rebuilding mode. Celebrity GM Theo Epstein has come out and said that he'd be willing to hear offers for every Cub except pitcher Jeff Samardzija. This makes perfect sense since Theo wants to enter the Cubs into a company flag football league and he's banking on Samardzija to be the team's star. Go Irish! No, honestly I don't understand why he's the "untouchable" North Sider. Don't get me wrong, Samardzija is a good young pitcher. At the same time, he's not that good (4.04 career ERA) and he's not that young (27). Anyway, that's not really the point. Even though I'm pretty surprised about who Theo is protecting, I'm more interested in looking at one of the guys that is apparently now on the market. Starlin Castro. Castro is a good young player. He led the Senior Circuit in hits last season as a fresh-faced 21 year old. He's also a shortstop. At first glance, he looks like he'd be a perfect fit for a Pirates team that has been disastrous at the plate and has given 151 plate appearances to Clint Barmes. What I'd like to do is see just how much a young player like Castro would cost and try to figure out whether he'd be a good target for the Pirates.