Monday, July 7, 2014

Gage Hinsz and the 2014 draft

The Pirates did it.  They signed 11th round pick Gage Hinsz.  I was a little worried as they did not seem to have a lot left and an Oregon State commitment is not easily broken, but I am glad that they got him. 

That wraps up this years draft, and I like it.  I liked it earlier, but I think now Pirates fans need to readjust their thinking to see drafts like this as good.  This is an average draft, and we should like average.  It is called average for a reason, it happens regularly.  It is going to be harder and harder to get great drafts if the Pirates are going to insist on finishing above .500.  It is evident now that the Pirates were not trying to save money on Tucker, but that other teams also had him ranked in the middle of the first round.  And while you might could quibble about Connor Joe, or Jorge from Puerto Rico, every draft is going to have a few of those picks. 

The Pirates are consistently showing an ability to get a decent pick just outside the 10th round the way they draft.  They have shown a willingness to pay a tax, but not lose a draft pick.  They have clearly strengthened an already stocked farm system.  There may not be an Andrew McCutchen in this group, but there are a whole lot of Josh Harrisons. 

It is not a blow your mind great draft, but those should be rare.  It is not an awful draft either.  This is the average.  And it is an average the Pirates can live with.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Who to trade?

It is starting to look more and more like the Pirates are going to be buyers at the trading deadline rather than sellers.  I still think the playoffs is a long shot, and it would be better to be sellers, but it would not sit well with most of the fan base.

So the question becomes what prospects do we have to watch go away for this long shot hope?

I would start off by saying that Glasnow, Kingham, Meadows, McGuire, and Bell should all be off the table.  Kingham is ready for primetime, and could be a nice addition to the 2015 rotation, and the other guys are the foundation of the Pirates dynasty.  Taillon should be off the table too, but with his injury it is unlikely anyone would want to trade for him.

This means I would be willing to part with anyone else given the right return.  I would actually be ecstatic if we got a good player in return for Alen Hanson, but I have always been low him, much lower than most.  I would have done anything to keep Dilson Herrera last year and trade Hanson, but it is too late now.  Herrera hit over .300 in High A this year and has recently received his promotion to AA where he is hitting a cool .340.  Herrera may not have been able to stay at short, but neither can Hanson.  The fact that Herrera went in a trade makes me think that some of the other teams do not value Hanson as highly either.

Luis Heredia is someone who I would like to keep, but if he brings the right return, then he goes.   I still really like his potential remembering that he is not yet 20, but you can't just trade away people you don't think are going to be any good.  And so perhaps now is also the time to offer up Adrian Sampson.  He is having a break out season, and might bring back some interest.  A lot of our other young interesting pitchers are hurt (like Clay Holmes and Duke Welker), so not many other names pop out as good trade bait.  That is unless you count Casey Sadler and Brandon Crumpton.  Crumpton specifically has shown he can do this at the major league level, and it would stink to lose him, but he should not be off limits.  Maybe he brings back a piece.

I am not sure who would be a good trade piece as a hitter.  Elias Diaz, AA catcher, could be a possibility.  Maybe Mel Rojas too.  Both guys would probably need to be added to the 40 man this year, and trading them now might free up the crunch.  Gift Ngope has some potential with the bat, maybe he gets put in a deal.  Barrett Barnes is just coming back off injury, but he could be a young prospect worth shopping around.  The Pirates are fairly loaded in the outfield anyway.  Keon Broxton probably won't bring much, but maybe he could be packaged to bring back something.

If you could package Broxton, Sadler, and Hanson it might bring back a piece worth having.  But overall, I hope the Pirates do not go crazy.  The odds are long at this point, and the Pirates have not had great success in the trade deadline deal.  It is usually a bad deal for the buyers.  I would prefer staying the course and letting next year take its course.  I just think the Pirates are low in too many places (SS, 1B, starting pitching) for deadline deals to make a difference.