Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Taillon and Allie signings are step in right direction

By Jeff

Continuing with their recent trend of spending money during the draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates proved doubters wrong when they signed their first- and second-round draft picks Monday.
Apparently Taillon pitches
for Mexico

Both players, Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie, are high school players who will skip college to enter the Pirates organization. They both will also be very rich individuals. Taillon, the first-round pick, received $6.5 million and Allie received $2.25 million. The two deals brought the tab for the Pirates' 2010 draft to more than $12 million and more than $30 million over the past three seasons.

Spending money in the draft is new to the Pirates. For years fans regretted the high draft selections the team received because management always seemed to select the guys who wouldn't demand much money. The team was basically telling its supporters that they cared more about saving money than getting the best player available. Not what you want from your hometown team.

By signing Taillon and Allie, the Pirates ownership is making progress in in showing fans that they actually care about the product on the field. Three years of spending during the draft doesn't make up for the previous seasons of penny-pinching, though. It also is just a step in the right direction. Now the Pirates need to sign free agents that can actually help the team move forward, not just to fill the roster.

When did not bending your hat
become the cool look?
Of course, signing these players means little if they turn into busts. Multiple posts on this blog have pointed out the Pirates have failed in developing top of the rotation starting pitchers. Fortunately, these young men were highly regarded by many Major League Baseball organizations. The Pirates scouts saw what everyone else did, and were not reaching as they have been known to do.

The only problem with this year's draft, on paper at least, is that fans won't know if this was truly a success for at least two years, probably three. What will keep fans interested for the next two to three seasons? The young lineup has promise, but the rotation is crap and has little to be excited for in the near future. Can fans remain patient as Taillon and Allie make their way through the minors?

I hope the answer to that second question is yes. After 18 years of disappointment and embarrassment, what's two more?

Guided by Voices - Hold on Hope


  1. Good stuff. I'd even take it back to the previous two drafts as well to prove the point. Look at Huntington's 3 drafts.

    This year, took a top 5 talent in the 2nd round knowing they'd have to pay him top 5 money to get him out of his UNC commitment.

    Last year, they paid Tony Sanchez slot money, and used more than the money they saved on bonus money to sign guys well above slot to get top prospects to forego college like Zack von Rosenburg, Colton Cain and Trent Stevenson.

    In his first draft 2 years ago, he/management showed they wouldn't back down to Scott Boras in the whole fiasco with Pedro Alvarez going to the deadline.

    This is such a better strategy: spend the extra millions in the minors/internationally instead of paying for most of the players in the Marks' "Where are they now?" series. (I'll be downright giddy if they win the Luis Heredia sweepstakes as well)

    They're taking the risks with the higher upside high school arms instead of the safer college arms and turning out more Brad Lincolns that move quickly through the system but have a limited ceiling.

    Whether they pan out or not is one thing, but the philosophy and methodolgy couldn't be much better.

  2. I'm pretty sure I rambled there, with little cohesion. Sorry I'm sleepy and mostly saturated with the musk of embalming fluid.

  3. I was saturated in the musk of embalming fluid once, there was a hot plate and a six pack right beside me...ANYWAYS...

    Rickel, good commentary. It's a move in the right direction, but still not much to be excited about for the next 2+ years.

    Brimful of Asha -Cornershop

  4. Mike, I agree that the philosophy is right. It reminds me of what the Rays did. Drafting well is only a small piece of the puzzle, though. They need to not bring in terrible fill-ins like Aki Iwamura and Ryan Church. They need to properly develop these new arms as well. When was the last time we had a pitcher under 25 make the jump to the majors and not suck?

  5. Zach Duke was nasty in 2005 at the age of 22 (for half a season), but it was pretty much downhill from there.

    The thing I like about these two is that they're power pitchers. I don't want to see these finesse guys that all of a sudden can't locate a curveball, which makes the completely useless. If you take a pitcher in the first ten picks of the draft, he better have the potential to throw the ball 95 mph.