2011 MLB Draft: Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Report

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 28: Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole #12 of the UCLA Bruins pitches against the South Carolina Gamecocks during Game 1 of the men's 2010 NCAA College Baseball World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium on June 28, 2010 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The approach the Pirates took in the 2011 draft is consistent with how the previous few drafts have been conducted under Scouting Director Greg Smith. They made a couple of big splashes early before loading up on projectable prep right handers that will be difficult to sign. If they do lose Bell to Texas, it will take a good bit of shine off of the class.

Pick School Pos B/T Ht Wt DOB Class
1 Cole, Gerrit University of California - Los Angeles RHP R/R 6'04" 220 9/8/1990 JR
As was rumored for the last few weeks heading into the draft, the Pirates selected Gerrit Cole with the first overall pick in 2011. He was not the number one talent on my board; in fact, he fell all the way down to 4th. The rationale is fairly simple. I am worried about his lack of command and the fact that he virtually shelved his change-up mid-season. His raw stuff is fantastic: the fastball is huge and has good arm side run while the slider is sharp with good late two-plane break. Both have the potential to be swing and miss offerings. In the couple of starts that I saw of Cole, he never showed me that plus change-up. That's not to say it isn't in there, merely that I haven't seen it to comment.

On a pure stuff basis, the potential is there for Cole to turn into an impact starting pitcher. His ceiling trumps that of even Dylan Bundy. To unlock that talent, the Pirates will need to find a way for him to command his fastball. He spent much of the season grooving fastballs belt high down the middle of plate. It's no wonder that college hitters were able to touch him. There's work to be done here. It wouldn't have been my selection, but I cannot fault the Pirates opting for the pure ceiling that Cole offers.
61 Bell, Josh Jesuit College Prep (TX) RF S/R 6'04" 195 8/14/1992 HS
With their 2nd selection, the Pirates stayed aggressive, opting for a mid-first round talent that has repeatedly maintained that he plans to attend the University of Texas. Josh Bell is a switch hitting corner outfielder with the potential to hit for average and power. He has work to do defensively but should be athletic enough to play a solid corner outfield. The Pirates system could use a bat with that kind of potential, but the early rumblings have only put his signability in further doubt. I said a few weeks ago that it was a different situation from Austin Wilson in 2010; however I'm starting to change my mind on that. The Pirates getting him to forgo Texas looks like a long shot. 
91 Dickerson, Alex University of Indiana 1B L/L 6'03" 235 5/26/1990 JR
Alex Dickerson provides good raw power and little defensive value. The question is whether enough of that power is usable to profile as regular. He played LF at Indiana, but I doubt he sees much time at any position other than first base as a professional. Others are higher on Dickerson than I am, and I certainly admit that this is a good value pick. I personally would have rather had Vanderbilt first baseman Aaron Westlake at this spot. He shouldn't be difficult to sign.
122 Brewer, Colten Canton HS (TX) RHP R/R 6'04" 200 10/29/1992 HS
If you know anything about the Pirates recent draft history, you knew that this was coming. With their fourth pick, Greg Smith (Scouting Director) took a projectable right hander and he leaned in that direction for the rest of the draft. Brewer's best attributes are his projection and a sinker that can reach the low 90s. Committed to Weatherford JC (TX), he shouldn't be a difficult sign.
152 Glasnow, Tyler Hart HS (CA) RHP L/R 6'07" 200 8/23/1993 HS
Glasnow is another projectable right handed pitcher for the Pirates to add to their arsenal. Unlike Brewer, he currently has an offspeed pitch, a curve ball, that shows potential. 
182 Gamache, Daniel Auburn University 3B L/R 5'11" 195 11/20/1990 JR
After the run of high ceiling talent, the Pirates used their 6th round pick to grab a solid college performer. He had a fine 2011 season but it was ended early by an injury to his hand. He'll take a pretty good glove with him to third base. He has already signed.
212 Burnette, Jake Buford HS (GA) RHP R/R 6'04" 177 8/10/1992 HS
After that short reprieve, the Pirates got back on the horse, opting for another projectable RHP. Burnette is tall and lean with a sound delivery. A former basketball player, focusing primarily on baseball could result in rapid development. I like this pick a lot if they can sign him away from Georgia Tech.
242 Creasy, Jason Clayton HS (NC) RHP R/R 6'04" 180 5/13/1992 HS
[Notorious BIG voice]And another one[/Notorious BIG voice]. I don't have much on Creasy other than that he's projectable and committed to NC State.
272 Holmes, Clay Slocomb HS (AL) RHP R/R 6'05" 230 3/27/1993 HS
Clay Holmes is not going to be easy to sign away from Auburn. He's reportedly an excellent student, and Auburn has had a history of holding their recruits. He's not overly refined, but the present strength, the ideal body, a low 90s fastball with good sink and a breaking ball that flashes plus (even if it is very inconsistent) gives one plenty to dream on. It won't be cheap but don't rule this one out just yet.
302 Lewis, Taylor University of Maine Orono CF L/L 6'01" 205 12/18/1989 JR
After the big splash with Holmes, the Pirates turned towards a solid senior sign in Taylor Lewis of Maine. He is still on the raw side but with good athleticism and potential for gap power. He is already inked and playing for State College.
332 Bennett-Lowe, Jo-El Houston Academy (AL) CF R/R 6'02" 180 9/9/1992 HS
Jo-El Bennett brings bat speed, good speed and a projectable body to the table. Whether he will be able to stick in center field is a question mark. If not, his strong arm will play well in right field.
362 Myles, Candon South Grand Prairie HS (TX) CF L/R 5'10" 185 10/24/1992 HS
392 Platts, Brandon Mason City HS (IA) RHP R/R 6'04" 210 2/1/1993 HS
422 Dunatov, Jordan Horizon HS (AZ) OF R/R 6'05" 200 10/20/1992 HS
A back injury limited Dunatov's spring. His best attributes are his athleticism and projectable body. There's a good chance he ends up at Oregon State next year.
452 Watts, Kody Skyview HS (WA) RHP R/R 6'03" 185 12/29/1992 HS
Watts slid to the 15th round thanks to a strong commitment to the University of Portland. He offers a 4 pitch mix (fastball, curve ball, slider & splitter) and a projectable body. With some ability to command his stuff, Watts has plenty of upside and could emerge as a big time draft prospect if things break right.
482 Skoglund, Eric Sarasota HS (FL) LHP L/L 6'06" 180 10/26/1992 HS
Ah ha! This time we have a projectable LHP! Skoglund has a fast arm that produced a fastball that can touch the low 90s. He employs a high leg lift in his delivery and, while there is a bit of violence in the way his pivot leg whips around, his arm action doesn't raise any flags. He is strongly committed to the University of Central Florida.
512 Brown, Aaron Chatsworth HS (CA) RF L/L 6'02" 200 6/20/1992 HS
Aaron Brown is another strongly committed prep prospect as a potential two-way player for Pepperdine. He is strong and athletic with a chance to hit for average and power even if he has some work to do to get there. His strong arm (which will work well on the mound should he go to college) makes him a good fit for right field.
542 Poytress, Josh Fresno State University LHP R/L 6'02" 185 7/20/1990 JR
572 Nunez, Mike Salmen HS (LA) RHP R/R 6'04" 185 7/28/1992 HS
Nunez is a projectable RHP who shows a good feel for spinning a curve ball. He's committed to Southern Miss.
602 Turner, Trea Park Vista Community HS (FL) SS R/R 6'02" 160 6/30/1993 HS
632 Fuselier, Alex University of Louisiana - Lafayette CF L/L 6'00" 185 9/13/1989 JR
662 Jefferson, Michael Louisiana Tech University LHP L/L 6'05" 190 7/31/1989 SR
692 Cooper, Jordan University of Kentucky RHP S/R 6'03" 215 2/16/1990 SO
The Pirates drafted Jordan Cooper out of high school in 2009. He was expected to bloom at Kentucky but has been extremely inconsistent. The Pirates obviously must still like him and I'm surprised that he signed so quickly (being a draft eligible sophomore). If he can gain consistency of his sinker and slider, he could be a steal this late.
722 Sharp, Brian California Baptist University SS R/R 6'00" 195 7/30/1988 JR
752 Martin, Josh Samford University RHP R/R 6'04" 205 12/30/1989 JR
782 Flair, Nicholas Belle Chasse HS (LA) SS R/R 6'03" 180 10/31/1992 HS
812 Hornback, Ryan San Jacinto College North C R/R 6'01" 180 7/19/1991 J2
842 Zajac, Jeffrey Walker Valley HS (TN) LHP L/L 6'04" 210 11/19/1992 HS
872 Singer, Kirk California State University, Long Beach SS R/R 6'02" 170 12/1/1989 JR
902 Benedict, Matthew Western Carolina University RHP R/R 6'05" 200 2/3/1989 SR
932 Trent, Derek East Tennessee State University C L/R 6'01" 210 11/6/1988 SR
962 Jagoditsh, David Pima CC RHP S/R 6'07" 230 9/4/1990 J2
992 Lashmet, Christopher Northwestern University 3B R/R 6'04" 230 4/25/1989 SR
1022 Rosado, Juan Louisiana State University - Eunice 1B R/R 6'00" 210 5/31/1992 J1
1052 Mathews, Reid Dobyns Bennett HS (TN) 2B R/R 6'00" 175 9/11/1992 HS
1082 Ballou, Isaac Marshall University CF L/R 6'03" 185 3/17/1990 SO
Ballou is raw for a college player. He had some buzz coming into the year thanks to his athleticism and plus speed.
1112 Jones, Rodarrick Southern University LF R/R 6'00" 195 7/31/1990 JR
1142 Crumlich, Douglas University of California - Irvine SS R/R 6'00" 190 4/23/1990 JR
1172 Ravnaas, Rand Georgetown University LF L/R 6'02" 195 8/31/1989 JR
1202 Rhymes, Raphael Louisiana State University 2B R/R 6'00" 190 10/22/1989 SO
1232 Schwind, Jonathan Marist College C R/R 6'00" 185 5/30/1990 JR
1262 Hibbing, Nicholas Lakes Community HS (IL) RHP R/R 6'05" 185 8/15/1992 HS
1292 Argo, William University of Illinois CF R/R 6'01" 220 10/15/1989 JR
Willie Argo is another athletic college outfielder. He has the range to stick in center field thanks to plus speed. There is some raw power potential should he ever make enough contact to utilize it in game.
1322 LeCount, Bobby Edmonds CC 3B R/R 6'02" 215 1/18/1991 J2
1352 Ingram, Robert Yavapai College LHP L/L 6'05" 190 10/18/1991 J1
1382 Schalk, Jeff Wheaton North HS (IL) RF L/R 6'03" 205 7/19/1992 HS
1412 Deluca, Jordan Tussey Mountain HS (PA) CF R/R 6'01" 170 9/12/1992 HS
1442 Thompson, Zachary Grace Prep Academy (TX) RHP R/R 6'06" 185 10/23/1993 HS
1472 White, Austin Arkansas HS (AR) 3B L/R 6'03" 185 7/13/1993 HS
1502 Lemond, Zechariah Waltrip HS (TX) RHP R/R 6'01" 170 10/9/1992 HS
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