Draft Dope: Pirates
(Click the year to view the picks)
Ed Creech (first year: 2002)Order in 2007 Rotation:
The Pirates built a reputation for taking toolsy athletes in the 1980s and 1990s, but they've drafted pitchers with their top pick in seven of the last nine years, and only lefthander Paul Maholm (2003) has worked out. The rest have had arm surgery of some kind--most recently 2006 pick Brad Lincoln, who went down this spring--or simply failed to pan out (Clint Johnson). This Year's Outlook:
Word among scouts had the Pirates bearing down on hitters due to their recent troubled run of first-round pitchers. That's also an area of need because their big league team is stocked with homegrown pitchers such as Maholm, Tom Gorzelanny and Ian Snell. Due in part to PNC Park, the Pirates were said to be focusing on lefthanded bats.