2012 Draft Report Cards: Pittsburgh Pirates

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See also: Draft Report Card Index

Pursuing Appel was a worthwhile gamble, but it led the Pirates to scrap a predraft deal with David Dahl. It's hard to have a good draft
without signing first- and fourth-round picks.
Bonus Spending: $3.8 million
Best Pure Hitter: SS Max Moroff (16) has a line-drive swing from both sides of the plate and controls the strike zone well for his age. 3B Eric Wood (6) went to junior college as a pitcher, but his sound righthanded swing made him an everyday player. Best Power Hitter: OF Barrett Barnes (1s) has excellent bat speed and works counts, allowing him to get to his plus power. He led Pirates draft picks with five homers after signing. Fastest Runner: Barnes has plus straight-line speed though he's still learning to steal bases. OF Tyler Gaffney (24) also is an above-average runner who needs to polish his baserunning skills, thanks to his lack of baseball experience. Best Defensive Player: Polished collegians C Jacob Stallings (7), a durable receiver with a plus arm, and SS Chris Diaz (11), who has solid hands and range. Barnes and C Wyatt Mathisen (2) have the tools to play up the middle with more experience.


Best Fastball: RHP Adrian Sampson (5) pitches at 91 mph and touches 94, commanding his fastball well while maintaining sinking life. RHPs Hayden Hurst (17), John Kuchno (18) and Kyle Haynes (20) have reached the mid-90s. Best Secondary Pitch: Hurst and Sampson both throw curveballs with power. Sampson also has a solid changeup.


Best Pro Debut: Sampson used his three-pitch mix to post a 2.95 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 43 innings at short-season State College. Gaffney hit .297/.483/.441 for the same club, while Moroff batted .343/.476/.433 in a brief stint in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Best Athlete: Barnes and Gaffney. The latter played three seasons of football at Stanford, rushing for 791 yards and 12 touchdowns. He's a grinder who has to refine a stiff, somewhat awkward swing. Most Intriguing Background: Stallings' father Kevin is the basketball coach at Vanderbilt. Barnes is the nephew of former big leaguer Anthony Young. Unsigned 2B Tommy Mirabelli's (28) dad John is vice president of scouting operations for the Indians. Kuchno pitched one season of high school baseball and walked on at Wake Forest before emerging as a redshirt sophomore at Ohio State. Closest To The Majors: Barnes, though there's no true fast-track player in this class. Best Late-Round Pick: Gaffney or Moroff. The One Who Got Away: The two best college players and top high schooler who didn't sign in the entire draft were all Pittsburgh picks. RHP Mark Appel (1) was the consensus choice to go No. 1 overall to the Astros, but when he didn't, he slid to No. 8. The Pirates ultimately couldn't pay him more than $3.8 million without forfeiting a 2013 first-round pick, and he opted to return to Stanford. Pittsburgh's top backup plan for Appel was RHP Walker Buehler (14), who decided to attend Vanderbilt.