Pirates Draft Report
Pirates land Lincoln
PITTSBURGH--Pirates scouts compare first-round draft pick Brad Lincoln to Milwaukee Brewers righthander Ben Sheets.
"He has a plus fastball and a plus breaking pitch," Pirates scouting director Ed Creech said.
Lincoln, born and bred in Houston, a standout at the University of Houston this past spring and an avid Astros' fans, fancies himself after another righthander. That would be Astros righthander Roy Oswalt.
"He's a short righthander like myself but he throws hard and he knows how to win games," the 6-foot, 200-pound Lincoln said. "I grew up idolizing Roger Clemens because of his work ethic but Roy Oswalt is a guy I admire, too, for the way he pitches."
The Pirates would love to see Lincoln become the next Oswalt, who has an 88-42 career record in six seasons with the Astros.
"We're really excited about having the chance to draft him," Creech said. "We feel he has a chance to be a very good major league pitcher."
The Pirates feel Lincoln has the raw ability to blossom into a pitcher who could front a major league rotation. He went 12-2, 1.69 in 17 starts as a junior this year at Houston as he won Conference USA Pitcher of the Year honors.
Lincoln also doubled as an outfielder and was the Cougars' best hitter as he batted .295-14-53 in 61 games.
Lincoln's fastball touches 97 mph and consistently sits in the 92-93 range and his hard curveball is also considered a plus pitch. His changeup lags behind but the Pirates are confident it could become another weapon.
While the Pirates start most of their college draft picks at short-season Class A Williamsport in the New York-Penn League, Creech said that Lincoln is advanced enough to possibly be assigned to one of the full-season Class A farm clubs, either low Class A Hickory or high Class A Lynchburg.
"Certainly, when you're taking some with the fourth overall pick in the country, he's going to be an advanced player," general manager Dave Littlefield said.PITTBURGERS
• The Pirates, for a second straight year, concentrated on college players in the early rounds of the draft. Nine of their first 10 picks were collegians.
• The Pirates looked across town for their sixth-round draft pick, Pitt second baseman Jim Negrych. The junior batted .396-11-60 in 50 games with the Panthers this past season.