Thursday, February 9, 2012

1st Round Picks, not First Round Prices

The last time the Pittsburgh Pirates had a draft pick outside of the top 10 was in 2005 when they selected high school 5 tool player Andrew McCutchen.  That pick has worked out nicely, proven by Cutch's All-Star Appearance last year.  I'll never forget the 2007 draft though when the Pirates didn't select Matt Wieters with the number 4 overall selection.  Some promising other names were still available on the board like Madison Bumgarner, JP Arencibia, Ben Revere, Jayson Heyward, and Rick Porcello.  That's the beauty of a draft though.  Scouts can look at a kid and think for sure that he's going to be a quality big league talent and the exact opposite could happen.  How many fantasy football drafts this year wish they could have passed on Chris Johnson with the number 1 overall pick?

The 2007 selection of Daniel Moskos may have upset a lot of Bucs fans (myself included), but I think that Daniel could still be a very serviceable arm in the bullpen.  Left handed pitchers with a fastball sitting in the mid 90s do not grow on trees nor do they typically have a low 80s MPH wipe out slider.  Strangely enough though his splits show that he's better against right handed batters than lefties.  However, lefties strike out more often against him and he seems to control the zone better.  He's only got 24 big league innings under his belt and showed more improvement after the All-Star break last year. 

I think Daniel will start on the opening day roster as one of 2 LHP in the bullpen.  He may even make a spot start once in awhile if needed.

Here's a cyan printing plate I picked up off ebay featuring Daniel Moskos from 2011 Bowman.  I got it for around $10.  Printing plates are fun, but I don't value them too much more than $10 despite being a 1/1. 

This is Daniel's 2007 Bowman Sterling AUTO that I bought awhile ago at a card show for $1.  A whole dollar for a first round draft pick that has seen major league experience.  You can't beat that price.

Continuing the trend of 1st round talents for not first round prices is this dual autograph numbered 46/100 of former first round catching high school draft picks Jason Kendall and Neil Walker.  This dual auto was picked up for $12.

Kendall was selected 23rd overall out of Torrance High School in California.  He would play 9 seasons with the Pirates becoming a 3 time all-star and winning the 1996 Sporting News Rookie of the Year.  With all the talent that had played in Three Rivers Stadium over the years, it was actually Jason Kendall who became the first player to hit for the cycle in a game.  Kendall posed strong base running abilities despite being a catcher and would hit over .300 six times finishing his Pirates career with a .306 batting average.  He's currently a free agent and with 15 seasons in the majors sits just shy of 2,200 career hits.  That statistic puts him 8th all-time on the catcher's list.  Only Ivan Rodriguez, Mike Piazza, and Ted Simmons are the only non Hall of Famers ahead of Kendall on that list.  I-Rod and Piazza most likely will become HOF when they become eligible.  I wish the Pirates would have brought Kendall back on a 1 year contract with a club option for 2013.  He probably would have cost as much as Rod Barajas (possibly less) and could obviously provide better offensive stats than what I think Barajas will put up. 

Neil Walker was selected 11th overall in the 2004 draft as a catcher, but was later converted to 3B.  He appeared to be comfortable at the hot corner, but when the Pirates selected Pedro Alvarez they moved Walker to 2B.  Walker spent the 2010 Spring Training learning how to play second from one of the greatest Pirates of all-time and arguably one of the greatest defensive second basemen, Bill Mazeroski.  Walker came up in May 2010 and had earned the starting role of everyday second baseman.  Walker started the 2011 season off with a bang becoming the first player since Roberto Clemente to hit a grand slam on opening day. 

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