Some additional Draft thoughts
Spent much of the afternoon meeting Stetson Allie — the Pirates’ second-round Draft pick — and his father, Danny, during Stetson’s introductory press conference. I was also able to catch up with scouting director Greg Smith, and I wanted to share some stuff he said that wasn’t able to make it into the Allie story, which you can find here.
On overall Draft: “It’s hard to say [if it’s the best of the three in Pittsburgh], but it was definitely youth driven. We were also able to get some nice position players up top like Mel Rojas (third round) and Matt Curry (16th round). We think it was a nice balance. It was obviously driven by the youth and the pitching, but there are also some position players we feel really good about.
“As we continue to grow as a scouting staff, I challenge our guys that no matter how good we think Pedro [Alvarez] and that ’08 class is, or the ’09 class, or this class, we want to continue to raise the bar so that [director of player development] Kyle [Stark] and his staff keep getting more and more confidence that we’re bringing in better players each year.”
On bringing so much young talent into the organization: “One thing that I expressed to Stetson and his family at lunch is that without our confidence in Kyle and his [development] group, we can’t Draft like this. We can’t give him a slew of high school pitchers without the trust in the program that they’re going to maximize the return.
“It’s fun for both sides. Obviously, our instructors like working with good players and our scouts like signing good players. It’s a happy relationship.”
On the financial resources (approx. $12 million was spent on this Draft class) made available by owner Bob Nutting: “The amount of support and resources for our scouting department has been tremendous. Understandably, what happens at the Major League level means a great deal to everyone, as it should. But we reap the initial benefits from where Bob and [president] Frank [Coonelly] are coming from. For three years now, we’ve been able to Draft and sign the players who we feel like are going to make us better. Now that doesn’t make everybody here feel the same way because that takes time.”
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