Pirate Loot, Mostly Other Team's Fool's Gold

The Pirates get made fun of all the time for good reason. Once the owners of some of the greatest talent to ever play baseball they have fallen on hard times since Barry Bonds took his act elsewhere. You could not find a franchise with greater players then the players below:

                                                                            
Player OPS+ G From To Age BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
Brian Giles 158 715 1999 2003 28-32 .308 .426 .591 1.018 *78/9D
Ralph Kiner 157 1095 1946 1953 23-30 .280 .405 .567 .971 *7/83
Honus Wagner 152 2298 1901 1917 27-43 .325 .392 .462 .853 *63/957481
Barry Bonds 147 1010 1986 1992 21-27 .275 .380 .503 .883 *78/9
Willie Stargell 147 2360 1962 1982 22-42 .282 .360 .529 .889 *73/98
Arky Vaughan 141 1411 1932 1941 20-29 .324 .415 .472 .887 *6/75
Fred Clarke 137 1373 1901 1915 28-42 .301 .380 .420 .799 *7/9685
Richie Zisk 136 578 1971 1976 22-27 .299 .366 .477 .842 *79
Paul Waner 136 2154 1926 1940 23-37 .340 .407 .490 .896 *9/387
Kiki Cuyler 135 525 1921 1927 22-28 .336 .399 .513 .912 978
Bobby Bonilla 134 843 1986 1991 23-28 .284 .357 .481 .838 *59/738
Jason Bay 131 719 2003 2008 24-29 .281 .375 .515 .890 *7/8D9
Dave Parker 131 1301 1973 1983 22-32 .305 .353 .494 .848 *9/8734
Roberto Clemente 130 2433 1955 1972 20-37 .317 .359 .475 .834 *9/8745
George Grantham 129 913 1925 1931 25-31 .315 .410 .491 .901 *34/75
Elbie Fletcher 128 916 1939 1947 23-31 .279 .403 .412 .815 *3
Ginger Beaumont 128 740 1901 1906 24-29 .324 .369 .406 .776 *8
Mike Easler 127 549 1977 1983 26-32 .302 .354 .474 .828 *7/9
Andy Van Slyke 124 1057 1987 1994 26-33 .283 .353 .458 .811 *8/93
Jason Thompson 124 671 1981 1985 26-30 .259 .376 .432 .808 *3
Richie Hebner 121 1140 1968 1983 20-35 .277 .350 .442 .792 *5/937
Dick Stuart 121 559 1958 1962 25-29 .273 .326 .512 .839 *3/7

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/16/2010. 

 

Pirate management has accumulated a fair share of other teams disappointing high draft picks hoping to resurrect a career among a group of players who at one time were as hyped as any prospects in baseball. Below is the list of players they have taken on plus their own high draft picks:

 

Player Age Original Draft Team Round Year Drafted High In BA Ranking
Neil Walker 25 Pirates 1 (11th) 2005 43 / 2006
Pedro Alvarez 23 Pirates 1 (2nd) 2008 12 / 2009
Jose Tabata 22 Yankees FA 2004 27 / 2007
Andrew McCutchen 24 Pirates 1 (11th) 2005 14 / 2008
Lasting Milledge 25 NY Mets 1 (12th) 2003 9th / 2006
Andy Laroche 27 Dodgers 39th 2003 19th / 2007
Bobby Crosby 30 Oakland 1 (25th) 2001 32 / 2004
Jeff Clement 27 Seattle 1 (3rd) 2005 42 / 2008
Chris Snyder 29 Arizona 2nd 2002
John Bowker 27 Giants 3rd 2004
Charlie Morton 27 Braves 3rd 2002
James McDonald 26 Dodgers 11th 2002 56 / 2009
Brad Lincoln 25 Pirates 1 (4th) 2006 69 / 2007
Joel Hanrahan 29 Dodges 2nd 2000

 

As we do our prospect ranking for the Dodgers only,  take a gander at how Baseball America had these failed prospects ranked. Understand this is normal not unusual, for all the fanfare we give our prospects, the odds are that they will fail. The odds that someone not even ranked in top 100 will fail is of course much higher.

Lasting Milledge once considered the 9th best prospect in all of baseball now looks like he will be lucky to have a fourth outfielder role.

Andy LaRoche once considered the 19th best prospect in all of baseball now looks like he will not even be on a major league roster come April 1st, 2011.

Jeff Clement the 3rd overall pick of 2005 will be joining Andy LaRoche looking for major league work come next April.

Bobby Crosby is now old and shot but once he was also a highly touted number one pick who simply never developed and will also be looking for major league work come April.

Brad Lincoln was the Pirates own number one pick, fourth overall in 2006.  He disappeared off the prospect lists faster then a Jansen fastball.

Soon the Dodgers might have a few players from our prospect list join the BA top 100 and we will celebrate. But really the only celebration should take place when these "prospects" actually perform at the major league level for a sustained period of time, or get traded for players who have already proven they can.

As we hit the arbitration clocks for Loney and Martin we realize that even those who immediately strike it big can quickly lose their luster. At this point only Clayton Kershaw has been a consistent performer since hitting the major leagues. It is possible that Loney, Martin, Broxton, and even Kemp have already seen their better days come and go in a very short period of time. We can all envision a 2011 without all of them, and that might be a good thing. It is a sad thing, but the reality is that none of them were any good in 2010.

Maybe they should be Pirates.

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