Thursday, December 6, 2007

Pirates select Meek in Rule 5 Draft.

The Pittsburgh Pirates did actually participate in the Rule 5 Draft and used the second pick of the draft.
However,the surprise was that GM Neal Huntington passed on both of the Cleveland Indian position players in outfielder Brian Barton and first baseman Matt Whitney to select Tampa Bay righthander Evan Meek.
Meek spent the entire 2007 season pitching for the "Rays" AA affiliate,the Montgomery Biscuits.
The 24 year old righty appeared in 44 games for the Biscuits,all in relief, and finished with an impressive strikeouts to 9 innings pitched ratio of 9.27.
The knock on Meek has always been a lack of control and he seems to still have control issues,as his walks to 9 innings ratio was over 4.
But his numbers in the Arizona Fall League were downright dominant.
In Meek's 9 appearances,he allowed just 1 run and 3 hits over 9+ innings pitched.
Surprised by the pick,but still pretty pleased,as the Pittsburgh bullpen weakness was righthanded with the exception of Matt Capps.
Overall,I like it for the price that was paid to take a look.
Jose Castillo was given his release to create the roster spot on the 40 man to make room for Meek.
Cleveland's two position players both were selected by other teams,as Matt Whitney went to Washington with the seventh pick,while Brian Barton slid to the Cardinals at the 10th slot.
Barton was thought to be the first pick of the draft to Tampa Bay and either Tampa would keep him or rumors had the Padres trading with Tampa for him.
Apparently,the off season surgery to Barton's knee had scared some teams off.

The reports on the AAA phase are still rolling in,but from what I can see thus far,the Pirates selected three players and lost two.
In the AA and AAA phases of the draft,you can assign the players that you take where you want and you just pay the drafting fee of 12,000 for a pick in AAA and 4,000 for a AA pick.
The newest members of the Pirates organization are righthanded pitcher Josh Hill from the Twins.
The 6'3 Australian native pitched at High A Ft.Myers and AA New Britain last year.
Cannot say I know much about him,but he only allowed 3 homers last season between the two teams.
That tells me he can at least keep the ball in the park.
I will try to get some info on Hill from some Twins bloggers when I can.

Mauricio Mendez was taken from the Red Sox.
The Dominican pitcher was 2-1 in 29 innings for the GCL Sox,so the numbers look OK,but who really knows when the only numbers are GCL level.
Mendez will likely be at State College,but a slim shot at Hickory.

The third and final selection was 27 year old lefty Corey Hamman from the Tigers.
Hamman spent most of 2007 at AAA Toledo getting bombed in spot start/long man duty,but he was a Greg Smith draft pick,so maybe he is a good guy.
He certainly does not seem to be a prospect,so look for him at either Altoona or Indianapolis,which ever needs what Hamman provides most.

The Pirates lost shortstop Smelin Perez to the Florida Marlins.
Perez,a 21 year old from the Dominican Republic,spent last season with the short season State College Spikes.
Perez hit .252 with a homer and 20 RBI to go with 11 steals.
The red flag here for me was when we saw him he appeared to have a swing at most mentality and not much power.

The other player lost might be familiar to readers in righty pitcher Clayton Hamilton.
Hamilton was the player that the Pirate medical staff could not figure out for a year that he had a broken rib and was told that he was healthy.
Hamilton pitched for Lynchburg last year and was not a guarantee for a promotion to Altoona.
Not a huge loss,but having met him-I felt bad for a good guy to get screwed over like that.
Hamilton was obtained from San Diego for Bobby Hill,so his departure makes him the last link to leave from the Aramis Ramirez trade.

No comments: