Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: The Five Biggest Busts since 2002

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates /

When the Pittsburgh Pirates and Dave Littlefield selected Daniel Moskos with the fourth overall pick many fans were upset.  Many followers wanted the Pirates to select premier catching prospect Matt Wieters.  However, the Bucs were likely scared away by Scott Boras. Instead, they settled on the left-handed pitcher from Clemson.

This pick was similar to what I talked about with Lincoln.  Moskos was one of the better college arms that year, but not necessarily the highest ceiling or first round worthy.  In fact, the draft was on ESPN 2 that year and when the Pirates’ selection was announced ESPN did not have his film ready as they did not expect him to go that early.

Pirates management viewed him as an advanced left-handed pitcher who would reach the Majors quickly, and, more importantly, sign cheaply.  There was a series of events that took place that really made the pick even worse. He pitched on national TV just a day after signing with the Pirates and got shelled (do not know the stat line).  Then he missed time at the beginning of his career with injuries.  Finally, it all started to come out that he likely would be used a relief pitcher. Drafting a relief pitcher with the number four overall pick is nothing short of stupid.  In fact the organization admitted to this in an interview from 2007 with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

"“We like him in both roles,” Creech said. “[But] I think the role he’s probably going to end up [in] is closer. He has the mentality for it. He’s an aggressive kid. He goes after hitters. He throws strikes. He has power pitches.” Paul Meyer, 2007"

Moskos was a disappointment from the get go with the fan base.  When you select a pitcher fourth overall you hope for a future ace, not a future bullpen guy.  The pick was a bust before he even played a game. In 2011 he was called up by the Pirates, he appeared in 31 games, and pitched to a 2.96 ERA.  He opened up the next year in AAA and pitched close to a four ERA.  The Pirate waived him and he was claimed by the White Sox.

Since then he has received Tommy-John Surgery in 2014.  He then was suspended 50 games in 2015 for testing positive for a second time during a drug test.  Moskos signed a Minor League deal with the San Diego Padres in 2016.  He has not reached the majors since 2011. This, thankfully, was Dave Littlefield’s last draft as the GM of the Pirates.

Next: The Number One Overall Pick in 2002