Pittsburgh Pirates: A Look at Neal Huntington’s Draft History

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates 2009 Pick
Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /

2009 Draft

The 2009 draft was a tough one for Neal Huntington and the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The biggest issue was that the Pittsburgh Pirates gave up a hefty amount the previous year to Pedro Alvarez.  With that, the organization decided they needed to be creative with their ’09 draft.  The best way to do that?  Take a college catcher.  Catching is just about the hardest position to draft, as many Pirates fans know.  However, taking the best available college one, in a system that could use catching help, was a move that would help save some money and fill an organizational need.  So the Bucs selected catcher Jorge “Tony” Sanchez with the fourth overall pick.  Sanchez was out of Boston College.  Here is the write-up from MLB.com:

"“College catchers are always a premium commodity and Sanchez has emerged as one of the better options in this year’s group. He’s a solid catch-and-throw guy behind the plate, with good overall defensive skills. He also can swing the bat some, with a little power, giving him an intriguing all-around package. He’s struggled with conditioning in the past, but he seemed driven to get himself into shape. The benefit has been an outstanding junior season that will probably move him off the board early on Draft day.”"

Sanchez ended up proving to be a reach.  After hitting .309 in 2009 and .287 in 2010, Sanchez started to struggle. He ended up hitting a combined .246 over his next two seasons.  Finally, in 2013 he made his big league debut for the Bucs.  He ended up playing in a total of 51 games from 2013-2015, and was a .259 hitter with a sub .700 OPS.  He also struggled defensively behind the plate throwing out 17% of runners.  The Pittsburgh Pirates released Tony Sanchez in January of 2016.

Notable Picks:

There are no current Pittsburgh Pirates on the roster from the 2009 draft.

Other Picks:

Vic Black second round, Brock Holt ninth round, Phil Irwin 21st round, Jake Lamb 38th round (Unsigned).