The Pittsburgh Pirates have been making roster moves with the Major League season underway and the minor league season not far behind. Yesterday they cut two former high draft picks.
One of the hardest things about the baseball season getting underway is that the teams have to make decisions on who to keep and who not to. The Pittsburgh Pirates had to do this just a few days ago, letting go of Bryce Brentz, Jack Leathersich, and Jordan Milbrath. While none of them are prominent players, they are players that the team liked enough to bring in to try to make the team. That was more or less at the major league level, however, this can also occur at the minor league level.
More often than not, when major league teams release minor league players it goes unnoticed. Players who have fizzled out in Single-A, international free agents that never produced in the Gulf Coast League, or later round draft picks who just never develop. However, from time to time there are more notable minor league prospects that show up on the transaction list. The Pittsburgh Pirates released two notable prospects yesterday. According to John Dreker of Pirates Prospects, the team let go of outfield prospect Barrett Barnes and left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson.
About the Prospects
Barnes is the more notable prospect of the two. He was the Pittsburgh Pirates top draft pick to sign in 2012. Of course, that was the year that Mark Appel elected to return to Stanford and not sign with the Bucs. The former Texas Tech Red Raider was a compensation A pick at number 45 overall. The biggest issue for Barnes was the fact that he could not stay healthy. When a prospect has injury issues it keeps them off the field, which in turn has an impact on their development. The now 26-year-old averaged just 59 games played over his six professional seasons. His numbers were decent, slashing .275/.365/.428. However, with consistent injury issues, he was passed up by several outfielders on the organization depth chart.
Lefty pitching prospect Cody Dickson was the other notable former draft pick to be released. The Sam Houston State product was a fourth round pick in 2013. He was noted for his size and firm fastball, but he had command issues. These command issues led to him being transitioned into a bullpen role in each part of the last two seasons. All in all, he pitched in 132 games, including 106 starts. He posted a 3.91 ERA in his five seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Like Barnes, the lefty Dickson topped out at Triple-A last year.