The Pittsburgh Pirates need to rebuild their minor league system in a hurry. One way to do this will be through the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft.
Since taking the reins, Ben Cherington and the rest of the new members of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization have preached that the team needs to infuse more talent into the organization. Former General Manager Neal Huntington also stressed the importance of putting talent into the minor league system. It is the reality for the Pittsburgh Pirates and other small-market teams in baseball.
The best way for a team like the Pittsburgh Pirates to compete is through successful drafting and developing, but they need to consistently be doing those things. This is where the previous regime went wrong. They had a hard time finding elite type players in the draft, or at least developing them to their highest potential such as Tyler Glasnow. This is why hiring people like Ben Cherington and Steve Sanders was so important. Those two have a really strong and impressive track record of finding and developing talent through the draft.
This year the team will have a really good chance to bring in some quality prospects through this process. The team has their first-round pick at number seven overall, but also a Competitive Balance Pick. The Competitive Balance round takes place right after the first round and the Bucs have the second selection of the round.
However, that pick is now going to move up to a higher spot in the draft. Originally their pick was slated to be at number 32 overall, with the Baltimore Orioles receiving the number 31 pick and first pick of the Competitive Balance round. Now, since the Houston Astros have forfeited their first-round pick for this year (along with others), the Bucs will have their second pick at number 31 overall.
While one place should not seem like that big of a deal it is still good news for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This is one less team that will pick in front of them, allowing them a better chance to grab another higher quality prospect. Also, this will give the Pittsburgh Pirates a slightly larger Bonus Pool that they can use to sign picks. Last year the number 31 pick received a slot amount of $2,312,000 while the number 32 pick was at $2,257,000. While it’s roughly $60,000 extra in bonus space, every little bit can help sign a player who might be on the fence.
Obviously, this is not going to have a huge impact on the Pittsburgh Pirates draft. What it will come down to is the new regime’s ability to draft the right players with the picks that they do have. Having a team like Houston, who has excelled at finding amateur talent, out of the first round not only allows the Bucs to move up a pick, but it also will allow one more prospect to remain on the board for the Bucs second selection. The MLB Draft is a crap-shoot, but having higher picks and a bigger allowance definitely helps.