Pittsburgh Pirates: Best Picks From Each of the First 10 Rounds

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 07: Tony Watson #44 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch in the seventh inning during the National League Wild Card game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on October 7, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 07: Tony Watson #44 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch in the seventh inning during the National League Wild Card game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on October 7, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – 1979: Pitcher John Candelaria #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during a Major League Baseball game at Three Rivers Stadium in 1979 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – 1979: Pitcher John Candelaria #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during a Major League Baseball game at Three Rivers Stadium in 1979 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

Round 2: John Candelaria

John “The Candy Man” Candelaria was the Pittsburgh Pirates second-round pick in 1972. Candelaria established himself as one of the Pirates better starters in their franchise’s history through the first eleven-and-a-half years of his MLB career. The Candy Man pitched 1873 innings with the Pirates, putting up a quality 3.17 ERA, 3.40 FIP, and 1.17 WHIP.

Candelaria had some hardware from his time in Pittsburgh. In 1977, he made his one and only career all-star game, finished fifth in Cy Young voting and led the league in ERA and BB/9. He also won a ring in 1979, playing a significant role for the “We Are Family” Pirates.

The Pirates traded Candelaria to the California Angels in August of 1985 for Mike Brown, Bob Kipper, and Pat Clemens. Candelaria would then become a journeyman southpaw, pitching for the Angles, both New York teams, the Expos, Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, and then the Los Angeles Dodgers. Although he was still a solid pitcher, having a 4.02 ERA/3.58 FIP, he never reached the peak he did during his time with the Pirates.

The Pirates decided to give the Candy Man one last ride into the sunset in 1993, 21 seasons after they drafted him. He only pitched in 19.2 innings, all out of the bullpen, and surrendered 18 earned runs, but he ended his career where it started, which is always nice to see.

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