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Pirates GM Ben Cherington Discusses Drafting a Plethora of Pitchers

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Pittsburgh Pirates, Ben Cherington

The Pirates concluded their portion of the 2022 MLB Draft on Tuesday, and some obvious trends occurred.

One of those trends was the number of selected college players, 18 out of a possible 21. The other more noticeable trend was the number of pitchers that the Pirates drafted, which was 16 if you count Jack Brannigan, a two-way player.

As we observe both of those trends, the wheels begin to turn in our heads, and we start to formulate any rhyme or reason the Pirates acted the way they did. Granted, this wasn’t on the level of the Los Angeles Angels in 2021, where they drafted all pitchers, but it’s up there.

“We were looking for the best players,” said Pirates general manager Ben Cherington. “I think once you get to a certain part of the draft, you start looking at where we can impact the system in the best way. We have to be mindful of areas in the system where we’ve already got a lot of players, but we didn’t go into the draft looking to add a certain amount of pitchers.”

Cherington clarified that although the organization as a whole wasn’t looking to add just pitching talent, the Pirates are excited to get a chance to work with each individual and help their journey of development in the Pirates system.

The Pirates seemed to love the college aspect during the draft, and to be particular, college summer league performers. Were the college draft picks a coincidence, or was this a trend?

“I think this was more of a coincidence and how the draft fell,” said Cherington. “We’re excited, and I think we have an opportunity to take advantage of the resources we’ve put into pitching development because obviously, many of those college picks were pitchers. There was no intent in the draft to go towards a demographic; it was more about the best player available.”

Whether or not the Pirates drafting pitchers was intentional, we now see a ton of 22-24 year olds with some seasoning. Could all of this experience between draft picks spell a quick rise through the system? Some believe so, but it’s probably best to wait and see what the Pirates do moving forward.

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