BRADENTON, Fla. -- And with Chuck D donning a Pirates hat for a performance with LL Cool J to close the Grammys, spring training 2013 is underway.
In today's Post-Gazette: The second of a two-part series, how well is the Pirates' player development system working?
The system is working in the simplest sense. It is producing major league players at a similar rate to the rest of baseball. It contains some of the most talented prospects in the minors in Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Luis Heredia, Gregory Polanco and Alen Hanson. For a team that fields a payroll among the lowest in baseball, though, the player development system must perform better than average.
Judging the effectiveness of a player development system, and especially the impact of the current front office over the past five seasons, is difficult. Major league graduation rates don't tell the whole story. Of the roughly 6,000 players drafted from 2008 to '11, 206 have made the majors. About 60 have made an impact thus far. That number will increase as time passes.
Minor league stats don't help much. Neither does progress through the minors, as we explored in Sunday's story. Analysis must include individual looks at the players in the minors, but keep their progress in the context of the Pirates' record draft spending.
Michael and I will head to Pirate City today, and one of us will update the blog from either there or McKechnie Field for the next month and a half.
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