In Ben Cherington We Trust: The Pirates Are in Good Hands for the Future

In Ben Cherington We Trust: The Pirates Are in Good Hands for the Future


In Ben Cherington We Trust: The Pirates Are in Good Hands for the Future


Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates hit an absolute grand slam this past week. And no, I am not talking about this Jacob Stallings walk-off grand slam to beat the Mets and cap off a 6-0 comeback. That grand slam was insane, though.

I am referencing this last week’s 2021 MLB Draft, in which the team had the first overall pick. A month ago, I went in on the Pirates farm system and everything General Manager Ben Cherington has done prior to it and assessed the team’s options for the draft. 

In this article, I detailed three ways the Pirates could take their draft: Select the best player available, select a high school high-upside shortstop, or select a college position player and save money for later picks. 

The Pirates selected Louisville C Henry Davis with their first selection this past week. I knew this was a possibility, as the Pirates were connected to him through rumors and very clearly have no catcher depth throughout their entire minor league system. The Pirates are also known to be relatively cheap, so going this route would save them money to potentially dish out in later rounds. 


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Safe to say, the Pirates did what I thought they should not do. I was all in for them saving enough money to maybe pry one elite high school player away from college in a later round while still taking one of the higher rated players first overall. Davis was absolutely a Top 10 prospect nonetheless. 

It is also safe to say, I was wrong.

Ben Cherington threw on his Santa Claus costume and brought Christmas in July for Pirates fans. 

With the amount of money saved from the first overall pick (Davis signed for $6.5M at an $8.42M slot value), the Pirates were able to select THREE other players in Baseball America’s Top 32 Overall Prospect List: LHP Anthony Solometo, OF Lonnie White, and RHP/SS Bubba Chandler. 

They got four potential first round talents in four rounds. That is insane. 

Davis is considered the best collegiate position player on the board and one of the best hitters as well. Solometo was regarded as the best high school lefty in the draft, the best two-way talent in Chandler, and one of the best athletes in White. Chandler and White had already been committed to Clemson and Penn State respectively in other sports. 

Throughout the years, there are plenty of examples of high schoolers drafted first overall that struggled to develop and ultimately never panned out. This was not only a safer bet by picking Davis, but it also saves money while still netting a top 10 prospect. 

It is also worth reiterating that for the last 2-3 months, there was not one clear-cut best player that should be taken. While Vanderbilt pitchers Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker were sexier picks along with the top three high school shortstops, none of them were considered the best overall prospect heading into Day 1. 

Ben Cherington knows what he’s doing. If you had any doubt, this draft threw that right out the window. With the July 30 trade deadline looming, expect the Pirates to maximize off any value they can get for players like Adam Frazier, Ben Gamel, Wilmer Difo, Richard Rodriguez, Tyler Anderson, and others. 

The Pirates are in good hands, and the future is very bright.

Anthony Ravasio is a writer for TWSN and a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. In his downtime, you can find Anthony watching sports, enjoying his time with friends or family, or tracking his bets on Action (or all three at once). 

You can find TWSN on Twitter @TWSN___ and Instagram @twsn___. You can find Anthony on Twitter @anthonyravasio or Instagram @ravasiosports as well.


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