Trio from the Hall enter MLB
At June’s 2009 Major League Baseball Amateur draft, the Pirates had two players chosen in pitchers Sean Black and Keith Cantwell.
Designated hitter Chris Affinito was also involved in the collegiate-to-professional transition. He signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Oakland A’s a few days after the draft.
Cantwell was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 31st round.
In his four year career at the Hall, Cantwell was extremely versatile. For three of those seasons, Cantwell was a member of the starting rotation, recently being the Saturday starter for the Pirates in 2009.
Due to an injury in his junior campaign, Cantwell was pushed to the bullpen and led the team with four saves.
As a Pirate, Cantwell had an 11-9 record overall, including seven complete games and five saves. He currently ranks tenth all-time with two complete game shutouts.
Cantwell was also named to the All-Big East First Team this past season, when he went 6-3 with a team-high 3.48 ERA.
Black was a seventh round draft pick of the New York Yankees, who focused on their pitching staff in this draft, choosing hurlers in six of the first 10 rounds.
Black was previously drafted in 2006 by the Washington Nationals but chose to stay at Seton Hall.
In his shortened three year career as a Pirate, Black won ten games in 43 appearances.
In his 2009 season, he was 4-6 in 13 starts.
Black compiled a 3.99 ERA while striking out 70 batters and only allowing 45 runs in his 85.2 innings pitched.
Affinito, for his career in the blue and white, compiled a .286 batting average with 28 home runs and 127 RBI.
This year, as the team’s full-time designated hitter, Affinito had a career high .324 batting average.
This is the second consecutive year that the Pirates have had two pitchers drafted.
Last year, the team lost Corey Young and Greg Miller to the majors.
Next season, the Hall will look to Joe DiRocco as the ace of the pitching staff, along with Charlie Rivera and Collin McGowan in the upper half of the rotation.
Timothy LeCras can be reached at email@example.com