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McLouth opens my eyes to some problems with Pirates

Braves outfielder Nate McLouth greeted his former Pirates teammates Thursday with a run scored in Atlanta's Grapefruit League win.

That's not so much news.

What really stood out were two comments from McLouth, as reported by the Post-Gazette.

The first, from Chuck Finder's story:
"Guess they do [an eye exam] in spring training, but a blind man could pass that test. So I'd never really done a full eye exam. Got home a couple of days after the season ended and ended up getting contacts. It was kind of interesting to find that out when I got home. ... The way I describe it, it's kind of like going from watching standard-definition television to watching HD. It just kind of sharpens things up a bit. It has been a big help. Absolutely. Both in seeing pitches and in the outfield." 

Can the Pirates, who really need every advantage they possibly could get, really cut short eye exams? Did anyone in the organization see "Major League"?

Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn couldn't find the strike zone until manager Lou Brown made him get a pair of glasses.

The Pirates have million-dollar athletes on their roster and they don't know if their eyesight is the best it can be? If that's the case, the Pirates really are in trouble. 
Even if the Bucs can evaluate talent, McLouth's comments make it appear that the team can't get the most out of that talent.

But I wonder about their talent evaluation, which brings me to McLouth's other comment, which was posted on Finder's dispatch on the PG's PBC blog:
"There are ... guys like Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens and Jason Heyward, who are some of the best young players in the game. . . . It's amazing how many good prospects the Braves have in their system all the time. And when is the last time they had a top-10 pick? To get all these studs in their system, it's fun to see and great to play with these people."
To be fair, the Braves got Jurrjens from the Tigers. But the point still is valid.

Year after year, the Pirates have high picks in the draft. What do they have to show for it? Not much.

Then there are teams like the Braves that pick after the Pirates and still manage to stockpile talent.

Maybe the Neal Huntington era will be different when it comes to the draft. It's not fair to blame him for  others' failures in the draft.

The McLouth trade was his, and we'll know soon enough on how to rate it.


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