MLB Draft Primer: The 2016 College Pitchers

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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MLB Draft
Mark Appel was the last pitcher taken in the first round by the PIrates in 2012. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

As mentioned earlier, the Pirates do not take a lot of college pitchers in the first round.  In the Huntington era they have only taken two in Gerrit Cole and Mark Appel.  In recent year they have not take pitching in the first round at all.  Since 2013 they have taken all position players, including two position players in 2013.

The Pirates drafting philosophy seems to be to take the premium bats available, then take an abundance of pitching in the later rounds.  On the last slide it was said that the Pirates like to mold their pitchers.  By taking raw, projectable pitchers in the middle round the Pirates feel they can develop those pitchers just as well as a first rounder.

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Who is to argue they are wrong?  The Pirates have shown this by developing plenty of middle round draft picks into solid prospects.  Tyler Glasnow was a 5th round pick in 2011, Nick Kingham was a 4th round pick in 2011, Clay Holmes was a 9th round pick in 2011, and Brandon Waddell and JT Brubaker in the fifth and sixth round last year.  None were considered top prospects when drafted, but all had a common theme.  They were all tall, projectable pitchers, with good arms and chances to develop in the minors.

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So what is most likely?  Well if we look at the Pirates trends they will likely look away from pitching with their #22 pick.  They will likely look for an elite hitter.  However, there is the chance that they Pirates buck the trend and decide with so much pitching in the upper minors that it is time to replenish the lower minors with a top prospect. Really it is hard to predict.  You never know who will fall in the draft and who will make a late rise on draft day.  There is plenty of upside college arms that could be available at number 22, any of the players in the article would be a great addition to the system.