The MLB Draft is less than a month away for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The first round starts on June 9th.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have two first round selections in the MLB Draft at number 22 and number 41. With that many sites such as MLB.com have been putting out their mock drafts leading up to draft day. Unfortunately, MLB.com has the picks only going up #34, the end of the true first round. The Pirate’s pick at #41 is in the Competitive Balance round. At RumBunter we have been covering the draft with several articles on high school prep players and college players.
The purpose of this articles is to focus on one specific player that is being mocked to the Pirates. MLB.com seems the most logical site to use as it is not biased, cover baseball exclusively, and have the best access to the teams and their scouts. Jonathan Mayo is one of the best baseball insiders when it comes to prospects and the draft. He certainly has his sources and reasoning behind everything he projects for each team’s draft. So what does Mayo predict this year?
Mayo has the Pirates selecting a Pennsylvania native in Nolan Jones. Jones is a shortstop from Holy Ghost Prep that sits just north-east of Philadelphia. Here is a some information on Jones that was written on our site last week by David Slusser:
"“Nolan Jones comes from Holy Ghost Prep in Pennsylvania and is committed to Virginia. He stands at six-foot-four, weighs 185 pounds, and has room to grow into his frame. Jones just turned 18, as he was born May 2, 1998. Jones is a player who could fall to the Pirates, as he will go in the 20 range.Jones currently plays shortstop, but with his frame a move to third, or even second, is more likely. He has a left handed stroke and should develop into 15 home runs and mid 30 doubles a year player, as Jones has good bat speed. He stands square and wide in the box, brings his front leg back but not his foot (see Albert Pujols), and then he brings his hands back before launching forward. He has solid hands and a slightly better than average arm, which makes third or second his most likely options.Overall, Jones would be an excellent pick at 22, it would not be an overreach, and it would be about where he should go. His overall ceiling is a Daniel Murphy type player, a player who doesn’t have the best range or speed, but hits for a nice average and has decent pop.”"
Since that was written, Jones has climbed up draft boards by a few spots. Most analyst believe he could be drafted in the 15-20 range due to his size and projectability. However, with questions of whether or not he will stick at shortstop, he could move down to the Pirates at #22. The Pirates seem to like projectable prep hitters. Over the last few years they have taken three in Austin Meadows, Reese McGuire, Cole Tucker, and Ke’Bryan Hayes.
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The Pirates have stock piled a lot of infield prospects over the last two drafts. However, it is always good to keep adding the best talent possible. If Jones is available at #22 the Pirates could get another impact, left-handed hitting prospect. Even if he does not stick at shortstop the Pirates could use another plus prospect at the third base position. This is a position of weakness in the Pirate’s organization. After Ke’Bryan Hayes there is not another prospect ranked in their top 30 who plays third base. Jones would have the athleticism and bat to be an impact third baseman. He also would be a talent to hard to pass on at #22.