#22 Pittsburgh Pirates
Nick: Buddy Reed, Outfield, Florida University
The Pirates have strayed away from taking pitchers in the first round since taking Mark Appel in 2012, Gerrit Cole in 2011, and Jameson Taillon in 2010. They will continue this trend. The Pirates top outfield prospects have either reached the major leagues or are in the upper minors (Meadows and Ramirez at AA). Reed is ranked to go somewhere in the 25-40 range, but the Pirates will look to take him at #22. Reed is a big time athlete, who will need time in the minors to develop at a professional hitter. Reed has the potential to be a five tool player in the big leagues. The recent trends by the Pirates is to reach on athletes in the first round and save money for upside pitchers later in the draft. Reed will give them a new top outfield prospect in the lower minors and will have plenty of time to develop.
David: Nolan Jones, Third Baseman, Holy Ghost Prep (Pennsylvania)
Neal Huntington has only taken four high school position players in his 13 first round picks as the Pirates general manager. However, since 2013 the Pirates have had six first round selections, all six being positional players, and four of them being high school kids. The tide has changed from the college players he focused on during his early days. Jones can hit with the best of the high school players, and as a left-handed bat, the 6’3” and 195 pound Jones, could add some pop that plays well at PNC Park
Marty: Matt Manning, Right-Handed Pitcher, Sheldon High School (California)
Matt Manning is a top 10-15 talent, however some teams are worried about his sign-ability due to him being committed to Loyola Marymount. Under Neal Hutnington though, the Pittsburgh Pirates have never shied away from these type of players in the MLB Draft. Neal Huntington is also a big fan of prep arms, such as last night’s starter Jameson Taillon, which Manning is. The six-foot-six 185 pound Manning features a mid-to-upper 90s fastball, and a strong curve ball/change-up combination. Manning has all the tools to be a front of the rotation Major League starting pitcher.
Next: #23 Pick