#41 Pittsburgh Pirates
Nick: Kevin Gowdy, Right-Handed Pitcher, Santa Barbara High School (California)
The Pirates saved money with their first pick by reaching on a college player at #22. The Bucs pick up a high upside pitcher who has a strong commitment to UCLA. Gowdy will need a sizable bonus to pass on his commitment to the Bruins and the Pirates will do everything they can to do so. Gowdy represents everything the Pirates like in prep pitchers he is big at 6’4’’ and 170 pounds, and his fastball sits in the low 90s which will go up as he physically fills out. He also already seems to possess solid secondary pitches, including a change-up and a slider. The Pirates like pitchers who already have a good feel for a change-up and Gowdy does. With the Pirates graduating some of their top pitching prospects to the majors it will be a good thing to add some more talent to the lower minors for the next wave.
David: Will Benson, Outfielder, The Westminster School (Georgia)
At 6’6” and 220 pounds, Benson just screams future power hitter. Baseball America notes that some scouts worry about his hitting ability, but when drafting high school kids that are more projectable. But his defense and arm should play regardless of his bat. Developing high school bats has been the normal recently when selecting hitter so Benson fits right in. Both MLB Pipeline and Baseball America both cite Jason Heyward comparisons.
Marty: Will Benson, Outfielder, The Westminster School (Georgia)
Like Dave, I am going with outfielder Will Benson here. He projects to be a power hitting outfielder in the Major Leagues, and during his time as Pirate General Manager Neal Huntington has loved taking outfielders in the MLB Draft. His defense is a plus tool, and makes him valuable even if his power never develops.
Next: The Draft as a whole