The Pittsburgh Pirates have the 12th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. With the draft being less than three weeks it is time to start looking at some potential picks.
The MLB Draft is one of the biggest times of the year for a team like the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bucs are a team that primarily builds through their farm system, but even more specifically the MLB draft. The draft is on June 12th and the Pittsburgh Pirates will be on the clock in a tough spot to predict. The Bucs are in a tough spot because it is really hard to predict if a certain prospect or two will fall out of top 10. Every year this happens, and team’s draft boards change accordingly. Go back to 2013 when no one really expected Austin Meadows to be available for the Pirates at nine. It is likely that a player will fall again.
One player who could fall into this gray area is Adam Haseley from the University of Virginia. Haseley is an outfielder, and along with Cavalier’s first baseman Pavin Smith, UVA will hace two top 15 picks. Haseley could be drafted as high as number seven or as low as number 15. The Pittsburgh Pirates could look at Haseley at number 12. Haseley fits everything the Pittsburgh Pirates look for in a player. He has a low strikeout rate, ability to get on base, and is highly athletic. Plus, he is a college bat, something that the Pittsburgh Pirates have prioritized in the last few drafts.
Haseley currently plays center field for the Cavaliers, and some scouts believe that he will be able to stick at that position. Even if he never reaches the big leagues as a center fielder, he obviously will be able to transition to right or left field without a problem. He has above average speed and would be able to cover PNC’s left field. His arm is the biggest question, but it is not a negative tool. The best thing about Haseley is his bat. This year Hasely boosted his average big time from .304 in 2016 to .400. He also has only struck out 19 times while walking 40 times in 53 games.
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This is one thing that the Pittsburgh Pirates look for in a hitter. Over the last few seasons, the Pirates have drafted low strikeout and high contact hitters in Kevin Newman and Will Craig. Both were considered two of the more advanced college bats, who may not have had as much upside as others, but were more polished if a product. Hasely seems to fit this mold. His ceiling is relatively high, obviously being a projected first round player, but he does not have the ceiling that others have that will go before him in the draft.
The last positive thing about Haseley is that he is a left handed bat, but can hit the ball all over the field. Haseley is not like most prototypical lefties who are pull happy. According to MLB Pipeline, Hasely
"“Uses the the entire field and while he features more fo an inside-out swing from the left side currently, an approach preached at Virginia because of the ballpark at home, there should be more pull side power to come. As it is, he’s showing more over-the-fence ability.”"
Essentially the Pittsburgh Pirates could also use an outfielder in the system. Over the last three drafts they have focused mainly on infielders early, taking Will Craig, Kevin Newman, Kevin Kramer, Cole Tucker, and Ke’Bryan Hayes with first and second round picks. They have not selected an outfielder high in the draft since 2013 when they took Austin Meadows. Meadows is now on the brink of his big league debut. It may be time for the Pittsburgh Pirates to add a top outfield prospect back into the system. Adam Haseley at number 12 overall could make a lot of sense.