Pittsburgh Pirates 2017 Draft: Final Look at Mocks
The 2017 Draft is less than two hours away from starting. The Pittsburgh Pirates will be on the clock with the 12th overall pick. With that, let’s take one last look at some mock drafts.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will be on the board four separate times tonight. The draft will be broadcasted on MLB Network, with coverage starting at 6:00 pm EST. The Minnesota Twins will officially go on the clock at 7:00 pm EST with the first overall pick. The Pittsburgh Pirates have picks at number 12, 42, 50, and 72 overall. Obviously, it is hard to project who the Pittsburgh Pirates are looking at with the number 12 pick, let alone their three other day one selections. However, mock drafts can give fans a good idea of what players may be available when the Bucs come on the board at number 12. Here are the latest mocks from Call to the Pen, Baseball America, and MLB Pipeline.
Call to the Pen
Call to the Pen writer Benjamin Chase projects the Pittsburgh Pirates to take prep pitcher Shane Baz. Baz is a 6’3” righty from Concordia Lutheran High School in Texas. He is known for his power fastball, which sits in the 92-96 range, and has reached as high as 98 according to MLB Pipeline. The biggest thing about Baz is that he has a hard commitment to Texas Christian University. The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Nick Lodolo in 2016, another pitcher who was committed to TCU. In the end, Lodolo chose TCU over the Bucs. Baz, being born and raised in Texas, may feel comfortable doing the same. The other issue with Baz, is that he seems to go against the Pittsburgh Pirates current draft philosophy. The Bucs have not taken a prep pitcher in the first round since 2010, as they have preferred to take prep arms that slide into the rounds outside of the first.
Baseball America put out their final mock draft this afternoon. The mock was put together by John Manuel, who always does a good job with his draft analysis. Manuel sees first baseman/outfielder Nick Pratto as a potential pick for the Bucs at number 12. Pratto is a left handed prep bat from Huntington Beach High School in California. Pratto could make sense, as he seems like an athletic enough player that could transition into the outfield, a spot that is drying up in the Bucs system. However, if the Bucs view him as a first baseman only, it does not seem like a good match. The Bucs used their first-round pick last year on Will Craig, who is currently employed at first base in High-A. Pratto has a commitment to USC.
One other note, Manuel says the Pittsburgh Pirates also seem to like Texas prep outfielder Tristen Lutz. Lutz looks more likely to go later in the first round, however.
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MLB Pipeline technically has two final mock drafts out. One is done by Jonothan Mayo, while the other is from Jim Callis. Mayo has the Pittsburgh Pirates selecting outfielder Jaren Kendall from Vanderbilt University. Kendall is a highly athletic outfielder with some raw power, but questions start and end with his ability to make consistent contact. The Bucs over the last few years have taken players with high contact rates in Will Craig and Kevin Newman, so it seems unlikely for them to take a player like Kendall. Callis, however, has the Bucs taking Baz. Callis is very high on Baz, and believes he should be worthy of a top 6 pick in the draft. I already noted above my thoughts on Baz.
My Ideal Pick
It is hard to say who may be available to the Pittsburgh Pirates at number 12. They very well could end up with a player who slips out of the top 10, or they could reach on a player to save some money for later picks. Rum Bunter contributor David Slusser hits on this idea in the link below. Regardless, if we look at Neal Huntington’s recent draft strategy, it can give us an idea if they stick to that philosophy. They likely will look for up the middle players, who can play multiple positions and are not prone to strikeouts. They also have trended more toward college hitters rather than prep hitters. With that, Adam Haseley, the outfielder from the University of Virginia, would be the player I would like to see the Pittsburgh Pirates select at number 12.
Next: Huntington on Trend at the Draft
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