Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Pick Number 50

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2017 MLB Draft is underway. The Pittsburgh Pirates 42 overall pick in the second round has come and gone.  The Pirates have selected Calvin Mitchell with their second of two second-round selection.

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Neal Huntington have added another prospect to their pipeline.  In the first round at pick number 12, the Pirates selected Shane Baz, a right-handed pitching prospect who is committed to TCU.  In the second round, the club selected Steven Jennings.  Now, at pick number 50, the Pittsburgh Pirates have selected Calvin Mitchell.  Baseball America ranks him as the number 74 prospect, meanwhile, MLB Pipeline has him ranked 79.  MLB Pipeline describes him as,

"“Over the summer, Mitchell showed plus raw power, driving balls to all fields. He’s changed his setup at the plate now, with his hands into his body more, with a top-hand heavy, pull side approach. Perhaps he’s trying to show more in-game power, but this spring it’s resulted in a lot more swing-and-miss with no feel to go the other way. The main issue is that Mitchell’s carrying tool is his bat. He’s acceptable in left field, but while he has solid instincts, he’s not a runner.”"

The Pirates outfield prospect list runs thin after Austin Meadows.  Cal Mitchell, a high school outfielder from Rancho Bernardo High School in California.  Mitchell, as you can see in his description from MLB Pipeline, is not the fastest, so a move from the left field would occur given PNC Park’s dimensions.

He stands at 6’0″ and 191 pounds and doesn’t turn 19 until January.  He can add some to his frame, but given his height probably not much.  If he can grow into power, it would be an addition.  Given his change in approach to add more power, but in result striking out more, the Pirates could look to have him revert the approach.

The slot value for this pick is $1,357,300, and MLB Pipeline noted that,

"“Based on his performance this spring, Mitchell might not be a top three rounds candidate, which could mean he might be headed to the University of San Diego.”"

Given Shane Baz has supposed signability issues, the Pirates selection of Mitchell could allow them to go under slot value here and instead spend the money on Baz.

Next: Pirates Pick Number 42

The first two picks of the draft, Baz and Jennings, gave the Pirates high upside arms that they can control.  This pick is a bit of a head scratcher, even with outfield prospects being thin.  Unless he goes well below slot, this pick seems like a reach.