Pittsburgh Pirates 2017 MLB Draft: 8th Round Pick
The 2017 MLB Draft is into its second day. The Pittsburgh Pirates have made two picks so far today. With that, they have made their sixth round selection.
The Pittsburgh Pirates continued to go pitcher heavy with their draft. After selecting Shane Baz and Steven Jennings with their first two picks, both high school arms, they added a third arm in the sixth round with Cody Bolton. This pick added to the three, but he was from the college ranks.
Blake Weiman is a 6’4″ and 208 pound left-handed pitcher from Kansas. This is the fourth year in a row that they have drafted a pitcher from the college ranks in the eighth round. Weiman follows along the lines of a pitcher the team selects late in the draft to spend later, just like Cam Vieaux – a left-handed pitcher drafted in the sixth round from Michigan State – was last year.
Weiman only throws a fastball in the low 90s, which is not the picture we have of Pirates pitchers. In fact, Weiman was moved to the bullpen full-time in his junior season. On the year, the left hander pitched in 30 games and posted a 2.80 ERA. In his Freshman year, Weiman posted a 6.75 ERA, and last year he had a 6.82 ERA.
The big key for Weiman this season was limiting the walks. In his three years as a Jay Hawk, Weiman’s walks per nine innings were 2.09, 3.26, and 1.00. He was also able to improve his strike outs out of the bullpen, posting a 11.0 K/9 this season compared to the 6.53 K/9 he posted last year.
Baseball America ranks Weiman 370 in their prospect rankings. They note that his mechanics and control could allow the Pirates to develop Weiman as a starter, but because of his inability to pitch deep into games, a reliever is most likely.
Adding a relief prospect to a system is always a head scratcher. There is no real upside to it, as relief pitchers are a dime a dozen, especially when they throw with the velocity that Weiman has. What the pick can do, if the Pirates area able to sign him, is save for some of the high school players that they have taken.
*Numbers from the baseball cube