Pittsburgh Pirates MLB 2017 Draft: Fourth Round Pick

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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The 2017 MLB Draft is into its second day. The Pittsburgh Pirates have made one pick so far today.  With that, they have made their fourth round selection.

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Neal Huntington have drafted a catching prospect with their fourth round pick. The Bucs had the 118th overall pick. With the number 118th pick, the Bucs selected Jason Delay.  Delay is a catcher from Vanderbilt University. The college catcher is expected to stay behind the plate.  He is listed as 6’0” and 210 pounds, a prototypical size for a catcher.  Furthermore, Delay throws and bats right handed. He was drafted in the 11th round by the San Francisco Giants in 2016 but decided to return to Vandy for his senior season.  With that, he will not have much negotiation leverage but still should receive more than he would have last year.

Delay is not a big time hitter, but one thing he did show this season was the ability to get on base.  He batted .309 on the year, but he was able to accumulate a .381 OBP. A big reason for this was the fact that he showed more discipline this year compared to last year.  Last year he walked just 7 times in 45 games.  For the 2017 season, he increased that number to 18. In general, his k/bb ratio went from 5.00 to 2.44.  The now former Commodore does not have a lot of homerun pop.  He finished his Vandy career with just 4 home runs.  Nevertheless, if he can get on base and continue to play good defense behind the plate he should have a chance to work his way up the system.

Coach Corbin from Vanderbilt on Delay’s Arm: “He possesses one of the best throwing arms that we have had here at that position.”

He is ranked as Baseball America’s 256th best prospect.  MLB Pipeline does not have him in their top 200. Still, he should help with some prospect depth in the Pittsburgh Pirates system.  Catching prospects are always hard to come by so it is always good to see the Bucs investing a higher pick in that area.

Next: Write up on second round pick Cal Mitchell

Thoughts on His Bonus

Like the last pick in Busby, Delay is a bit of a reach.  However, he is a college catcher who should be able to step right into the organization and help some of the younger arms in the system develop.  He has four years of experience catching in the SEC, there is something to be said for that.  Also, as mentioned earlier, Busby should be an easy sign.  The bonus value for pick #118 is 450,500 dollars.  They should be able to get him under 400,000 dollars.  Any money saved will likely be used toward signing Shane Baz, Connor Uselton, and any other prospects who may slide down the board later in the draft.