The Pittsburgh Pirates officially were on the clock and made their pick. The team had the #10 overall pick in the first round.
The Pittsburgh Pirates had the number 10 overall pick in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft. They were able to add another high-end talent to an already strong farm system. With the pick, they took outfielder Travis Swaggerty. Swaggerty played in centerfield for South Alabama University. He was a little bit of a surprise pick, as many expected the Bucs to go toward the prep pitching market.
However, Swaggerty was the top college hitting prospect left on the board. He is 5’11” and weighs 180 pounds. The outfielder hits lefty and throws lefty, and the MLB Network analyst compared him to Austin Meadows in terms of all-around talent. MLB Pipeline had him ranked as the number 11 best overall prospect while Baseball America had him ranked as the number 11 pick as well. Here is MLB Pipeline’s scouting report on Swaggerty:
"“Swaggerty is an on-base machine thanks to his speed (which earns well-above-average grades from some evaluators) and patient approach. A left-handed hitter, he does swing and miss a bit much for a player with a leadoff profile because he can get overly aggressive at times, especially against breaking pitches. Though he didn’t go deep in 64 at-bats with wood bats on Team USA, he packs some sneaky power in his athletic frame and could produce 20 or more homers per season in the big leagues.”"
Swaggerty is somewhat of an interesting prospect. He is not a big, projectable hitter, who needs time to mature and fill out. His athleticism is off the charts and seems like the type of player who should enter into High-A immediately, if not next year. He enters an organization that is known for developing quality outfielders. The Pittsburgh Pirates have seen the outfielders they have developed move out the system and to the major league level. Taking an outfielder helps fill a position that has started to dry up in the system. He will join Bryan Reynolds as the top outfield prospects in the system. Swaggerty should come in ranked as the a top 15 prospect before even playing a game.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have a slot allotment of $4.56 million dollars that they spend on Swaggerty. Being he is a college bat from a smaller University it is likely that he will sign for a little less than that. If that is the case, the Bucs will be able to take a higher end prospect at pick number 36. If they save money they might be able to pick up a prep player who slid due to signability concerns and convince him to sign. With that being said, the Bucs added a nice all-around player in Swaggerty and took a position of need in the organization.