Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Picks Number 174 and 204

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /

The 2018 MLB Draft is underway. The Pittsburgh Pirates 174th and 204th overall pick in the fourth round has come and gone.  The Pirates have selected Michael Flynn and Brett Kinneman with their fourth and fifth selections of the second day.

The Pirates selected an athletic collegiate outfielder from South Alabama in Travis Swaggerty with their first pick of the draft, and followed that pick up with high school arms Gunnar Hoglund and Braxton Ashcraft in with their next two picks, both fitting the traditional mold of Pirates prep pitchers.

In the third round, the Pirates selected shortstop Connor Kaiser from Vanderbilt.  With the 114th overall pick, and the Pirates second pick of the day, the club drafted pitcher Aaron Shortridge from Berkley.  Both the third and fourth round picks seem to be moves to save money for later prep players.  In the fifth round, the Pirates drafted catcher Grant Koch in the fifth round.

In the sixth round, the Pirates once again went back to the collegiate ranks and selected pitcher Michael Flynn from Arizona.  The slot value for this pick is $275,600 . The 6’4″ and 185 pound right-hander ranks as a collegiate arm on Fangraphs, while ranking 188 on MLB Pipeline and 193 on Baseball America.

This season Flynn had a 4.89 ERA in 72.3 innings, including a 21.8 percent strikeout rate and 8.8 percent walk rate.  Last season out of the bullpen, Flynn posted a 3.29 ERA in 52 innings with a 22.9 percent strikeout rate and 6.1 percent walk rate.

Baseball America notes that he has a four pitch mix and is able to be around the zone.  If the stuff plays up, there’s a back end starter in there.  If not, a relief option sounds possible, especially if he adds more to the frame to sit more 92-95 and not the 89-95 Baseball America mentions.  Like Shortridge, a depth option at max ceiling seems likely.

In the seventh round, the club has selected Brett Kinneman, an outfielder from North Carolina State.  Slot value for this pick is $215,000.  The 6’0″ and 200 pound left-fielder ranks as a collegiate bat on Fangraphs, 148th on MLB Pipeline, and 160th on Baseball America.

This past season he hit .274/.392/.581 with a strikeout rate of 23 percent and a walk rate of 16.3 percent.  He displayed some pop this year after slugging .502 last season, though he also cut his strikeout rate down from 26.3 percent.

Kinneman has swing and miss to his game, seen in the strikeout rates, but the left-handed hitter did play well this year in a big time conference.  How the overall bat to ball skill and swing and miss progress will determine the future of Kinneman.

Next: Pirates Draft Pick Number 144

In rounds six and seven the Pirates once again added collegiate players by selecting pitcher Michael Feliz and outfielder Brett Kinneman.