The Pittsburgh Pirates may have put their finishing touches on their 2018 draft class. The team has signed their 11th round pick.
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected three prep pitchers within the first 11 rounds of this year’s draft. The first was Gunnar Hoglund at pick number 36, in the Competitive Balance round. Then the team selected Texas high schooler Braxton Ashcraft in the second round at pick number 51 overall. Lastly, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected prep pitcher Michael Burrows in the 11th round.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have already locked up Ashcraft. The team agreed to an above slot deal with him that saw Ashcraft net nearly $500,000 more than his slot value. The pick at number 51 was worth $1,382,400, the now former Baylor recruit received $1,825,000$. With that, the team used practically all of their savings from other picks for Ashcraft. The Pittsburgh Pirates had a decision to make between Ashcraft and Hoglund. Since they gave Ashcraft the bulk of their leftover bonus money there is not much left to give to Hoglund. With Ashcraft getting that much over slot and no news on Hoglund, Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline reported that Hoglund is unlikely to sign.
11th Round Pick Michael Burrows
So instead, the team turned their focus to signing their 11th round pick in Michael Burrows. He is a right-handed pitcher from Waterford High School in Connecticut. MLB.com has him listed at a height of 6’2” and 183 pounds. So he is not as big as some projectable pitchers, but he showed dominant stuff in high school. According to one report, he struck out 21 of 22 batters in a game (Click Here). However, the University of Connecticut commit will be passing on college to begin his professional career. He has a reported fastball that is from the high 80s to low 90s, a changeup, slider, and curveball.
Burrows will receive a signing bonus worth $500,000, which is a lot when you consider that he was an 11th round pick. Picks after the 11th round are only eligible to get $125,000$. However, any money saved in the top 10 rounds can be used toward picks after the 10th round. This is why teams will often take prep players and other top players who slide down the draft board. The Pittsburgh Pirates did this with Max Kranick in 2016. Anyway, essentially the Pittsburgh Pirates gave Burrows $375,000 more than he was allotted. While Burrows was not as touted as Hoglund or Ashcraft, he obviously caught the eye of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hopefully, he can join the organization and show why he earned that bonus.