The Pittsburgh Pirates are in the middle of their 2018-2019 offseason. However, the team also will have plenty of draft picks in a few months.
As of now, the Pittsburgh Pirates are slated to have four draft picks of the top 75 picks in the 2019 MLB draft. The team is picking number 18 overall in the first round. Then, after their first-round pick, the team will have a pick at number 37 overall due to their failed attempt to sign Competitive Balance A pick Gunnar Hoglund in 2018. Their next pick comes in at number 57 overall which will be a second round pick, and the last pick will be a Competitive Balance B pick at number 73 overall.
So the team has a chance to add four really talented players next year. Also, they should have one of the top bonus budgets in baseball. One thing to keep in mind is that some of those picks could be moved around. First off, teams who get draft pick compensation for losing Qualified Free Agents slide in between the actual first round and the Competitive Balance A part of the draft. This could push the Bucs picks after number 18 down the board further. Also, the team is able to trade their Competitive Balance B draft pick.
With that, who are some of the prospects that the team could grab with their picks? Well, MLB Pipeline released their Top 50 Draft Prospect list yesterday. While it is not a mock draft per se, it still can give a good estimation of where potential prospects are valued. For instance, Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman is ranked number one while prep shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. is ranked number two. However, many believe Witt is the more likely of the two to go first overall. So here are the players that are ranked around the Pittsburgh Pirates top two picks.
The Pittsburgh Pirates first draft pick is at number 18 overall. MLB Pipeline has some very intriguing prospects ranked in that range. At number 18 overall they have a prep outfielder by the name of Jerron Ealy out of Jackson Prep in Mississippi. According to MLB Pipeline, he is a two-star athlete who is also a four star running back recruit. He is committed to Ole’ Miss for both baseball and football. Other players ranked in the area are former Pittsburgh Pirates pick and current TCU left-handed pitcher Nick Lodolo at number 16, prep right-hander pitcher Matt Allan at number 17, and prep first base/left-handed pitcher Spencer Jones at number 19.
For the Pittsburgh Pirates pick at number 37, there is a more mixed group between prep players and college players. At number 37 overall MLB Pipeline has a prep left-hander by the of Hunter Barco. Barco is a 6’4” lefty who is committed to the University of Florida. With that being said, Barco is tagged as one of the players who could shoot up draft boards this spring due to his size and being a lefty. The two college players ranked around number 37 are right-handed pitcher Ryne Nelson out of Oregon at number 36 and a 6’6” righty Alex Manoah out of the University of West Virginia at number 38.
As mentioned above, the team has multiple draft picks coming up next year. While the team’s first-round pick is set in stone, their three later picks will likely slide down the board a few spots. Also, keep in mind that the players on the top 50 list can improve and regress depending on how their upcoming seasons go.