The Pittsburgh Pirates have multiple top picks this year in the Major League Baseball Draft. What is the latest on who they could possibly take?
The Pittsburgh Pirates will have four draft picks on the first day on this year’s MLB Draft. The team’s top pick will be at number 18 overall after finishing with 82 wins in the 2018 season. They also will have the number 37 overall pick. This pick is coming to them due to failing to sign Gunnar Hoglund in last year’s draft. Then, of course, they have their tradition second round pick at number 57. Their last pick, number 72 overall, will be held during the Supplemental Second Round.
Baseball America is one of the best, if not the best, sites for MLB draft analysis. They do an excellent job of covering all the prospects across the world, including both high school and college draft prospects.
This year Baseball America had already put out a mock draft. In their original one, they had the Pittsburgh Pirates taking a college pitcher by the name of Tyler Dyson at pick number 17. So who do they have in their updated mock draft? Well, Dyson’s stock has since fallen and Baseball America does not even have him projected in the first round anymore.
However, they still think that the Pittsburgh Pirates will go with a college pitcher. Baseball America now has the Pittsburgh Pirates taking right-handed starter and West Virginia Mountaineer Alek Monoah. Monoah is the type of pitcher that fits the Pittsburgh Pirates mold, a power arm with a big frame. He stands at 6’6” and weighs around 250 pounds. Here is what Baseball America had to say on Manoah:
"“The Pirates have taken a number of big pitchers with big stuff, and Manoah certainly fits that mold. Through eight starts and 51.2 innings, Manoah has a 2.44 ERA with 65 strikeouts and 15 walks and is coming off an eight-inning shutout of Oklahoma State in which he fanned 11 batters and walked none.”"
Monoah is an interesting prospect that the Bucs could consider. He seems to fit the mold of their type of pitcher and should advance through the system rather quickly. Also, with pitching at West Virginia, he would have a good idea of how to pitch here in the often colder springs.
The other note that Baseball America made was about a certain prep pitcher in Florida. Apparently, the team has been doing a lot of work around Florida left-hander Hunter Barco. Barco is projected to go about 10 picks lower than where the Bucs are at number 17. He is a 6’4” lefty that is committed to Virginia.
Now, this would not be surprising to see the Bucs take Barco at number 37 if he somehow felt. Although, it should not be completely out of the question for the team to take him at number 17 either. The Bucs often take rising prospect and ones that they specifically like and not the names that are expected to go.
They did this with Cole Tucker and Ke’Bryan Hayes in the past. Both of them were projected to go later than they were drafted. Either way, the Pittsburgh Pirates have not drafted a pitcher since the 2012 draft in the first round. Baseball America seems to think that trend could end this year.