Pittsburgh Pirates 2019 Draft: A Look at the Shortstops
The Pittsburgh Pirates have about three weeks before the annual Major League Baseball draft starts. Here are some potential shortstops they could look at.
If there was one complaint about the Pittsburgh Pirates offseason it was that they did not add a legitimate shortstop option. Part of the issue is that the team not only passed on acquiring a proven one, but they also have not developed any shortstop prospects.
Yes, the Bucs did use first round picks in 2014 and 2015 on shortstops in Cole Tucker and Kevin Newman. However, Newman had a chance to win the job last September and has been inconsistent this year. Meanwhile, Cole Tucker has had many ups and downs through his development and currently looks overmatched at the big league level. So could the Pittsburgh Pirates try to bring in another shortstop prospect in the draft this year? Here are some of the potential options.
To start, MLB Pipeline recently put out their updated mock draft. They had the Pittsburgh Pirates taking prep shortstop Gunnar Henderson with the 18th overall pick. Henderson plays high school ball in Alabama and stands at 6’3” and weighs 195 pounds. He is just 17 years old and does not turn 18 until the end of June, so he is one of the younger players in the draft class.
He is a bonafide athlete, obviously being a potential first-round shortstop, but he also stars in basketball. He is currently committed to Auburn, but the belief is he will forgo that commitment if he goes in the first round. He is considered a rising prospect due to his increase in power. He is a gap hitter that has the frame to have those turn into home runs down the road. The question, of course, is if he will stick at shortstop due to his frame and potential to fill out even more. Still, his athleticism should give him a chance to stick.
It seems that scouts are getting the feeling that the Pittsburgh Pirates are leaning towards shortstops because Baseball America also projects the Bucs to take a shortstop. In their most recent mock draft, they project the team to draft Clemson shortstop Logan Davidson. Davidson is also 6’3” but has a more slender frame at 185 pounds and is a switch hitter. Being in college, Davidson is likely physically filled out already.
He is considered to be one the best all-around shortstops in the class, although his glove is ahead of his bat. According to Baseball America, the Bucs are very “intrigued with Davidson and his set of tools.” He has shown those tools a little more this year and his having his best season so far. Davidson is batting .315/.432/.630 with 13 home runs and 16 steals. He has also added 15 doubles and two triples. Davidson does have a potential speed and power combo that could be intriguing especially being that he will likely stick at shortstop.
There are a number of other shortstops who could be around for the Bucs pick at number 38 if they do not get one at number 18. There are names like Texas A&M shortstop Braden Shewmake or Puerto Rico prep shortstop Mathew Lugo. There are also some rising names in the high school ranks like Brooks Lee and Anthony Volpe. With two scouting sites projecting the Bucs to take a shortstop, there is a good chance the team will get one on the first day of the draft.