The Pittsburgh Pirates will have the 18th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. The draft is less than two weeks from now and will take place from June 3-5.
Here at Rum Bunter, we have been trying to keep up with as many prospects that could possibly go to the Pittsburgh Pirates in this year’s MLB Draft. For a while now it seemed pretty clear that the team would use their 18th overall pick in one of two ways. Many sites such as Baseball America and MLB Pipeline have projected the Bucs to take a shortstop or a right-handed prep pitcher.
However, it has seemed that both sites are convinced that the Bucs will not miss out on taking a shortstop on the first day of the draft in some capacity, whether it’s with pick number 18 or number 37. So far the most common name that has been connected to the Bucs has been Alabama prep shortstop Gunner Henderson.
In MLB Pipeline’s mock draft from last week, Jim Callis had the Pittsburgh Pirates selecting Illinois prep pitcher Quinn Preister. This would make sense as the Bucs are always looking at projectable right-handed pitchers. However, this has changed in the most recent update from Jonathan Mayo at MLB Pipeline. Mayo still believes that the Bucs will look for a prep player, but not a shortstop or a right-handed pitcher.
Mayo has the Pittsburgh Pirates selecting Texas prep third baseman Brett Baty. Baty is a projectable power bat that stands at 6’3” and weighs 210 pounds. He bats left-handed and is expected to able to stick at third base, although it’s not a guarantee. Currently, Baty is committed to the University of Texas, but signability is not considered to be a concern. Here is what Mayo had to say about Baty’s draft stock:
"“Yes, Baty is old for his class at 19 1/2. But if he were to go on to Texas and be a Draft-eligible sophomore in two years, no one would be saying anything about his age. And he can flat out hit.”"
Baty being one of the older players may actually be a good thing. One thing that really bothers Pittsburgh Pirates fans is how long it takes for our prospects to climb up the system. Baty, being older and more physically mature, might be more aggressively moved up through the system. Also, he will help fill a major need for the Pittsburgh Pirates being one of the best pure power bats in the 2019 draft class.