Yesterday, one of the top draft scouting sites, Baseball America, put out their most recent mock draft. They have the Pittsburgh Pirates taking a pitcher.
As the draft gets closer, it becomes more and more clear what teams are looking for in this year’s MLB Draft. The Pittsburgh Pirates have four picks on day one, which will allow them to get creative and bring in plenty of promising prospects. The Bucs will have the 18th overall pick, the 37th, 57th, and the 72nd pick.
One thing has been made apparent by the top scouting sites like Baseball America and MLB Pipeline: The Pittsburgh Pirates are very likely looking at either a left side of the infield prospect or right-handed pitching prospect with their 18th overall pick. This has been the consistent trend in almost all the recent mock drafts.
MLB Pipeline has recently put out two mock drafts over the last week. In the first one, Jim Callis had the Pittsburgh Pirates selecting right-handed prep pitcher Quinn Priester. In the second one, Jonathan Mayo projected the Bucs taking high school third baseman Brett Baty. In the last mock draft done by Baseball America, they had the Pittsburgh Pirates selecting prep shortstop Gunner Henderson, who was also mocked to the Bucs in previous MLB Pipeline mock drafts as well.
Well, yesterday the Baseball America put out their most recent projections for the MLB Draft. This time, they have Gunnar Henderson sliding past the Bucs and not going off the board until pick number 25. So who do they have the Pirates taking? At the 18th pick, they are projecting the Pittsburgh Pirates to take prep right-hander Brennan Malone.
Malone is a right-handed pitcher who attends IMG Academy in Florida. He is projected in most mocks to go somewhere between pick number 13 and number 23. Malone is a projectable pitcher standing at 6’3” and weighing 200 pounds. He already has a fastball that hits as high as 96 and has a projectable slider and curveball. Here is what Baseball America had to say on their Malone projection:
"Malone checks some of the boxes that the Pirates have previously gone after with prep arms early in the draft and this is the range that his name, and Quinn Priester’s start to come up more. Logan Davidson could still be a possibility here."
Like MLB Pipeline’s recent mock draft, Baseball America understands what the Pittsburgh Pirates look for in the draft. Neal Huntington and staff have always put a premium on drafting right-handed starting pitching prospects as well as athletic shortstops. It seems that the expectation is for the Bucs to take one of the two positions on June 3rd when the first round begins.