Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Two College Arms in 4th and 5th Round

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates have made five picks already in the Major League Baseball Draft.  Here is who they grabbed with their next two picks.

The Pittsburgh Pirates took two high school players with their top twi picks in the draft this year.  They followed that up by taking three college hitters.  The team’s last pick came in the third round, which was the first of today.  They took University of Arizona outfielder Matt Fraizer with their first pick of the day.

Since then, the MLB Draft has continued on as is entering the sixth round now.  The Pittsburgh Pirates have made two more selections since taking Fraizer.  The team spent their fourth and their fifth-round pick drafting two college pitchers.

The fourth-round pick was used on a college pitcher named J.C. Flowers.  Flowers is a right-handed pitcher out of Florida State University, standing at 6’3” and weighs 190 pounds.  He was actually scouted as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher, but the Bucs decided they liked him better on the mound. He also was a wide receiver recruit out high school as well.  This continues the trend of taking players with above average athleticism.

Here is a scouting report on Flowers from Baseball America, where he is ranked as the 205th best available prospect:

"On the mound, Flowers has been used as FSU’s closer this spring, though he did start one game in early April against Jacksonville, when he pitched three innings and struck out three batters. Flowers’ fastball reaches the mid-90s at its best, but it usually sits in the low 90s and averages 91 mph. He has a hard slider or cutter that sits in the upper 80s and flashes above-average, but the pitch remains inconsistent. Flowers also shows a solid, third-pitch changeup."

Although he was mainly used as a reliever in college, there is a chance that the Bucs may try to see what he can do as a starter.  Being a dual position prospect, it was likely tough to get Flowers to be in starting pitching shape.  This past year he threw in 18 games and had a 1.66 ERA to go along with 20 strikeouts in 21.2 innings.  With his 6’3” frame and only weighing 190 pounds, there is a good chance that Flowers will fill out more and get a more consistent mid 90s fastball.

With their fifth round pick, the Bucs selected another college pitcher.  This time they took Nevada right-handed pitcher Grant Ford.  Ford is not ranked on MLB Pipeline’s or Baseball America’s Top Prospect boards.

Ford is not like most of the right-handed pitchers the Pittsburgh Pirates take, he is only 6’1” and weighs around 175 pounds.  Still, he had a solid season with Nevada this past year working as a multi-inning reliever.  The righty threw in 28 games and compiled five saves while posting a 2.76 ERA.  He also struck out 50 batters in his 45.2 innings of work.

There is not a ton of information about Ford’s pitches, however his fastball does sit in the low 90s and can bump up to the mid-90s at times.  According to Nevada Sports Net, Ford has “the best stuff” out of any pitcher coming out of the state of Nevada.

Next. Team Takes College Outfielder. dark

The Bucs will be back on the board soon with their sixth and seventh round picks.  They took two college relievers with these two picks, picks that will likely save them money against their Draft allotment.  The Bucs have taken a lot of college players, so it seems likely that they could look toward the prep ranks or at least starting pitching with their next few picks.