Pittsburgh Pirates Make A Surprise Draft Pick Signing
The Pittsburgh Pirates are putting the final touches on their 2019 Draft class. The team signed a big-time prospect and another college bat.
The Pittsburgh Pirates were quick to lock up their top draft picks this year. They reportedly agreed to terms with their first-round pick Quinn Priester before all 40 rounds had even finished. He and Sammy Siani were the only two high school players that the Bucs drafted within their first 10 rounds of picks.
The Pittsburgh Pirates and Neal Huntington often use this strategy with their drafts. They look for the prep players that have signability concerns and end up sliding to the third day. Then they take their overall savings from their draft bonus pool and offer the players bigger bonuses than what they would have gotten in the rounds on day two.
Well, the Bucs did it again this year and have now signed their 23rd round pick. Yes, 23rd round sounds very late, but the team took a chance drafting a prep player whom team’s thought would go college. According to Tim Williams, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed outfield prospect Jasiah Dixon.
Dixon was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates out of California’s baseball prospect factory, Orange Lutheran High School. He had a commitment to the University of Southern California, which is why many assumed that he would go to school, growing up right down the road. Instead, the Bucs were able to convince him to play professional baseball.
Dixon stands at 6’1” and weighs around 175 pounds and was considered one of the best athletes in the draft class. This shows in his game, which is made up of plus speed, plus defense, and a lot of raw power. However, the big flaw in Dixon’s game is that he struggles to make consistent contact at times. While the Bucs drafted him at 694th overall, Dixon was rated as Baseball America’s 177th best prospect in the draft. Here is more on Dixon from Baseball America:
"“Dixon long intrigued with his tools and finally added performance this spring, batting .352 with 15 stolen bases while playing some of the best high school competition in the country.”“He shows bat-to-ball skills but lacks natural timing or feel for the barrel, resulting in a lot of mishit balls and poor quality contact. He has plus bat speed and flashes raw power when he gets into proper launch position. Dixon’s tools have him in fifth- to eighth-round consideration even with questions about his bat. He is committed to Southern California”"
The Bucs are very close to spending their complete draft allotment, and the dollar agreement hasn’t been announced yet. Still, the Pirates have signed all of their top picks and a few intriguing late rounds picks, like Dixon.
This is a big pickup for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They essentially got a prospect who should have gone a lot higher in the draft. He also has the makings of a player that could quickly end up in the Bucs Top 30 prospect list. The team also signed 32nd round pick Jake Wright, an outfielder from Coastal Carolina, who like Dixon, the terms haven’t been announced but are presumably greater than the $125,000 a team can sign a player for post the 10th round without it counting against their draft pool.