Pittsburgh Pirates: Baseball America Releases Early Mock Draft

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates finished up their worst season since 2010 and have a top 10 pick in next year’s draft.  Here is an early mock draft that was put out.

The MLB Draft is nearly eight months away from taking place.  While that seems far away, it will not be long until draft prospects start to participate in workouts, showcases, and games, especially at the college level.

The Pittsburgh Pirates had the second worst record in the National League, only behind the Miami Marlins.  The American League had a lot more teams with worse records, so the Bucs ended up getting the seventh overall pick for the 2020 Draft.  This is their highest pick since 2011 when they took Gerrit Cole first overall and 2012 when they took Mark Appel eighth overall.

Despite the draft not happening for another nine months, it can be interesting to see who experts think the Pittsburgh Pirates could consider with the pick.  Sites like Baseball America and MLB Pipeline do not simply just guess, but have information on who team’s are scouting.  For example, last year the Bucs were linked to pitchers and shortstops in for the first round.  They ended up taking right-handed pitcher Quinn Priester with their first round pick and the 18th overall pick in the draft.

Who could the Bucs look at this year?  Baseball America has actually put out an early mock draft.  They have the Bucs once again going with a high school pitcher with the seventh overall pick.  Baseball America projects the Pittsburgh Pirates to select Texas prep right-handed pitcher Jared Kelley.  Kelley goes to Refugio High School in Texas and is considered to be the top prep arm in the draft class.  Here is what Baseball America had to say on the Pittsburgh Pirates mocked selection:

"“Kelley’s overall profile is a much more traditional fit for a top-10 high school arm—though it’s also a profile that comes with plenty of risk. The physical, 6-foot-3, 215-pound righty from Refugio (pronounced Reh-fury-oh) has the best now-stuff in the class, with a fastball routinely up to 98 mph and a future plus changeup. Kelley has a pretty easy delivery and impressive command in addition to his pure stuff”"

There are a few things to look at here.  First and foremost, he is the top prep pitcher in the draft meaning the Bucs would be getting one of the elite talents available.  Also, he posses a plus changeup, which is something that is hard to find in prep pitchers.  Plus, Kelley has the big frame that one likes to see in a pitching prospect.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of their draft picks last year on college hitters, especially outfielders.  In general, they seem to have developed more hitting than pitching over the last few years.  The fact that they could look to add another elite arm in the system would be a positive thing.