The Pittsburgh Pirates have plenty to sort out between now and the 2020 MLB Draft. However, they did learn when they will make their second pick.
When the Pittsburgh Pirates finished in last place of the National League Central and won only 69 games, they secured the second-worst record in the National League. The number seven pick is the highest the Pittsburgh Pirates have drafted since 2011 when they took Gerrit Cole first overall.
With Ben Cherington and new Assistant General Manage Steve Sanders coming in, one area that fans expect to improve is drafting and development. The good news is that teams with higher picks and more picks obviously have a higher chance of finding potential impact players.
The Pittsburgh Pirates not only have the seventh overall pick, but they also will have an additional higher pick. Every year the Pittsburgh Pirates and 13 other teams are awarded “Competitive Balance Picks” which are for teams with poor winning percentages and in smaller markets. Over the last few years it has changed from a lottery to a system that teams flip rounds every other year (Comp A and Comp B).
Last year, the Pittsburgh Pirates had their Competitive Balance pick after the second round. This year the team will have their pick right after the first round wraps up. The Orioles have the 31st overall pick which then will be followed up by the Pittsburgh Pirates at pick number 32. This is the highest pick the team has ever had since the installation of the Competitive Balance rounds.
Having the extra pick is obviously a really good thing, especially for a new front office. It will be important for Cherington and Sanders to put together a quality first draft class and having two high picks can only help. The team will have a chance to not only get one big-time prospect but also find another high upside one at number 32. However, it also will add more money to their overall draft bonus pool allowing them more flexibility to be aggressive.
Obviously, the draft is not until June so it will be a while before this is relevant. Still, in today’s modern world, coverage of the draft starts earlier and earlier and there is more information available than ever before. With teams able to trade their Competitive Balance picks, while rare to see, it could also make an interesting way for the Pirates to add talent quickly to the system by acquiring these type of picks.