The Pittsburgh Pirates are in position to add significant talent through the MLB Draft this year. The team has three picks inside the top 45 selections.
The other day I took a look at the Pittsburgh Pirates draft capital for the 2020 Major League Draft. The team has the seventh, 31st, and 44th selections on the first day of the draft. They also have the fifth highest bonus pool to use toward signing their picks.
There has been a lot of focus on the potential prospects the team could take at numbers seven and 31. However, having such a high second-round pick at 44th overall should set them up to acquire another top 15 organizational prospect. MLB Pipeline has prep outfield prospect Petey Haplin ranked as the 44th best prospect in the draft.
Who does Baseball America project to be the 44th best prospect in the 2020 Draft? According to their most recent update, the Pittsburgh Pirates may get a shot at selecting a prospect who is currently sliding some in the rankings. Right now, Baseball America has right-handed prep pitcher Victor Mederos ranked in the Pittsburgh Pirates draft position.
Mederos is a projectable power arm, who stands at 6’4” and weighs around 215 pounds. This is the exact mold teams want when trying to develop prep pitching prospects. His fastball already hits in the mid-90s and as he matures he will likely add more velocity. Also, he already throws a two-seam fastball, along with a really good curveball, a changeup, and a slider. He has a full arsenal of pitches, which will give interested teams an opportunity to develop what they view as his best pitch-types.
Here is more from Baseball America’s Scouting report on Mederos:
"“Others believe he has solid athleticism for a big-bodied pitcher but also acknowledge that he needs to be more consistent in his delivery. While he has typically shown a 60-grade fastball, the pitch appeared closer to fringe-average in his final starts before the season ended. His curveball is his best secondary pitch, with a spin rate in the 2,600-rpm range as well as excellent power and finish. Some scouts have graded the pitch as high as a 70 on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale.”"
This sounds exactly like the type of pitching prospect that the previous regime would have targeted, a raw but very projectable pitcher. Ben Cherington operates in a similar fashion to Neal Huntington but also wants to bring in more risky upside talent.
The report on Mederos sounds like he could fit that mold. He has the pure stuff to be a top of the rotation type arm but has some question marks with command. Being he is a prep player that should not scare Ben Cherington away as there will be plenty of time to develop him. Mederos is committed to the University of Miami.