The Pittsburgh Pirates have the 31st overall pick which falls in the Competitive Balance round. They could look to bolster their pitching prospect depth with the pick.
When the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft eventually does happen, the Pittsburgh Pirates will have three picks inside the top 45. They have the seventh, 31st, and 44th picks in the draft respectively. We have looked at several options over the last week at who the team could take with the 31st pick, which has included multiple prospects.
Another prospect who could be considered at the 31st pick is right-handed starter Slade Cecconi. Cecconi pitches collegiately for the Miami Hurricanes and actually played high school ball in Florida as well. He has the big-right hander frame, standing at 6’4” and weighing 215 pounds, which gives him a ton of projectability.
He also is a draft-eligible Sophomore, making him one of the younger college arms available. Cecconi was off to a strong start to his Sophomore season before everything was shut down. Through his first four starts, he owned a 3.80 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 21.1 innings of work. The strikeout stuff is there to go along with his frame.
Now it’s not just his frame to be excited about, but his power stuff. He already has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and has topped out as high as 97. The fact that he has a 6’4” frame to with some room to add gives him a chance to run that fastball up more consistently. Here is more from Baseball America on Cecconi:
"“…has a slider, cutter and changeup that all flash plus. On top of the quality of Cecconi’s pitches, scouts like his frame and strike-throwing ability but believe he gets too much of the plate at times. At the moment, Cecconi fits in the second round thanks to his track record and performance, but his overall talent likely fits higher than that.”"
Right now Cecconi is ranked as Baseball America’s number 32 overall prospect. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the 31st overall pick in the draft so the big right-hander very well could be there. Ben Cherington has already shown that he wants to add projectable pitching prospects to the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system. Cecconi fits that mold with his size, power fastball, and the potential of his secondary pitches.
Furthermore, he is one of the youngest college pitchers in baseball being he is a draft-eligible sophomore, which could line him up to join top prospects Quinn Priester, Brennan Malone, and Tahnaj Thomas. If the Pittsburgh Pirates could add Cecconi to that group they will have a really good core of pitchers to build around.