Pittsburgh Pirates: Baseball America Projects Left-Handed Starter Again


The Major League Baseball Draft is less than a month away.  Here is the latest from Baseball America on who they think the Pittsburgh Pirates will select.

The 2020 Major League Baseball Draft is going to officially happen, which is good news for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Ben Cherington and new Assistant General Manager Steve Sanders have built their reputation on finding talent through the draft, so this could be a very big year for the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise.  The draft is less than a month away, and with that, there are more and more prospect sites putting out their scouting reports, top lists, and of course mock drafts.

There are only 29 picks in this year’s first-round due to the Houston Astros being stripped of theirs due to the cheating scandal.  While that does not directly impact the Pittsburgh Pirates first-round pick, it did technically move up their Competitive Balance pick from 32 to 31 and their second-round pick from 45 to 44.

Baseball America put out their most recent update to their 2020 mock draft yesterday.  This mock draft only looks at the true first round.  At number seven overall Baseball America has mocked Louisville left-handed pitcher Reid Detmers.  This is the second time that Baseball America has mocked Detmers to the Bucs.

A few days I wrote about how that Pittsburgh Pirates seem to be looking for a college bat with the seventh pick.  Kiley McDaniel of ESPN reported this in his latest mock draft.  In his article, he wrote that the team is hunting “college” and “bat”, not “college bat”.

So with that, if the right college bat is not available could Ben Cherington still go the college route but instead take a high upside arm?  If the Pittsburgh Pirates end up with Detmers they will be filling a massive hole in the organization.  Under Neal Huntington, the Bucs hardly invested in left-handed pitching prospects.

Detmers would automatically become the team’s top left-handed pitching prospect and has top-of-the-rotation stuff.  He is somewhat projectable, especially for a lefty, standing at 6’2” and weighing 210 pounds.  Here is a scouting report on Detmers from Baseball America:

"“Detmers’ fastball averages around 90-91 mph and touches 94 mph at his best, but it plays up and generates whiffs because Detmers is able to hide the ball well. Detmers also has outstanding control and command, along with one of the better breaking balls in the class. His low-70s curveball is a hammer, with massive depth and shape, which grades out as a plus offering at least.”"

While Detmers doesn’t have the best pure stuff out of the top tier pitching prospect, he does have some of the best control in the draft.  This has helped him develop into the Cardinals ace.  Even with an average fastball, Detmers struck out 48 hitters in 22 innings of work, so obviously he can pitch and miss bats.

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Overall, it seems the Pittsburgh Pirates will be taking a college player.  This is good news because the college players that will be available to them should move up the minor league system quickly. Furthermore, with a lack of spring season for high school seniors, teams likely were not able to fully analyze prep players.  At least with the college players, they have multiple years of stats and tape against college competition.