Pittsburgh Pirates 2020 Draft: First Round, 7th Overall Pick


At long last Ben Cherington and the Pittsburgh Pirates have finally made their first round selection.  So who did they take at seventh overall?

This has been a long-anticipated day for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  When the team fired former General Manager Neal Huntington and hired Ben Cherington, the belief was the team would be in a better place in terms of drafting and developing talent.  Not only that, but Cherington also hired Steve Sanders, who was an integral part to the Blue Jays drafts over the last few years.  Like Cherington, Sanders was brought in with the belief that he would improve the team’s draft classes.

Tonight the new Front Office duo got a chance to make their first major impact on the Pittsburgh Pirates organization (besides the Marte trade).  The team had the seventh overall selection in the first round and with that gave Ben Cherington and opportunity to get a future star right away.  With the pick, the team selected New Mexico State infielder Nick Gonzales.

Gonzales is one the best pure bats in the draft not named Spencer Torkelson.  He is a second baseman but could play at multiple positions.  The pick was announced as a shortstop but he likely will have to move eventually if they want the bat to move quickly.  Still, the value lies in his bat, not his glove.

This year in just 16 games, Gonzales belted 12 home runs while posting an outstanding slash line of .448/.610/1.115.  He is not overall projectable, standing at just 5’11” and weighing around 190 pounds.  Still, his bat to ball skill is what makes him such a good hitter.  Here is more from MLB Pipeline of their number five rated draft prospect:

"Gonzales went out and won Cape Cod League MVP honors this past summer by hitting .351/.451/.630, he all but put an end to the caveats. The 5-foot-10 middle infielder has as much pure hitting ability as just about any bat in the 2020 class. He does it with a short and compact swing and a ton of bat speed, controlling the bat head extremely well through the strike zone. There’s strength in his compact frame."

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Overall this is a great pick for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a consensus top four ranked hitter coming in at number five on MLB Pipeline and number six on FanGraphs.  All along the word was they were looking at college hitters, and with Max Meyer and Emerson Hancock coming off the board, that made that decision easier.  Gonzales is a great first addition by the new staff.