The Pittsburgh Pirates wrapped up their 2020 draft last week. Apparently, they have already signed one of their top picks.
When Ben Cherington was hired by the Pittsburgh Pirates it caused excitement amount the fan base for a lot of reasons. However, the biggest reason was the reputation he had for being able to build up a strong farm system, especially through the Major League Baseball Draft.
Cherington had an opportunity to make an impact with his first draft with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. This year he had three picks inside the top 50 overall selections. It was expected that the Pittsburgh Pirates would focus on college players and they did with their first two picks by taking Nick Gonzales and Carmen Mlodzinski.
However, they did take one high upside high school arm in Jared Jones with their second-round pick at number 44 overall. Jones, a Texas native, was ranked as a second-round type prospect by most scouting services. According to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the 6’2” right-handed pitcher will forgo his commitment to the University of Texas and sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mackey tweeted:
Obviously the big thing here is that the team looks set to sign their only high school draft pick. Jones was expected to be the toughest of the Pirates draft class to sign for that very reason. Also, considering he had a commitment to play with the Longhorns, one of the better baseball programs in the country, there were no guarantees.
With that being said, one would expect that Ben Cherington had a strong idea that the two sides had a mutual interest in striking a deal. Jones will likely get the most money over his slot value, so any savings from the later round picks will likely go to him. Now what will be interesting is to see what the bonus number will be for Jones and if more of the team’s signings will start to come out.