The Pittsburgh Pirates are apparently set to sign their first-round pick from this year’s draft class. However, there is other news regarding the new infielder.
It was a dream scenario for the Pittsburgh Pirates. When the Seattle Mariners were on the clock with the sixth overall pick, both infielder Nick Gonzales and pitcher Emerson Hancock were still on the board. This was great for the Pittsburgh Pirates because they were guaranteed to land one of the elite college talents in the draft.
When it was all said and done, the Mariners selected Hancock leaving the Pittsburgh Pirates Nick Gonzales. This was actually a good thing, as I was personally torn between Hancock and Gonzales, so the fact that only one was left on the board made that decision a lot easier.
Overall, the Bucs are getting one of the best pure hitters in the draft. Only Spencer Torkelson has higher immediate upside and power, but in terms of the better bat to ball skills, Gonzales is right there with Torkelson. Still, Gonzales was no slouch this year; belting 12 home runs in just 16 games, but his physical build at 5’10” will somewhat limit his overall power ceiling.
According to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Bucs have reached an agreement with the New Mexico State middle infielder. Mackey tweeted yesterday that Gonzales would complete his physical today.
It looks like he has passed his physical. As I am writing this, Alex Stumpf, of DKPittsburghSports.com, has reported that Gonzaales is signing for the exact slot amount of $5,432,400.
The most interesting note here is the fact that he is getting exactly the amount of his slot. I thought he could possibly cost a little over-slot being a top five talent falling to seven, but at the same time, he has limited leverage with the current situation. As a result, this is good news and likely means that the draft savings with the later round picks will be used on Carmen Mlodzinski and Jared Jones, who reportedly signed.
The last tidbit of news is that Baseball America has released their post draft top 100 prospect list. The team landed four prospects inside the top 100 with Mitch Keller at number 52, Ke’Bryan Hayes at number 62, and Oneil Cruz at number 63.
The best part of the list is to see Nick Gonzales ranked at number 59 already. This is a big add for the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system, and he has the potential to move up to the big league club quickly.