The Pittsburgh Pirates are most definitely going to end up with one of the top picks in the 2021 MLB Draft. So who are some to pay attention too?
One thing that has come out of the Pittsburgh Pirates 2020 season so far is that there are some fans understanding where this team stands. They know that the current roster is devoid of talent due to the previous regime. Furthermore, this is not something that can be fixed overnight and the main way for a team like the Pittsburgh Pirates to fix it is through drafting and developing.
Enter Ben Cherington and Steve Sanders. Cherington and Sanders were both hired away from the Toronto Blue Jays organization where they focused on the draft and player development. Cherington has rebuilt the Red Sox farm system and the Toronto Blue Jays system through targeting the right players in the draft and having the right pieces in place to develop them.
The new Front office got off to a really strong start in terms of drafting with this year’s draft class. Their class overall was ranked in the top five by most publications. Furthermore, they landed an elite hitter in Nick Gonzales with the seventh overall pick. Gonzales was a consensus top five ranked prospect, so it was good to see the Bucs get plus value at number seven.
After the team took Gonzales, they went on to select five straight pitchers. Pitching was a huge need in the organization and Cherington, knowing he got an elite bat already, knew he could be aggressive towards arms. Hopefully, the strategy pays off, as they selected a lot of power arms with plus spin rates.
With the team having a really poor start to the season, the phrase “Tank for Kumar”, or like we have started to say “Krash for Kumar”, has become popular among Pirates fans. Kumar Rocker is one of the aces for the Vanderbilt Commodores. Rocker was viewed as a potential first-round pick in 2018, but let teams know he planned on sticking to his college commitment. It has worked out; Rocker took home the College World Series Most Outstanding Player award in his freshmen year.
However, Rocker is not necessarily even considered the sure-fire number one pick next year just yet, and if the MLB implements a lottery of sorts, then the team will likely only be really guaranteed a top three pick, although if they have the worst record they would still have the best odds at number one. Who are some of the prospects to keep in mind as the Pittsburgh Pirates continue on their 2020 season?