The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of many teams that could end up with the worst record in Major League Baseball this season. So how will the draft order play out for the 2021 Draft?
With the Pittsburgh Pirates struggling mightily to win games this season, there has been a lot of talk about obtaining the number one overall pick for the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft. In fact, this talk started well before the season, as the team did not have much turnover from their 2019 team, who went 69-93. Furthermore, a new front office tends to reset things when being hired by an organization.
If the Front Office’s plan was truly to “tank” this season, then the Bucs are right inline with their strategy. Right now the team has the worst record in Major League Baseball. Naturally that lines up them up for the top selection. However, there was never a concrete decision made about how the League would alter how they determined the draft order due to the shortened season. Many expected that in typical Pittsburgh Pirates form, the club would somehow not end up with the coveted top pick.
There is finally some clarity coming out about the issue. Jeff Passan of ESPN has reported that Major League Baseball is planning on using the reverse standings to determine the 2021 Draft order. This is obviously good news for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are in position to grab an elite talent in next year’s draft:
Right now, the odds on favorite for the first overall pick is Vanderbilt starter Kumar Rocker. However, if one takes a look at FanGraphs’ The Board for the 2021 draft class, they actually have moved pitcher Jack Leiter, son of Al Leiter, in front of Rocker. What will be most interesting is that both Rocker and Leiter pitch for Vanderbilt, so while they are pitching for the Commodores, they are also both jockeying for the number one spot in the draft.
The good news is that there is still plenty of time until next year’s draft, so players will have more than enough time to prove themselves. Of course, the only final issue to worry about is whether or not the Bucs will finish with the worst record in MLB. The Pittsburgh Pirates are well ahead with only 15 wins on the year, while the Rangers have 19. It would take a lot for the Bucs to not get the first pick next year.