Pittsburgh Pirates: Baseball America’s ‘Way Too Early’ Mock Draft


Baseball America has released their ‘way too early’ mock draft for the 2021 MLB Draft. Who does the publication project the Pittsburgh Pirates to select with the number one overall pick in the draft?

The shortened 60-game 2020 season did not go the way the Pittsburgh Pirates or their fans had hoped. Limping to a 19-41 finish, the Pirates ended the 2020 season with the worst record in all of Major League Baseball.

Ok, so, maybe things did not go poorly in the eyes of the Pittsburgh Pirates. New general manager Ben Cherington was embarking on a rebuild that started when he took over last November, and few things can help during a rebuild more than having the top pick in the draft can.

Due to the COVID-19 shortened season, it was not known if the team with the worst record would get the top pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. Due to this, it appeared that the Pittsburgh Pirates could potentially get the short end of the stick. Well, we now know that this is not the case.

MLB announced on Tuesday that the 2021 draft order will indeed be based on team records from the 2020 season. This means that it will be Cherington and the Pirates selecting number one overall next summer. This will be the fifth time in franchise history that the Pirates selected number one overall, and the first time since they drafted Gerrit Cole in 2011.

Following this announcement, Baseball America released their ‘way too early’ mock draft on Wednesday. Who does Baseball America currently project the Pittsburgh Pirates to draft? Well, it should come as no surprise.

Baseball America’s mock draft projects the Pirates to draft Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker with the number one overall pick in the draft. Throughout the season Twitter hashtags such as #TankForKumar were popular among Pirate fans, and now the team will have the opportunity to select Rocker if they so choose, and this is what Baseball America believes they will do.

The 6-foot-5, 255 pound right hander burst onto the scene with Vanderbilt in 2019. As a freshman, Rocker posted a 3.25 ERA in 99.2 innings pitched. Rocker walked 21 batters, allowed just two home runs and struck out 114. This included throwing a no-hitter in the College World Series.

Next. Bucs Make Big International Free Agent Signing. dark

Prior to COVID-19 shutting down the college season, Rocker owned a 1.80 ERA in 15 innings pitched last spring. He had allowed just six hits, no home runs, eight walks, and he struck out 28. Unless he comes out in the spring and struggles mightily, look for Rocker to be the number one overall pick in next summer’s draft.