Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Another Potential Number One Overall Pick


Next year’s draft will be loaded with highly talented pitchers. One of them is right-handed pitcher Jaden Hill who the Pittsburgh Pirates could select.

Last season, the Pittsburgh Pirates finished with a 19-41 record. This recored secured the team the number one overall pick in July’s draft.

Many outlets project the Pittsburgh Pirates to draft Vanderbilt’s ace Kumar Rocker with the pick, but he’s far from the only pitcher many think the Bucs could select. Jack Leiter is another potential player the Bucs could select. However, a third pitcher that might emerge as the number one overall pick is LSU’s Jaden Hill.

Hill would fit the build that Pirate general manager Ben Cherington likes. Hill has a strong 6’4″, 233 pound frame. He also has a fastball with plenty of potential. Although he only averaged 93.4 MPH on his four-seamer, it has ticked up to 94.8 MPH at the end of 2020 and has touched 98 MPH during games. In bullpen sessions, he’s been able to hit 100 MPH showing there’s a lot more than meets the eye. He only has been tracked with 2200 RPM, but it does have good ride. MLB Pipeline sees it as an elite level pitch at a 65-grade.

Another 60-grade pitch is his change up. Throughout high school Hill only threw a fastball and change up, which made these two pitches the best of his arsenal. Hill’s change up has been described to have tumbling action impart because of its 1700 RPM spin rate.

LSU’s director of video and scouting stated that his change up reminded him of Fernando Rodney’s. Since the statcast era began in 2015, Rodney’s highest xwOBA in a single season off of his change up is .210 and has induced ground balls with the pitch at least 50% of the time since batted ball data on pitches started to be recorded.

Hill’s primary breaking ball is a slider. He averages just 80.4 MPH with his slider, which is a nice change of pace compared to his fastball. Pipeline gives it a 55-grade as he’s refined the pitch from a slurvy breaking ball into what could be a nice third pitch. While it does need more refinement, it definitely could be a punch-out pitch.

The right-handed pitcher added a fourth pitch to his mix, a cutter. The cutter sits in the high-80s to low-90s MPH range with similar spin to his primary fastball. Though it has less sweeping movement compared to his slider, it does have more gyro movement.

Overall during his college career, Hill has pitched just 21.2 innings, but has been very dominant. He’s allowed just 2 earned runs on seven hits, none of which were home runs. While he did walk eight of the 81 batters he has faced, he’s also struck them out at an outstanding 34.5% clip.

Next. Free Agent Target: Brian Goodwin. dark

Hill turns 21 on the 22nd. Though his floor might be lower than either Rocker or Leiter, there is an argument to be made that he has a higher ceiling. However, the talent is still very raw. He hasn’t had much time at college but you always select who you think is going to be the better player in the long run. Both Hill and Rocker fit the mold of pitchers Cherington likes, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Hill picked with the number one overall selection.

Article used for scouting report: https://www.lookoutlanding.com/2020/8/3/21339659/2021-mlb-draft-preview-jaden-hill-mariners-tankity-tank-tank