Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Baseball America First Update of 2021


It is officially 2021, and for the Pittsburgh Pirates, it is officially the year they will have the first overall pick.

This year is a potential franchise altering year for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The team has the number one overall pick in the 2021 Draft and will hopefully add a future all-star.  So who could the team be looking at to select?

Well, by now everyone knows that most popular name connected to the first overall pick has been Kumar Rocker.  Pittsburgh Pirates fans have been talking about Rocker since it became clear that the team would likely have the top pick.

Rocker is everything one could want in a future ace.  He has a projectable frame, standing at 6’4” and weighing around 250 pounds. He also is very advanced for his age, giving his physical maturity it should come as no surprise that he has a fastball that sits in the upper 90s.  To go along with that, he has a plus slider and potential plus changeup.

All this traits have made Rocker the top candidate for the first pick.  This is what the Draft experts think too.  While there are other players in the conversation for top pick, many believe Rocker is the most logical pick given the COVID-19 circumstances.  Baseball America recently put out their first update to their 2021 Mock Draft.  They have the Bucs taking Rocker first overall, here is part of their reasoning:

"While there’s no obvious No. 1 player in the 2021 class—ala Oregon State C Adley Rutschman in 2019—Vanderbilt RHP Kumar Rocker has long been the de facto top player of the bunch given the unprecedented uncertainty that scouting departments have to grapple with because of the lack of summer and spring looks in 2020. Rocker has power stuff, starting track record in the SEC and high school pedigree. That trio of check marks is unmatched by any other prospect in the class at the moment."

Rocker has pitched in big games for a big time University, which means there has been a lot more scouting exposure for him than others.  In terms of data, Rocker probably has some of the most out there.  So while he certainly possesses a ton of upside, he could also represent a more safe pick compared to Jack Leiter (Vanderbilt) and Jaden Hill (LSU) who need this spring to show that next level.

dark. Next. First Round Pick that got Away

With that being said, spring is right around the corner.  While college sports have been different, the NCAA and their conferences have done everything they can to continue with their athletics.  The expectation is for NCAA Baseball to pick back up.  It will be interesting to see if Rocker can build upon his foundation for the first overall selection.