Pittsburgh Pirates: Names to Watch in 2021 Draft

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

With the 2021 Draft coming in July, the Pittsburgh Pirates will have plenty of time to scout potential picks. Kiley McDaniel released his top prospects today for the draft.

The Pittsburgh Pirates had the worst record in baseball in 2020 at 19-41, landing them the first pick in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft.  Baseball America has written how the Pirates farm system is one on the rise and can continue to improve over the next season.  FanGraphs ranked eight Pirates as 50 future value (FV) players or better, and overall ranked 51 prospects on their list with a lot of the new prospects acquired in their top 30.

With the holding of the top pick in 2021 and the most draft pool available, the club should continue to add elite-level talent in the draft.  Kiley McDaniel, a former Assistant Director of Baseball Operations for the Atlanta Braves sandwiched between two FanGraphs stints, wrote about the top prospects in the 2021 Draft today on ESPN.  McDaniel is a really connected source and has a good feel on how the game values different players.

The biggest shock is that Vanderbilt right-handed pitcher Kumar Rocker isn’t number one or number two, but instead is ranked third.  McDaniel’s top-ranked prospect is shortstop Jordan Lawler from Jesuit High School in Texas.  On the 55 FV shortstop, McDaniel has previously said the following,

"“because I think everyone thinks (Rocker) is the best prospect. He is not. Right now, I think he’s seen as either second or third, depending on how much you like Jack Leiter….[Lawler] is pretty clearly the best prospect”"

Following the 19-year-old is Jack Leiter, who McDaniel mentioned teams evaluate better than Rocker.  Other names to watch for the club’s second-round pick (pick 37) are Sam Bachman (RHP, 32), Henry Davis (C, 35),  Edwin Arroyo (SS, 37), and Tyler Whitaker (RF, 42).

Next. Making The Case For Dustin Fowler To Start. dark

For the 2022 MLB Draft, McDaniel ranks Elijah Green as the top prospect, and he mentions that Green is the best “domestic amateur in baseball” and that his skillset (hit, power, and speed) are similar to those of Ronald Acuna.  The Pirates are likely to be the worst team in baseball, so the club has a good shot of securing the first overall pick in 2022 as well.