Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Potential Second Round Picks
By Noah Wright
The Pittsburgh Pirates second pick could be another pitcher. This time being MIssissippi State left-hander Christian MacLeod. The southpaw has been outstanding in Starkville. The past two seasons MacLeod has posted a 2.17 ERA, 2.74 RA9, 1.40 HR/9 and he’s allowed just 43 hits in 62.1 innings pitched.
MacLeod has been great at getting strikeouts and limiting free passes. To go with his outstanding 40.6% strikeout rate, the lefty has only walked 7.9% of all the batters he has faced. His only weakness so far has been the long ball. So far in 2021, he’s surrendered 10 home runs in just 41.1 innings. That comes out to a dreadful 2.20 HR/9 rate. However, his 2020 season was a polar opposite in terms of home runs. He didn’t allow a single long ball in 21 innings pitched.
MacLeod isn’t a hard thrower by any means. He only averages out in the 89-91 MPH range with his fastball, but it’s still considered a pitch with average or better potential. What he lacks in velocity, he makes up for in spin rate, control and the ability to tunnel it well with his curveball. Speaking of his curveball, both FanGraphs and MLB Pipeline see this as a 60-grade offering in the future. He also has a sinking change-up, a third pitch with average-plus potential.
Christian MacLeod stands at a strong 6’4″, 220 pounds. The Pittsburgh Pirates already have a ton of notable starting pitching prospects before this draft, but you can never have too much pitching. For as much as Ben Cherington loves his pitchers, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mississippi State lefty is on his radar.