The Pittsburgh Pirates have the first pick in the draft. With that, it seems there is a favorite to go pick number one but there are some options.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are rebuilding and there’s no better way to kick start and keep improving the farm system like the Major League Draft. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the first overall pick and the most bonus pool space available to them in the draft. It is looking likely that Jack Leiter will be taken ahead of Kumar Rocker, with the club being able to pick from Leiter and prep shortstops Jordan Lawlar and Marcelo Mayer.
Baseball America has put out a recent mock draft, and they have those three players going in that order. Leiter is likely to command the full bonus slot value and while Lawlar is committed to Vanderbilt, with supposedly strong commitments, it would be hard to envision a prep player to turn down first overall money. Mayer is another option, and one who could conceivably take a lower slot deal that the Pirates could utilize elsewhere in the draft.
While Baseball America does project Leiter to the Pittsburgh Pirates, they note:
"“It’s interesting to think about whether or not a college arm like Leiter or his teammate Kumar Rocker—who would both be quick movers—is a better fit for Pittsburgh’s timeline than a prep player like the top two high school shortstops in the class: Jordan Lawlar and Marcelo Mayer. For now there’s still no clear-cut, obvious No. 1 player in the class but Leiter is a deserving 1-1 talent and has performed like it so far this season.”"
With the current Pirates timeline looking to be 2023, Leiter would be a better fit despite Lawlar potentially having more impact talent. With there being almost three months until the Draft in July, there is still plenty of time for things to change. But with MLB Pipeline predicting Leiter to the Pirates and now Baseball America, there is some movement that speculation might be the Pirates on Leiter.