Pittsburgh Pirates: Drafting A High School Shortstop Is Likely


The Pittsburgh Pirates appear likely to draft a high school shortstop with the first overall pick. MLB Pipeline has released a new mock draft.

While in most years, the MLB Draft would be held in early June, the draft this year will be held during the All-Star break in July, giving clubs more time to decide on which prospects they have the most interest in.  While it appeared likely that Kumar Rocker or Jack Leiter were going to be the first pick in the draft, that no longer appears to be the case.

In MLB Pipeline’s new mock, they project the Pittsburgh Pirates to take shortstop Jordan Lawlar, mentioning that he has louder tools than Bobby Witt Jr., the number two pick in the 2019 MLB Draft.  What is interesting is that their first mock draft of the year had Jack Leiter going with the first pick, but now they mention that,

"“Though the Pirates haven’t made any final decisions with nearly 10 weeks to go, most clubs believe they’ll use the top pick on a high school shortstop, either Jordan Lawlar (Jesuit Prep, Dallas) or Marcelo Mayer (Eastlake HS, Chula Vista, Calif.).”"

This makes sense given the trend we’ve seen organizations take, by signing a player underslot early, the team can redistribute those funds at later picks to accumulate the most talent.  I mentioned this scenario earlier with it pertaining to Mayer and Lawlar earlier last month.  While Lawlar appears to be a full slot high school player, Mayer certainly still maintains this mold.

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Jordan Lawlar appears to be the best high school player in the draft and the prospect with the most upside.  Mayer, another prep shortstop, features similar skills and bats from the left-side, and he could provide the team with the ability to spread draft bonuses across the first 10 rounds. It seems as if the Pirates are leaning more prep shortstop than Jack Leiter at the moment but things can change within two months.