Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Jack Leiter vs Jordan Lawlar

Vanderbilt pitcher Tyler Brown and catcher CJ Rodriguez, left, congratulate freshman pitcher Jack Leiter (22) after he strike out all three South Alabama batters during the first inning at Hawkins Field Feb. 18, 2020.Nas Vandy Baseball Home Opener 019
Vanderbilt pitcher Tyler Brown and catcher CJ Rodriguez, left, congratulate freshman pitcher Jack Leiter (22) after he strike out all three South Alabama batters during the first inning at Hawkins Field Feb. 18, 2020.Nas Vandy Baseball Home Opener 019 /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
SARASOTA, FLORIDA – MARCH 15: Manager Derek Shelton #17 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on during the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles during a spring training game at Ed Smith Stadium on March 15, 2021 in Sarasota, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

My Verdict

Rarely does a draft have so many players who are so close to each other in terms of their prospect stock. Leiter and Lawlar are very, very close in my opinion and the Pittsburgh Pirates likely can not go wrong with either. However, in the end and especially at this rate, I believe they will eventually select Lawlar.

Sure, Lawlar is a young and raw talent. But he’s also a potential five-tool player who’s already well disciplined at the plate. He’s very athletic, and may even have the highest ceiling in the draft. The Pirates do have a lot of middle infield prospects throughout the system in Liover Peguero, Oneil Cruz and Nick Gonzales. But you never draft based on positions.

Leiter is a very talented pitcher as well, but his overall stock has essentially plateaued since he showed some improved velocity. Meanwhile, Lawlar’s stock is rising at a considerable rate. To me, Leiter’s control issues are a red flag. It’s not the be-all-end-all if he doesn’t have Greg Maddux pin-point accuracy, but definitley something that the Pirates need to keep in mind.

Next. Nick Gonzales Pro Career Off to a Hot Start. dark

In the end, I believe the Pittsburgh Pirates will make the right choice. Ben Cherington has done well as the Pirate general manager stocking the farm system, making some great trades, and doing extremely well in last year’s draft. Whoever he picks, whether it be Lawlar, Leiter, or another prospect, he’ll likely make the right decision.

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