Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Potential Third-Round Picks

Apr 28, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington observes batting practice from the dugout before the game against the Kansas City Royals at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 28, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington observes batting practice from the dugout before the game against the Kansas City Royals at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 11, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington observes batting practice before the Pirates host the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
May 11, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington observes batting practice before the Pirates host the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

We’ve done plenty of coverage on potential first and second round picks. Now, let’s take a look at a few players that could be available for the Pittsburgh Pirates third-round selection.

We’ve done extensive coverage on many of the top picks in the draft. From Marcelo Mayer to Jack Leiter, there has been plenty of analysis on all the potential #1 picks in this year’s draft. We’ve also taken a look at a handful of potential second-round picks. But what about the third round? Who are some potential third-round selections the Pittsburgh Pirates could select?

Today, I want to take a look at three potential third-round picks. The Pirates have the 64th pick in the third round. The draft is just under a month away, so let’s take a look at a few players who could fall to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round.

Infielder Trey Sweeney

Easter Illinois University infielder Trey Sweeney is seen as a potential high-risk high-reward pick. The lefty slugger has done well at the NCAA level. Through 502 plate appearances, Sweeney has a .328/.437/.517 line, 17 home runs, 22 doubles, and a .421 wOBA. This has also come with some strong plate discipline. He’s drawn walks at a 14.3% rate while only striking out in 11.4% of his plate appearances.

Sweeney’s 2021 season has been nothing short of outstanding. Through 226 plate appearances, Sweeney owns a .382/.522/.712 line. He’s crushed 14 home runs and has hustled out 10 more doubles. He’s walked nearly as many times as he’s struck out with 46 walks to combat just 24 strikeouts. All told, he has a .628 wOBA. Just for reference of how good that wOBA is, Barry Bonds’ wOBA when he hit 73 home runs was just .537. Obviously, it’s less than 300 plate appearances, but the point is that he demolished the baseball this year.

As a defender, he can definitely field the shortstop position. He also has above-average arm strength. But he’s a bit on the slow side. Both FanGraphs and MLB Pipeline only see him as a 40-grade runner. This could mean that he’ll eventually have to move to a corner infield position. He could also see some time in a corner outfield position given his strong arm and potentially even some time at second base since he isn’t a bad shortstop.

Sweeney has well-above-average power potential. FanGraphs gives him a 55-future game power and 60-future raw power grade. He’s a big kid too. MLB Pipeline lists him at a hulking 6’4″, 200 pounds. He’s about 10 pounds lighter than star slugger Anthony Rendon was when he was drafted and three inches shorter than when George Springer was picked in 2011.

Sweeney has been praised by MLB Pipeline for his fantastic hand-eye coordination and good timing at the plate. But what makes him a high-risk high-reward pick is that his swing has a lot of moving parts. He’s got a big leg kick, a hitch, but a powerful swing. It’s sort of a lefty Javier Baez motion. Though that’s nothing that can’t be tweaked or adjusted to produce more consistent contact and close a potential hole in his swing, it’s still a bit of a risk. Plus, given his plate discipline and good hand-eye coordination, he could have a higher offensive ceiling than Baez.

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