Pittsburgh Pirates: Does Sal Frelick Fit With First Pick?

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

With the MLB Draft starting Sunday, the Pittsburgh Pirates and their fanbase will finally have the answer to the first pick.  Is the answer a college bat?

It seems likely that the Pittsburgh Pirates, led by Ben Cherington, will go underslot with the first pick in the Draft.  Marcelo Mayer, Jordan Lawlar, and Henry Davis seem like the favorites with Kahlil Watson slowly rising.  Could an outfielder from Boston College see his name rise up to that spot?

Prospects Live reported that Sal Frelick, centerfielder from Boston College, had a workout with the team this past week.  Frelick is a speed and defense guy over power and has also played second base in the past.  What is interesting is that Frelick would likely save the Pirates the most bonus pool space with the first pick.  This is something that is more common in the Draft.  By taking Frelick, the Pirates could sign more upside players later in the draft while taking a college hitter.  Cherington focused on this player type last year with Nick Gonzales.

Another reason to take Frelick is that the Pittsburgh Pirates don’t currently have a standout outfield prospect.  Oneil Cruz hasn’t moved over yet and Travis Swaggerty has been hurt.  As such, Frelick would be a notable outfield prospect and one that should be able to move through the system rather quickly.  He makes consistent contact despite the power, and combined with the speed and glove can be a solid leadoff type player.

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Frelick is a Boston College player and Cherington has Boston connections, both from going to school in Massachusetts and working there.  He is also a good athlete, something that seems to be a trend with the Pirates new regime.  While one of the high school players seems most likely, don’t count at Sal Frelick just yet.  He would likely save the Pirates the most money with the first pick that could be used elsewhere.