Pittsburgh Pirates: Underrated 2021 Draft Pick to Watch

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Pirates got a handful of highly talented players in the MLB draft, but Jackson Glenn represents an underrated player from all their selections

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired plenty of highly talented players in this past draft. Aside from Henry Davis, who they selected with the number one overall pick, the Pittsburgh Pirates were able to get highly touted two-way high school star Bubba Chandler with their 3rd round pick, Braylon Bishop all the way in the 14th round, as well as Anthony Solometo (2nd round), Lonnie White Jr. (2nd round competitive balance pick), and Owen Kellington (3rd round) just to name a few of their impressive selections.

But their most underrated pick came in the 5th round, Jackson Glenn. Glenn signed for way under slot, agreeing on just $12,500 while his slot value was $422,300. Coming out of Dallas Baptist University as a senior, Glenn wasn’t a high ranking draft prospect. But the slugging infielder may be the team’s most underrated pick from this draft.

Glenn crushed the ball in his final year at college. His final 272 plate appearances saw him bat .366/.438/.732 with a .491 wOBA. Glenn showed off both power and plate discipline. He slugged 21 home runs while having a .366 isolated slugging. He also had 19 doubles. He even showed some prowess on the basepaths. He was able to swipe 13 bases in 13 attempts. His strong base running played up because of his outstanding on base ability. Glenn walked at an 11.7% rate. The infielder went down on strike three just 12.1% of all his plate appearances.

Glenn has always shown good plate discipline throughout college. He had a 12% walk/13.3% strikeout rate throughout 633 college plate appearances. Overall, the right-handed batter hit .317/.400/.567 with 30 home runs, 40 doubles, and a .415 wOBA while at university.

He isn’t just a good hitter, but also versatile. Glenn was mainly a third baseman in 2019 and for the shortened 2020 season. But this year, he spent most of his time at second base. He even played a bit at shortstop. If the Pittsburgh Pirates need him to he could probably play outfield.

Glenn is a bit older for a prospect, especially one just drafted. He’ll be 24 in late October. The versatile slugger could be contributing in the major leagues as soon as next season. Though third base will be mostly taken up by Ke’Bryan Hayes, he’s versatile enough that he could move around the infield, see some time at first base, and maybe even in an outfield corner from time to time to get him some playing time in.

Tuesday afternoon Glenn made his debut with the Low-A Bradenton Marauders. In game one of their double header Glenn picked up a hit in his lone trip to the plate. This hit resulted in a walk off single to give the Marauders a 5-4 victory.

Then in game two of the doubleheader, Glenn was 2-for-3 with a walk and a RBI. Additionally, both of Glenn’s hits were doubles. A 3-for-4 start with a walk, two doubles and a walk off hit is a strong start to Glenn’s tenure at the Low-A level.

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Glenn’s strong ability to draw walks and avoid strikeouts is already a good thing to have as a young player. But the 23-year-old has displayed power, versatility, and prowess when running the bases. In a draft where the Pittsburgh Pirates essentially got 3 players who could have went in the first round in Davis, Chandler, and even Solometo, it’s easy to overlook someone like Glenn who wasn’t a highly touted draft prospect when he was picked. Despite that, he could develop into a very solid, young player.