Two college bats selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in this past July’s draft are off to strong starts in their professional careers
When you look at the most recent draft of the Pittsburgh Pirates you should be pretty impressed. Their first four picks in the first three rounds were Henry Davis, Anthony Solometo, Lonnie White Jr., and Bubba Chandler. Three of those players were arguably first-round selections. All went over slot, which meant that they would have to go under slot for a few picks in order to slide under the penalty of spending so much on picks. Two picks they went way under slot to sign were infielders Jackson Glenn and Mike Jarvis, both of which are currently crushing the ball in their lower minor leagues.
We have covered Glenn here before, praising his outstanding final season at college where he hit .366/.438/.732, a .491 wOBA, with 21 home runs in 272 plate appearances while being 13/13 in stolen base attempts. Glenn showed off a ton of pop with a .366 ISO and put himself on pace for 46 home runs in 600 plate appearances. He also displayed fantastic plate discipline, walking nearly as many times as he went down on strikes (32/33 BB/K ratio).
So far, Glenn’s professional career has gotten started with a bang. He’s mainly spent his time at Low-A Bradenton where he has 22 hits in 75 trips to the plate. While he hasn’t hit a home run yet, he’s been a doubles machine. He has 9 already. Plus he’s continued to show off a fantastic eye at the plate, drawing 14 walks and going down on strike three just 13 times.
Glenn has primarily played second base with two games played at third base. The right-handed batter saw at least one game at every infield position throughout his time at Dallas Baptist University. So while the Pirates have a ton of middle infielders, Glenn could end up playing whatever infield position the Pirates may need him to man in the Major Leagues. There’s a good possibility he’ll see some time in the major leagues during 2022 as he’ll turn 24 at the end of October.
Jarvis was their other very under-slot selection. Taken right after Glenn, Jarvis is another player that I think has the chance to be a productive Major League player within the next calendar year or two.
Jarvis also hit well throughout college, putting up a .325/.398/.495 line at San Diego State, coming to a .465 wOBA. Jarvis wasn’t a big-time power hitter, but still showed some pop with a solid .170 ISO and cranking 12 home runs. But he was more of a speed threat with 29 stolen bases in 503 plate appearances, along with 21 more at the Northwoods League in 2019.
The 23-year-old has gotten things started at the Pirates Gold affiliate in the Florida Complex League. So far, he’s stepped to the plate 41 times, collecting 12 hits. Among those 12 hits, he has 3 doubles, 2 triples and a home run. He’s only gone down on strikes three times. He has also walked three times.
Like with Glenn, the Pittsburgh Pirates can pretty much put Jarvis wherever they need him to play. Throughout college, he played both middle infield spots, as well as all three outfield positions. So far with the Pirates Gold he’s mainly played shortstop and second base, splitting his time at the two positions almost evenly. But he’s also started a game in center field, so it looks like the Pittsburgh Pirates want him to keep his versatility as he develops.
As John Baker mentioned to the media on Sunday, versatility is a positive and something the Pirate brass values, especially when you have so many prospects in the system and only 8 positions on the diamond. There’s bound to be an overabundance of players at some position in the near future. He’ll turn 24 in May next season, so it’s reasonable to say that there’s a good chance we see him in the Majors next season.
Overall, it’s a good sign to see these two off to a hot start in their professional career. While you usually expect to see guys like Davis, Chandler, White Jr., and Solometo perform well out of the gates, you don’t really focus on the smaller names in the draft, especially ones that were more under slot saving picks rather than the big-name available.