Pittsburgh Pirates: Three High School Pitching Draft Prospects to Watch

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Pittsburgh Pirates
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RHP Dylan Lesko

When we took a look at the best tools entering this year’s draft, Dylan Lesko was praised for the best change-up in the draft. Arguably a top 10 pick, Lesko doesn’t have just an excellent change-up. He also offers a plus-plus four-seam fastball and a well-above-average curveball.

Lesko claimed the Gatorade National Baseball Player of The Year award in 2021, making him the first junior to win that title. This was after he had posted a 0.35 ERA with 112 K’s in just 60 innings of work. MLB Pipeline has him ranked at #9 but states that he could even go top 5 in the draft.

Lesko’s change-up is the best off-speed pitch in this year’s draft. A low-80’s offering, the right-hander, throws his change-up with sideways movement and plenty of depth. To go with that, he throws a fastball that is already reaching 97 MPH and an upper-70’s curveball that is hitting 3000 RPM.

FanGraphs puts Lesko’s current ability on the level of Chris Paddack. However, unlike Paddack, Lesko won’t turn 20-years-old until September 2023. Lesko stands at a strong 6’2″, 190 pounds. By the time he is 21-22-years-old, he’ll likely be hitting 97 MPH regularly instead of topping out around there. Lesko is genuinely a guy I could see the Pirates going with if they decide to go under slot.