Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Five 2021 Draft Picks Starting Strong

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
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Outfielder Luke Brown

Luke Brown was a 9th-round pick from Louisville, as he was teammates with the Pirates’ first overall pick Henry Davis. Brown was a light-hitting/all-contact kind of hitter throughout his college career. He had zero home runs and a .413 slugging percentage in 487 plate appearances but had a .390 OBP and 39 stolen bases.

The start of Brown’s pro career wasn’t all that great. He had just seven hits through his first 53 plate appearances at Rookie-Ball last season. He did have five walks, but that was about the only positive from his first sample size of playing time in 2021.

2022 has been a bit kinder to Brown, albeit not that much. He has ten hits in 50 trips to the plate but has walked a whole lot more. He already has drawn eight base-on-balls, giving him a 16% walk rate. So while he might not be getting a ton of base hits, he’s still getting on base in some fashion. This lack of hits but tons of walks is reflected in his .244 average but .380 on-base percentage.

9th-round picks, especially under slot selections, aren’t necessarily seen as the cream-of-the-crop of your draft class, but Brown does have speed and has shown an ability to get on base. You can do a lot worse than a 9th round under slot selection if Brown ends up being a Billy Hamilton type player.