No. 43 overall – Parker Messick
Fewer players bring the fire and emotion that Parker Messick brings to the mound. Messick might not bring the heat as many college arms do, but he makes up for it with a wide variety of pitches, all of which he can command very well. Not to mention his arm slot adds a ton of deception. Plus, he’s a left-hander, which is always a plus. Messick will likely be available when the Pirates are on the clock unless a team decides to go well under slot in the late first round.
The Florida State left-hander has pitched exceptionally well this year. In 77.1 innings of work, Messick has a 2.56 ERA and 0.82 WHIP. He’s only allowed 4% of batters faced to reach via free pass and has struck batters out at a rate just under 45% (43%, to be exact). He has a solid albeit unimpressive 0.93 HR/9, but that’ll do with his other outstanding numbers. He strikes out over ten batters for every walk, on average.
The stocky 6’0, 225-pound Messick throws a four-pitch mix. His four-seam fastball tops out around 95-96 MPH but usually sits around the low-90s. He throws a soft curveball but added a slider this year. Between the two breaking offerings, his slider is the better of the two. Then there’s his change-up, a low-80s pitch he uses to get a whole lot of weak contact.
Messick is the 49th ranked draft prospect per MLB Pipeline and 43rd per FanGraphs. It would be reasonable to expect him to be on the Pirates’ radar when they’re on the clock. The Pirates could use a good college arm, and Messick provides just that.