The Pittsburgh Pirates have made a mix of picks with pitching being a primary focus. They went in a different direction with their fifth-round pick.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have put together a very interesting Draft class so far. They have taken a lot of pitching which is obviously a big need for the team. The only other hitter that the team selected was Termarr Johnson at #4 overall. Their third-round pick Jack Brannigan is listed as a two-way player so he will get in the lineup as well.
So with their fifth-round pick, the Pittsburgh Pirates went to the college ranks once more. They selected outfielder Tres Gonzalez with pick #140. Gonzalez was a productive outfielder for Georgia Tech, known for his bat-to-ball skills. He was ranked #138 on MLB Pipeline, so there is definitely expected to be some upside to the selection.
Here is a little bit from MLB Pipeline on Gonzalez:
"He finished second in the Cape Cod League with a .331 batting average last summer and has walked more than he struck out in each of his two full seasons at Georgia Tech. A team that thinks he can develop some power and play center field could take him as early as the third round."
The first thing that stands out to me is that he was productive in the Cape Cod League. Ben Cherington and the Pittsburgh Pirates typically find a few players in the Draft each year that have had success in the League. Gonzalez checks that box.
The fact that he is a good pure hitter gives him a high floor. At the very least he sounds like he should be a serviceable outfielder with the ability to play all outfield spots. It’s worth noting that MLB Pipeline thought he had the talent to go as high as the third round. So it seems that the Bucs got a pretty solid value pick. He also should be pretty close to slot if not below being a college player.