Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Three Potential Late Round Impact Players

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Aug 11, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington (left) talks with manager Derek Shelton (right) during batting practice before the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

1B/OF Josiah Sightler

The Pittsburgh Pirates 15th overall pick in the draft, Josiah Sightler, was picked out of the University of South Carolina. The Cincinnati Reds originally drafted the SEC product in the 2018 draft during the 12th round but did not sign. Sightler brings the Pirates a big power bat who could be a future first base option.

In his last year at college, Sightler batted .300/.408/.629, crushing 15 dingers. Sightler had a solid 9.5% walk rate but struck out at a 20.9% rate. Sightler has some strikeout problems. His college strikeout rate is 23.7%. On the plus side, he’s seen his strikeout rate and walk rate move in the right direction. In ‘21, he had just a 7.9% walk rate and 21.3% strikeout rate. Sightler did toss 13.2 innings in college but struggled. He’s primarily a corner outfielder and first baseman. He appeared in 18 games at the corner infield position with 11 total appearances in the outfield.

Sightler is a towering 6’5”, 235. He definitely has the frame of a big power hitter. Sightler brings all the positives of a power-hitting prospect. He has the potential to hit a ton of home runs and put up a well above-average on-base percentage. But you also get the downsides as well, like the sub-par strikeout rate and lack of defensive value.

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But Sightler could make an impact in the near future. The Pittsburgh Pirates have very few first base prospects, and while prospects drafted at first base usually have a low ceiling, Sightler has some positives that will make him an interesting prospect to watch. Sightler could provide a power prospect.