Baseball America has the Pittsburgh Pirates taking two pitchers in their recent mock draft

Baseball America has the Pittsburgh Pirates taking (probably the unpopular choice) two pitchers with their first two picks in their recent mock draft.
Philadelphia Phillies v Pittsburgh Pirates
Philadelphia Phillies v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages

Baseball America recently released their staff mock draft for the first 39 selections of the draft. Five of their writers, including Ben Badler, Carlos Collazo, JJ Cooper, Peter Flaherty, and Geoff Pontes, did their mock draft. The Pittsburgh Pirates have two selections in the first 39 picks. That includes the 9th overall pick and the 37th overall pick, with Pontes getting to choose the 9th pick and Badler taking the 37th pick. The two players they selected would build upon the biggest strength of the organization, but many fans probably wouldn’t like it as it ignores the weakest part of the system.

Pontes has right-handed pitcher Trey Yesavage trading in his East Carolina Pirates uniform for a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform. Yesavage has had a great season, working to a 2.09 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and 4.96 K:BB ratio through 86 frames. Yesavage has struck out a staggering 41.7% of the batters he’s faced to pair with a strong 8.4% walk rate. He’s also only allowed four home runs this season.

Yesavage throws four pitches, all sitting at an above-average level or better. He isn’t like the Pirates’ last first-round pick pitcher, Paul Skenes, as he only sits 93-95 MPH, but it plays as an above-average pitch already because of its carry. His two breaking pitches include a slider and a curveball. Of the two, the former is the better. It’s a mid-80s offering with good lateral movement, according to MLB Pipeline. But his curveball is still a good pitch. His splitter gives him a plus off-speed offering.

Yesavage keeps his arm short in his wind-up and delivers the ball from an overhead arm slot. He is also from Pennsylvania, Pottstown to be specific. This arm slot also helps his fastball get good vertical movement through the zone. He will turn 21 soon after the draft and is considered a top-12 draft prospect by most outlets.

Badler then has the Pirates taking high school right-hander Tegan Kuhns.

Kuhns is also a PA pitcher, hailing from the historic town of Gettysburg. He is a projectable arm as he stands at 6’3”, 177-LBS. The lanky right-hander can hit the mid-90s. Along with some projectability, he has a quick arm that should help him add velo as he ages. But his curveball is a fun pitch to watch. Kuhns’ breaking offering can hit 3000 RPM. He also can spin his slider well.

Now, it’s still only a mock draft. Nothing is set in stone, so take it for what you will. But if the Pirates truly went this direction with their picks (or even just took one pitcher with their first two picks), you’d almost have to assume they would deal from within the system at the trade deadline for controllable position players. Either way, this would add to a system that has arguably the most pitching depth among any team. However, we shall see how the Pirates draft come July.