Mock drafting the first three picks Pittsburgh Pirates’ 2024 draft

The Pittsburgh Pirates will have three picks in the first 50, so who could they take with these three selections?
Big 12 Baseball Tournament
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Jacob Cozart
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Competitive Balance Round A Pick

Jacob Cozart

The Pirates shouldn't just settle with one college position player with their first three picks. At least two have to fall into this category. With their second pick of the draft, the Pirates should consider North Carolina State backstop Jacob Cozart. Cozart has the potential to be both an above-average hitter and fielder from the catching position.

Cozart has gotten better each and every year at NC State. As of right now, he has 185 plate appearances and is hitting .304/.432/.558. Cozart's dozen home runs already trumps his 2023 total of ten but in 43 fewer plate appearances. While he's kept up a similar strikeout rate from '23 at 16.7% (compared to 16.2% last year), he's upped his walk percentage from 10.5% to 18.4% so far into 2024.

Cozart stands at 6'3", 220 pounds and he uses his large frame to generate good raw power. He has 20 home run potential. His approach at the plate has improved in each of his college seasons, and it's showing via better on-field production. He could end up with an average hit tool with above-average power production. Defensively, he is a good backstop whose framing has improved. He's also shown little to no issues throwing runners out. 

Most have Cozart ranked as a top 30-40 draft prospect, and with the Pirates having the 37th overall pick, the backstop could definitely still be on the board when the Bucs are selecting during the competitive balance round A pick. Selecting Cozart would give the Pirates another top college player to add to the system.