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
Big 12 Baseball Tournament / Ben Ludeman/Texas Rangers/GettyImages
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Binghamton v Wake Forest - Game One
Binghamton v Wake Forest - Game One / Isaiah Vazquez/GettyImages

Round Two

Josh Hartle

Even though the Pirates need position players, it wouldn't be a Ben Cherington draft if he didn't take a soft-tossing left-handed pitcher at some point. Josh Hartle is one of the many talented pitchers at Wake Forest who will likely end up going very early in this year's draft. Hartle has great command and while he doesn't hit the upper 90s, is definitely a pitcher who I think could thrive under the Pirates' current pitching development.

Hartle hasn't had a great 2024 season. He's pitched 52.1 innings, working to a 5.68 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, and 2.8 K:BB ratio for Wake Forest. He's allowed nearly two home runs per nine innings at 1.89, and his 22.5% strikeout rate does not jump off the page. At the very least, he still has an 8% walk rate so far.

The southpaw only averages 90-92 MPH, topping out at 94, but the way he throws the ball gives it good sinking action and makes it play above its velocity. His best secondary pitch is his sweeper, but he'll also mix in a curveball and cutter, both of which look like they have the potential to at least be average offerings. His primary off-speed pitch is a change-up.

Hartle has projectability on his side as he stands at 6'5", 210 pounds, so there's a chance he adds a few ticks of velocity as he develops. A lanky left-hander, his arm motion is a bit whippy, but he commands his stuff very well. 

Again, Cherington and co. love lefties who don't throw hard and are all about command and finesse. I'm excited to see what similar arms like Anthony Solometo and Hunter Barco eventually do in the Majors because of how well they've brought along older veterans. Given this, I think Hartle could do extremely well with the Pirates.