One draft prospect at each position that should be on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ radar

Going position by position, who are some players that should be on the Pittsburgh Pirates' draft radar from this year's class?
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Second base

JJ Wetherholt

JJ Wetherholt is considered one of the best players in this year’s draft. However, a hamstring injury took Wetherholt out for a little over a month in the college season. This has brought his draft stock down enough that he could reasonably still be on the board when the Pirates are on the clock with their first round pick.

When Wetherholt has been healthy, he’s been a force to be reckoned with at the plate. In 56 plate appearances, Wetherholt has a .342/.482/.561 triple-slash. He has ten walks to just six K’s and is hitting for some pop. He has a .219 isolated slugging percentage, which is better than the Big-12 average. There’s definitely potential for more pop here. Wetherholt had a .250 ISO in the Cape Cod League and will likely see more power with a healthy hamstring.

Overall, he has a .378/.468/.629 college line, a 10.9% walk rate, 12.5% strikeout rate, and .251 ISO. He has been an ultra-aggressive base runner, attempting 70 stolen bases and being successful 54 times. Wetherholt has a .510 wOBA throughout 570 plate appearances since his 2022 college debut.

Wetherholt has played second base, third base, shortstop, and even some games in the outfield grass. Although some believe he can stick at shortstop with average defense, he probably profiles better at second base. He definitely has the speed to play both middle infield positions, and even though he hasn’t played any outfield since 2021, left field is also a possibility where he ends up.

Wetherholt has a smooth left-handed swing and uses his high-end bat speed to generate at least above-average power, if not plus power. The hit tool is the real prize here, as it’s a potential plus-plus attribute. He doesn’t have any problem going to all fields and doesn’t get pull-happy. He’s a pure hitter, and that’s the sort of position player Cherington has seemingly liked to take in his drafts.

While there is still a lot of college season left to play, Wetherholt could definitely fall to the 9th overall selection in this year’s draft. Wetherholt is one of the best overall hitters in this year’s draft, and he’d be a great pick-up if the Pirates took him 9th overall.