Pittsburgh Pirates: An Early Three-Round Mock Draft

LSU outfielder Dylan Crews (3) celebrates with teammates Tre' Morgan (18) and Eric Reyzelman (22)
LSU outfielder Dylan Crews (3) celebrates with teammates Tre' Morgan (18) and Eric Reyzelman (22) / Jake Crandall/ Advertiser / USA TODAY
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Round Two - Cameron Johnson

I'll admit it; I've fallen in love with Cameron Johnson as a prospect. I hope and pray that he's still on the board when the Pirates are on the clock and that the Pirates select him. There's still a distinct possibility he is available as well, at least right now. The strapping southpaw may just be one of the most interesting left-handed pitchers in the draft and high school arms in the class.

Standing at 6'5", 230 pounds, Johnson is a massive kid at just 18 years of age. Johnson uses his size to fling a mid-to-upper 90s fastball through the zone. He's already averaging 95-96 MPH. He also has a good slider, one that sits in the upper-70s. MLB Pipeline sees it as a proper out pitch. His third offering is a change-up. Although Pipeline isn't too bullish on it right now, he's still just 18. There's plenty of time for him to start incorporating the pitch more and getting a better feel for it.

Not only does he throw hard with a nice breaking ball, but he does it with a low three-quarters arm slot. It's about as low as you can get before being considered a side-arm pitcher. There's a lot to like about Johnson, but there is some risk. During the summer, he showed fatigue later into the season. This affected his game overall, and he became less sharp during the year.

Still, at 18 years old, he is already pumping 95-96 MPH through the zone, and with his frame, Johnson should be on the Pirates' draft radar. If he decides to go through with his commitment to LSU, I think he would become a top-ten draft prospect in two or three years. Ranked as the 50th-best prospect per MLB Pipeline, there's a possibility he's still available when the Pirates are on the clock for the second round and with the 42nd overall selection.