Who could they target?
But if the draft were to happen tomorrow, what player would the Pirates take if they had the number one overall selection? One guy who would be a first pick candidate is Travis Bazzana. Bazzana could potentially be the best college prospects in this year’s draft.
Over his two years at Oregon State, Bazzana has hit .340/.408/.549 throughout 608 plate appearances. Bazzana has hit 17 home runs with 36 two-baggers, and a .209 isolated slugging percentage. However, he’s a massive base stealing threat, and is 50-57 in attempts. Bazzana has walked (104) nearly as many times as he’s struck out (109), with a dozen more BBs than K’s last season. Overall, he may be the best pure hitter in the draft.
He’s also done extremely well in the highly competitive Cape Cod League. In 158 plate appearances, Bazzana was a .375/.456/.581 batter. Going from metal to wood bats did not affect his overall power output. He hit for nearly the same amount of power, going yard six times with a .206 isolated slugging percentage. Of course, he had 18 walks and strikeouts, as well as 14 stolen bases in 17 attempts.
Bazanna has played a little bit everywhere. He is primarily a second baseman, but has experience at shortstop, third base, as well as the outfield. His final defensive home isn’t completely set yet. Oregon will likely give him an extended look at shortstop, though he could end up as a plus defensive second baseman, or out in left field.
On the high school side of things, Caleb Bonemer is a 6’1”, 195-pound shortstop who has shown off plus power potential. However, he has a lightning quick swing, and basically no stride. Bonemer has also shown off the ability to adjust to off-speed, as well as fastballs and breaking stuff while in the box. As of right now, like most high schoolers, Bonemer’s primary position is shortstop. He’s clocked in double-plus run times, but he could slow down once he starts filling out his frame.
While Bonemer currently sits as a plus-plus runner, it’s likely he may end up as just an above average runner. Still, that could be good enough to play shortstop in the long haul. If not, a move to third base could help him out. Bonemer draws comparisons to Washington Nationals’ infield prospect, Brady House, according to Future Stars Series. However, Bonemer should be a more athletic version of House.
There are plenty more who will likely get talked about when discussing the number one pick. Nick Kurtz, Jac Caglianone, and Vance Honeycutt will be potential college guys to go number one overall. Meanwhile, PJ Morlando and Konnor Griffin will be among the high schoolers who could go with the first pick. Of course, we are only in October. Even as late as March some considered Chase Dollander as a better talent than Paul Skenes. Needless to say, one season can change a lot.
Don't get your hopes up too high yet. 3.9% is still a fairly low percent chance the Pirates end up with the number one pick. But 3.9% is very far away from 0% as well. Only on the day of the draft lottery will we know where the Pirates will pick, but if they were to get the number one overall pick, it would be a massive win for the franchise.