Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Ben Cherington Continues to Prioritize College Pitching on Day 3

College players, especially pitchers, continue to be a priority
Alabama pitcher Garrett McMillan (39) starts against Troy at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa,
Alabama pitcher Garrett McMillan (39) starts against Troy at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA

The Pittsburgh Pirates have continued to prioritize college pitching on day three of the 2023 MLB Draft

It's clear Ben Cherington had a plan for the 2023 draft. That plan was to emphasize college players for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Especially college pitching. So far on day three of the draft, that has continued.

Rounds 11 through 16 have seen the Pirates select five college players. Of these five players, three have been college pitchers. It has become very clear that the Pirates are prioritizing college players in this draft.

Round 11 - LHP Magdiel Cotto, University of Kentucky

Round 11 saw the Pittsburgh Pirates select left-handed pitcher Magdiel Cotto out of Kentucky, becoming the second Kentucky pitcher selected in this draft by the Bucs. In 18 relief innings pitched with the Wildcats this past season Cotto posted a 6.00 ERA to go with nine walks and 26 strikeouts. Cotto is the latest pick that projects as a professional reliever.

Round 12 - RHP Khristian Curtis, Arizona State University

Righty Khristian Curtis was selected in round 12. With Arizona State, Curtis posted a 7.03 ERA, walked 35 batters, and struck out 58 in 64.0 innings pitched in 15 games (14 starts) last season. Curtis transferred to Arizona State from Texas A&M, and was coming off Tommy John surgery.

Round 13 - 1B/OF Charles McAdoo, San Jose State University

Round 13 saw the Pirates go stick with collegiate players, but go with another college bat. They selected first baseman/outfielder Charles McAdoo out of San Jose State University. McAddo hit for a strong .325/.409/.543 slash line with 10 home runs, 19 doubles, and a triple last season.

Round 14 - RHP Garrett McMillan, Alabama

Cherington went back to the SEC in round 14 with Alabama righty Garrett McMillan. McMillan pitched in 10 games this past season with 9 starts. He pitched 42.1 innings, walking 17 batters and striking out 36 while posting a 4.89 ERA. McMillan also projects as a reliever long-term.

Round 15 - C John Lopez, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy

Round 15 saw the Pirates go back to the prep ranks with catcher John Lopez. Lopez is a catcher from Salinas, Puerto Rico. Lopez is an intriguing prospect and was one of the top prep players in Puerto Rico for this class.

Round 16 - C Justin Mikins, Kent State University

Cherington and the Pirates went catcher again in round 16. This time, it was a college catcher in Kent State's Justin Mikins. In three college seasons Mikins hit .319/.405/.505 with 20 home runs, 42 doubles, and 4 triples.

Mikins also has the Cape Cod League experience that Cherington values so much. Mikins has hit .198/.342/.307 with 3 home runs and 2 doubles across two seasons in Cape Cod. Mikins is a catcher who may rise through the system quickly.

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