Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Potential Options at No. 1 Overall

Who could the Pirates take at no. 1 overall?
Jun 26, 2023; Omaha, NE, USA; LSU Tigers center fielder Dylan Crews (3) celebrates after winning the
Jun 26, 2023; Omaha, NE, USA; LSU Tigers center fielder Dylan Crews (3) celebrates after winning the / Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
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Wyatt Langford

If neither Dylan Crews nor Paul Skenes existed, Wyatt Langford would be the best position player and arguably the number one overall pick. He's still in the running for the Pirates at the number one pick as an under slot college selection. While Langford didn't bat over .400 as Crews did, but he had an even better OPS.

Langford still hit .373/.498/.784 through 303 plate appearances. The University of Florida outfielder went yard 21 times while also hustling out 28 doubles and three triples. Langford's power numbers were off the charts. Not only did his slugging percentage approach .800, but his isolated slugging percentage clocked in at .411. These look like 2002 Barry Bonds numbers when he batted .370 with a .799 slugging and 46 home runs.

It's not as if Langford is up there swinging for the fences, either. Langford walked 18.5% of the time and only struck out in 14.5% of his plate appearances. His K% is identical to 2022, but his walk rate is a massive improvement. Granted, he was definitely getting pitched around to some degree, but with other highly talented Gators like Jac Caglianone, and Josh Rivera, he certainly had line-up protection around him.

This was the follow-up to a .356/.447/.713 triple-slash, 26 home runs in 303 plate appearances, and an 11.9% BB%/14.5% K% in 2022. It marks the second college season in a row Langford has gone yard 20+ times, and the second year in a row, his OPS has clocked in above 1.160. In both cases, he's had an OPS higher than Crews.

The only thing that Langford doesn't do that Dylan Crews does significantly better is field. Langford played a lot of corner infield and catcher coming out of high school. However, he's mostly manned left field for the Gators. While he's not the best fielder in the draft, he's far from bad. He still projects as average with a strong enough arm to play in an outfield corner. He's also an above-average runner, so range isn't an issue for him.

If Langford projected as a center fielder long-term, he might have surpassed Crews. It's the only thing that keeps him back and separates him from the LSU potential superstar. However, like Crews, we're still talking about an offensive ceiling somewhere between the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy and the Gates of Heaven.