Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Six Potential Later Round Picks

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Braylen Wimmer

Braylen Wimmer is a senior out of South Carolina University. The infielder was drafted once before last year by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 18th round. However, the Phillies and Wimmer could not come to an agreement, and he opted to return to college for his fourth season. He had what was his best college season so far while also showing talent in the Cape Cod League in 2021.

Wimmer finished out his 2023 season batting .297/.405/.551. The right-handed batter went deep a dozen times this year, posting a slugging percentage well over .500. His isolated slugging also clocked in at an elite .254 mark. Not only has he hit for power, but he's stolen 13 bases in 14 attempts. Wimmer has a respectable 11.7% walk rate on top of that.

You won't find a perfect post-round five prospect, and there's undoubtedly some concern with Wimmer's strikeouts. His 20.3% strikeout rate this year is the best he's put up in college. But that is a massive down-tick from his first full college season in 2021 when he struck out at a rate over 25% (25.6%). Plus, Baseball America praised his approach to the plate this season. An 11.7% walk rate is a 5.5% increase from 2022 as well.

Wimmer has mostly played second base throughout his college career. However, he's also seen a handful of games in the outfield and a couple of contests at shortstop. At 6'4", 200 pounds, he'd be a pretty hefty shortstop. Most believe he'll settle into second base or a corner outfield spot. He has graded out as a solid defensive middle infielder, however, so he's not a completely positionless defender.

There's some makeup in Wimmer's game that could help him succeed at the professional level. He's a good athlete who is solidly built. His swing is a little long, which has led to strikeouts in the past, as talked about earlier. However, his change in approach could lead to him getting drafted much earlier than the 18th round. Wimmer is ranked outside the top 200 of both Baseball America and Joe Doyle of Future Star Series and, as a senior, will likely sign for under-slot money. That could be a good 6th-8th round target for the Bucs.