Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Six Potential Later Round Picks
By Noah Wright
Louisiana State University is packed with talent. Crews and Paul Skenes are two of the most hyped draft prospects in decades. But they're not the only players on LSU's baseball squad who are likely going to get picked in this year's draft, far from it. One of the more talented right-handed pitchers on the team is Garrett Edwards.
Edwards worked as a relief pitcher, tossing 23.1 innings out of the bullpen. Edwards worked to an ERA under 2.00 at 1.93 with a K:BB ratio of 5.4. Edwards also had a WHIP below 1.00 at 0.90. Of the just 16 hits the right-hander allowed, just one single hit left the ballpark. With only one home run allowed in over 20 innings, Edwards' HR/9 rate clocked in at 0.39.
While Edwards worked out of the bullpen, some believe he could become a starting pitcher at the next level. He throws in the mid-90s, topping out at 98 MPH. However, his slider is arguably the better offering. Not only does he have pinpoint command with the pitch, but right-handed hitters have extreme trouble when facing it. His third pitch is a tumbling change-up, an offering that he has a feel for.
Edwards' mechanics lead to a slight concern. He's almost the complete opposite to Amaral, instead having an upward-facing, extremely short arm in his wind-up. It's a stiff motion, as many have pointed out. That's not the only concern. Edwards was only limited to 23.1 innings because of UCL surgery after the first week of April. That essentially eliminates him from playing until the summer of 2024.
The UCL injury and the fact he could end up as a relief pitcher, in the long run, are risks, but definitely not enough to make teams turn away from his pure talent. The Pirates could take him sometime in rounds 8-10 as an under-slot pick to save money after drafting Crews.