Late Round Selections and Other Depth
During last year’s draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Nick Cimillo out of Rutgers in the 16th round. Cimillo was a senior draftee who posted insane numbers in his final season. In 254 plate appearances, Cimillo slashed .385/.492/.707 with 16 home runs. He drew 39 walks and struck out only 36 times. Cimillo received 34 plate appearances as a professional ball player after getting drafted but registered just a .567 OPS.
While Cimillo may not be the most exciting prospect to watch in 2023, that Barry Bonds-Esque slash line in his senior season does make you do a double-take. Might be worth seeing what he can do in a few more plate appearances. He also played a decent amount of corner outfield early in his college career, so there is a chance of getting some versatility out of Cimillo.
A draft pick from the 2021 draft who received an extended look was Wyatt Hendrie. A 7th-round pick out of San Diego State, Hendrie was coming off a great final college season where he batted .379/.464/.633. Hendrie’s ability to get on base and draw walks carried over from college as he had a .346 on-base percentage and 10% walk rate, but he had a hard time making consistent contact with a 29.6% strikeout rate and only hit four home runs. Hendrie has some athleticism and played some corner outfield in his final college season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates do have a few more pieces of organizational depth options. Eli Wilson had a great 2021 (albeit in limited playing time) but struggled in 2022. Dylan Shockley and Grant Koch are two other players who likely will serve as backups throughout the Pirates’ minor leagues.