Pittsburgh Pirates: Reflection on Day 1 of the 2023 MLB Draft

2023 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship
2023 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship / Jay Biggerstaff/GettyImages
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The Pittsburgh Pirates made significant moves in the 2023 MLB Draft with their initial three picks. Led by General Manager Ben Cherington and assistant Steve Sanders, the team followed a clear strategy of targeting promising talents while considering signing bonuses. Let's examine the potential impact of their first three picks: Paul Skenes, Mitch Jebb, and Zander Mueth.

  1. Paul Skenes - A Future Ace:
    In the first round, the Pirates secured LSU pitcher Paul Skenes, a standout talent often compared to Stephen Strasburg. Skenes brings excitement and hope to the Pirates organization. With solid fastball command and developing secondary pitches, he has the potential to dominate on the mound. Signing Skenes slightly below slot value would be a smart move, granting the team more flexibility in later picks.
  2. Mitch Jebb - A High-Floor Infielder:
    The Pirates addressed their offensive needs by selecting Michigan State's Mitch Jebb. Jebb provides reliability in the infield and potential as a left-handed bat. With the ability to play multiple positions, he adds value and options to the Pirates' lineup. Securing Jebb under-slot would strengthen the team's position for the rest of the draft.
  3. Zander Mueth - A Projectable Pitching Prospect:
    The Pirates chose prep right-hander Zander Mueth in the third round. Mueth's projectable traits make him an intriguing prospect for the team. Although an over-slot bonus may be required, the Pirates have the advantage of a large budget. Investing in Mueth demonstrates their commitment to developing young talent. They will need to sign him away from his commitment to Ole Miss.