Pittsburgh Pirates: Setting Draft Expectations, Looking Back at 2021
The Pittsburgh Pirates are set to have the top selection in the 2023 MLB Draft. Obviously, this is once again an important selection for the Organization.
College Baseball is officially underway and Prep Baseball is starting right around the corner. The Pittsburgh Pirates will be selecting first overall in the 2023 Draft, the 2nd time in 3 years. The last time they selected first overall was in 2021 when the team landed on Henry Davis.
Many were surprised when the team announced Davis. Davis was viewed as a potential top 5 selection but was not really in the conversation for pick #1. This caught many off guard but as the rest of the Draft unfolded the selection made more and more sense. The team was ultra-aggressive in then signing some of the top prep talent available. This includes Anthony Solometo, Lonnie White Jr., and Bubba Chandler.
Now leading up to the 2021 Draft everyone expected the Pittsburgh Pirates to select Kumar Rocker. Well, that was early on, then it was Jack Leiter, then it was going to be Marcelo Mayer. Mayer was the name many expected to hear on Draft night, instead, he slid to #4.
My point is that there is a lot of time between now and July. There are so many variables in play for who the Bucs will take with the top pick. Will they take a Henry Davis approach and try to get a high-upside player while being able to spend elsewhere? Or will they look for the best talent available, like they did last year with Termarr Johnson?
Either way, it is incredibly shortsighted to assume that the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to take either LSU outfielder Dylan Crews or University of Tennessee pitcher Chase Dollander. Both are considered to be the top prospects in the Draft at their positions, but it is only February. Much like Leiter and Rocker were considered the two can't miss college prospects in 2021.
There are still plenty of College and Prep games to be played. Every year there is a lot of change within the top half of the first round. Players will break out over the next few months, while others will regress. Some will battle injuries that will affect their Draft value. Also, the asking prices of these prospects can help drive decisions as well.