Baseball America has released their first mock draft of the year, with the actual MLB draft coming three weeks from Monday. The mock draft doesn’t include right-hander Lucas Giolito, due to his injury status and the new draft rules making him a wild card.
The top seven picks were Mark Appel, Byron Buxton, Mike Zunino, Kyle Zimmer, Kevin Gausman, Albert Almora, and Carlos Correa. With the eighth pick, Baseball America had the Pirates taking shortstop Deven Marrero from Arizona State. They noted that the Pirates have been searching for a shortstop for years, and may go with a position player after taking Cole and Taillon the last two years.
I can’t see the Pirates drafting a guy based on need. I also don’t like the pick of Marrero. The talent drops off after my top seven are off the board, and with Giolito not included in this draft, none of my top seven would have been available when the Pirates picked. Outside of my top seven, I’d take Almora or left hander Max Fried before I’d go with Marrero.
Marrero has great defense, and he’ll stick at shortstop, which is good. But that’s about it. He’s not hitting this year, and his value mostly comes from his defense. I think that if you look at his upside, and look at the upside of guys like Almora, Fried, or Giolito, the upside for the latter three is much higher.
If Giolito didn’t go in the top seven, I’d take him at eighth overall. If Giolito did go in the top seven, then I’d pick between Fried and whoever didn’t go in the top seven (ideally Correa) before I’d consider Marrero.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
I have no idea why we would take Marrero over Cecchini except for immediate need and that’s a terrible way to make draft decisions. If Correa is gone it sure seems like the pick should be Giolito or Cecchini.
Cecchini would be a fairly big reach to take at #8 overall just to let you  230;.and the system is not as weak at short as people are making it out to be. there 217;s d 217;arnaud, Mercer, Holt, and Hanson who are are fairly solid prospects. if all goes according to everything im reading online, the 7 picks in front of the Pirates will be Appel, Gausman, Buxton, Zimmer, Giolito, Zunino, Correa in no particular order. personally, nobody is talking about the two guys I think the Pirates should take; Stephen Piscotty of Stanford and Richie Shaffer of Clemson. both can play corner infield spots, Piscotty is the best college bat behind Zunino and is a great gap hitter, and Shaffer may be the best power hitter in the draft
K. Law has hinted that the Pirates are interested in Marrero. Now Callis and BA have the Pirates taking Marrero. I have a bad feeling about this.
Right now, the 2009 draft is looking like a bust. Repeating the strategy makes not a bit of sense. It’s not as though the Pirates stateside amateur scouts have found numerous gems in the later rounds. The 2009 strategy makes sense only if the team using it cashes in on some of its later round picks. That does not look like it will happen with the 2009 class.
I don’t want to see the Pirates draft Marrero. A shortstop who isn’t hitting well in college should not be taken with the eighth pick in the draft.
I’m hoping that Correa drops to number 8. He is still only 17 years old. He is already an elite prospect and he has plenty of room – and time – for development. Giolito sounds like a big risk.
Thanks to an injury, some team is going to get a much better player than they should late in the first round – Victor Roache.