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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Draft Prospect Watch: Kyle Schwarber Homers, Matt Imhof Goes to Pirates in Latest Mock Draft

Chris Crawford posted his new top 100 prospect list and he has Braxton Davidson rated 24th overall, which is where the Pittsburgh Pirates make their first selection. Davidson was featured in our first draft preview, plus we also posted scouting videos for Davidson and three other possible picks. There is one caveat with Crawford’s rankings. He didn’t include Jeff Hoffman or Erick Fedde, two pitchers that are undergoing Tommy John surgery, but they still could go in the top twenty.

Indiana catcher Kyle Schwarber had a big hit on Tuesday, drilling a three-run homer in the ninth during his team’s 7-2 win over Louisville. It was his tenth homer of the season. Schwarber was the Pirates choice in Baseball America’s first mock draft last week. Indiana first baseman Sam Travis went 1-for-4 with a walk on Tuesday. He is a likely second round pick.

Trea Turner from NC State had a big game on Monday, going 2-for-5 with a double, home run and three RBIs. Turner was ranked 22nd in Chris Crawford’s rankings above, which is interesting when you consider that Fedde and Hoffman weren’t included, so they would likely push Turner back two spots.

Catcher Max Pentecost from Kennesaw State went 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored on Tuesday. In MLB.com’s rankings last week, they had Pentecost ranked 25th, but after Erick Fedde got injured, he was moved further down the list, pushing Pentecost to the 24th spot.

Virginia outfielder Derek Fisher went 1-for-4 with a walk and RBI during his team’s 12-3 win over VCU on Tuesday. Fisher has been ranked recently in the second half of the first round. Virginia first baseman Mike Papi is a likely second round pick, though he should be off the board before the Pirates make their second pick. He went 2-for-4 with a double, two walks and he drove in two runs.

Vanderbilt’s Walker Buehler threw five innings on Tuesday against Southeast Missouri St, giving up one run on four hits and two walks, while striking out three batters. Buehler was the 14th round selection of the Pirates in the 2012 draft. He has a 2.35 ERA in 69 innings, with a .219 BAA and 81 strikeouts.

Finally, Dan Kirby from Through The Fences posted his latest mock draft and he rated Cal Poly starter Matt Imhof 24th overall. Imhof pitched well against UC Irvine on Friday night, giving up two earned runs over eight innings. He struck out 13 batters in the game, including four strikeouts against third baseman Taylor Sparks, who could sneak into the back end of the first round with a strong finish. We posted a scouting report and video of Imhof here back in late March when he was first mentioned in the Pirates range.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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