It’s been a busy last two days for mock drafts and three of the bigger names that cover the draft have put their best guesses out there for all to see. Yesterday we saw the first mock draft from Keith Law and he had Vanderbilt pitcher Tyler Beede dropping to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Baseball America had their second mock draft, selecting toolsy prep outfielder Monte Harrison for the Pirates. Jonathan Mayo posted his draft prediction and his name in the 24th spot has been mentioned with the Pirates a couple times before, Wichita State first baseman Casey Gillaspie.
Gillaspie was part of our first draft preview two weeks ago. We also posted a scouting video on him at the same time. Gillaspie is a switch-hitting first baseman with huge power. Just over two weeks ago, Gillaspie was rated 24th by MLB.com and a mock draft from Chris Crawford had him going to the Pirates. There has been a lot of coverage of him recently, so if you’ve been following the draft here, he is definitely a name you are familiar with already.
Gillaspie is hitting .401 this year through 53 games, with 48 walks and 24 strikeouts. He has 15 doubles, 14 homers and a 1.229 OPS. His bat plays up from both sides of the plate, with power and average from the left and the right. He can handle first base well and his running is below average despite going 8-for-8 so far in steal attempts. Due to that lack of foot speed, he is strictly a first baseman, but his bat has a chance to be special. One scout according to Mayo, said that Gillaspie has a chance to be as good as a couple other top switch-hitters, Lance Berkman and Mark Teixeira. That is high praise and definitely the type of value you’d like to get when selecting far down in the first round.
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.
Pedro was great in college too.
I just hope whomever they choose lives up to expectations.
I know a lot of people defend Pedro and that is fine, you have a right to your opinion. Let me have a right to mine..
The best day was when the Pirates won their 82nd game the next best day for me is when Pedro is gone.
In a ballpark built for a left-handed power-hitter (and in an organization bereft of power from that side of the plate) I can’t understand the urgency some feel to jettison Pedro Alvarez.
Is your opinion of Pedro based on his uneven performance or your unmet expectations of his performance?
To me, he is a valuable piece for the Pirates. However, he should be batting 6th. Davis is better suited to hit 4th currently. Once Polanco arrives, the batting order should be:
I’m with you, I’m ready for him to go. He’s Mark Reynolds 2.0
John: I love Gillaspie. With the issues the Pirates have at the present time, could Nick Burdi be a better pick? Many so-called experts see him as a MLB Closer very quickly with his triple digit fastball, and he also has multi-inning capability.
absolutely not. a closer with the first round, you have to be insane with all the power arms we have in the minors. I don’t dislike Gillaspie actually., but i’m still really hoping for a third baseman or shortstop, as usual, maybe a lefty power arm for the rotation
I don’t think they will go with a reliever. He would move quickly, but they seem to be able to find relievers pretty easy, so I can’t see them using a first round pick for one