2014 Draft Primer: A New Challenge For the Pirates

On Thursday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates will make their first four selections in the 2014 amateur draft. Below you will find some of the best links for all you need to know to read up on the draft, with insight into the Pirates approach and who they might be considering once the draft starts. There is a section below on the latest mock drafts and rankings, plus links for 20 players that we posted videos and scouting reports for over the last six weeks.

This is the by far the busiest time for draft talk and the Pirates made a late addition to their draft picks, adding the 39th overall selection. Earlier in the week, we took a look at the effect the new draft pick acquired in the Bryan Morris trade will have on the Pirates. That was followed up by the draft week in review as we get closer to the start of the draft. Both links show you what the new draft pick potentially adds to the system.

Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington talked about the Pirates approach to this draft and how they will handle pick lower than normal. After the Bryan Morris deal was completed, Huntington also spoke about the value of adding a high draft pick, while also keeping his bullpen core together. With a deep draft this year, the Pirates believe they are in a good position to add impact talent at the top, despite not picking in the top half of the first round.

We took a look at two names you might want to remember on draft day. Local prep pitcher Brendan McKay put up incredible numbers this year, leading to speculation that the Pirates might want to add a hometown player early in the draft. Neal Huntington spoke about the Pirates approach with local players in the draft. Also, we had a chance to talk to prep pitcher Scott Blewett after he made his first appearance in four weeks following shoulder soreness. He was once thought of as a possible option for the Pirates pick at #24, but now he could be a steal with the 39th pick.

Baseball America posted an article on the best tools in this draft class. Most of these players will be gone before the Pirates pick, but there are some names that could be around when they make their selections, even into the second round.

Save our draft pick signing tracker to follow as draft picks sign with the Pirates. Also, check out our Top 100 Tiered Rankings, where we put the top 100 players into groups based on their odds of being picked by the Pirates. We also give our opinions on the top choices in each group, while highlighting some  of the more interesting names.

The Mock Drafts and Rankings

There have been a lot of mock drafts recently and draft day ends up being the busiest day for them. Here are the latest mock drafts and rankings, along with who the industry experts believe will go to the Pirates, plus commentary on those choices.

**Third Mock Draft From Keith Law Has College Outfielder Falling to Pirates

**Updated Top 500 Draft Rankings From Baseball America

**Latest Mock Draft From Jim Callis Has Power Hitting Shortstop For Pirates

**Second Mock Draft From Jonathan Mayo Has College First Baseman For Pirates

**Baseball America’s Fourth Mock Draft Has Pirates Adding to Strength

**MLB.com Releases Top 200 Draft Prospect List With Familiar Name in Pirates Spot

**Keith Law’s Final Draft Prospect Rankings Has College Players in Pirates Top Two Spots

Draft Prospect Preview

Our draft prospect previews give you a chance to read scouting reports and see videos on 20 of the top names in this draft class. Some players have moved up or down since the articles, but all were mentioned right around the Pirates range at some point during the last six weeks. The ones that have fallen, could now be options for the Pirates #39 pick.

**Alex Blandino, Brandon Finnegan, Ti’Quan Forbes, Luis Ortiz

**Derek Fisher, Tyler Beede, Monte Harrison, Sean Reid-Foley

**Kyle Schwarber, Matt Imhof, Forrest Wall, Foster Griffin

**Luke Weaver, Michael Conforto, Michael Chavis, Kodi Medeiros

**Sean Newcomb, Casey Gillaspie, Broxton Davidson, Spencer Adams

**Videos of the Previous Group

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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Thanks for all the great coverage John

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