Keith Law put out his final mock draft(subscription required) this afternoon and he has the Pittsburgh Pirates going after pitcher Kyle Freeland. In his final draft rankings from yesterday, Law had Freeland ranked as the 19th best player.
The 6’4″, 185 pound left-hander from Evansville has a fastball that sits low-90’s, but many believe he still has room to add strength/weight to his frame, which could add to his velocity. His command is average(some say above average), with an above average slider and a change-up that projects to be an above average pitch. Freeland may have a little more projection than your normal top-ranked college pitcher, but he also has a high effort delivery, so he may also be maxed out now. He isn’t a huge upside pitcher like most pitchers we have been hearing, but he offers a solid three-pitch mix that should get him to the majors fairly quick, where he would be anywhere from a number 3-5 starter depending on how he progresses with his velocity and change-up.
There seems to be a split on what he currently offers and what he projects to be, so the report above is basically a mixture of those contrasting reports. One recent report from Baseball America had him ranked #5 in this draft class, but also said some have doubts he can remain as a starter due to his delivery. Freeland had a 1.90 ERA, with 13 walks and 128 strikeouts in 99.2 innings this year for Evansville.
Law mentions that the Pirates like prep 1B/OF Braxton Davidson, but he thinks there is a chance Davidson could last long enough that they take him in the 39th spot. You can get a scouting report on Davidson here, and a video of him here.
The mock drafts and links have been coming out quickly today, so here are all the important links from the last 24 hours:
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.