Jim Callis released his second mock draft this afternoon and it’s a new name for the Pirates, although it’s someone we have mentioned here often. Callis has the Pirates taking prep shortstop Jacob Gatewood. We have heard a bunch of names associated with the Pirates recently and below you can find the college action from this weekend, highlighting many players that have been mentioned as possible picks for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Gatewood is one of the biggest question marks in this draft. Some scouts think you’ll get a third baseman with huge home run potential, while others believe that he will have trouble hitting at the next level and he is too big of a gamble in the first round. He has been rated higher most of the year, so Gatewood dropping to #24 in the mock draft could mean that he didn’t answer any of these questions this year. Very few scouts believe he has the chance to stick at shortstop due to his glove and range, but the arm will play well at third base.
Gatewood is 6’5″, 180 pounds, so he has the chance to pack on plenty of muscle. The fact that he has a quick bat and already hits for power, gives him tremendous upside, as long as he can hit enough. There is a huge difference in his floor and ceiling, a possible 30 homer shortstop, or a third baseman that doesn’t hit enough to reach the majors. With the extra pick on day one due to the Bryan Morris trade, that’s a gamble the Pirates might take now.
I’ve included a recent video for Gatewood below, courtesy of MaxPreps
Sunday’s College Action
Recapping the Sunday action from the NCAA Regional Tournament. The Pittsburgh Pirates now have the 24th and 39th overall picks, plus they will select again at #64 and #73 on day one of the draft, which is this Thursday. Many of these players mentioned below are strong options for one of those picks.
We took a look yesterday at how the draft pick acquired in the Bryan Morris trade could affect the Pirates. There is also coverage of Saturday’s action from the NCAA Regionals.
Virginia outfielder Derek Fisher went 2-for-4 with four RBIs in a 9-2 win over Arkansas. He is a possibility for the Pirates first pick(Callis mentions him in the mock draft), while first baseman Mike Papi could be someone the Pirates look at with the #39 pick. He was 0-for-3, but he scored two runs, walked twice and drove in a run.
On Sunday, Kentucky first baseman A.J. Reed went 0-for-2 with two sacrifice flies and and HBP. Reed went 0-for-4 in a second Sunday game against Louisville. He could be a possible pick for the Pirates with either of their top picks, although he may not last until the 39th spot. In that second game, Louisville closer Nick Burdi threw a scoreless ninth for the save. He has an 0.54 ERA this year and a triple digit fastball, which will get him picked some time in the second half of the first round.
Third baseman Matt Chapman and outfielder J.D. Davis had a tough time in their team’s 4-3 win over Nebraska. The Cal State Fullerton pair went 1-for-8, with a single by Davis accounting for the only hit. Davis threw a scoreless ninth for the save. In their second Sunday game, a 6-4 loss to Oklahoma State, Davis was 1-for-5 with an RBI, while Chapman went 1-for-4 with a walk. Both players are second round options and Chapman is rated as one of the best defensive players in college.
Stanford third baseman Alex Blandino homered, drove in two runs and walked twice in a 12-4 win over Youngstown State. He has been mentioned numerous times as a possible Pirates pick, though he has also been rated much lower by some sources, so he could end up being someone they look at with the 39th overall pick. We featured Blandino in our draft preview on Thursday.
Stanford had a second game on Sunday against Indiana and this one had three players of interest. Blandino went 1-for-4 and drove in two runs in his team’s 10-7 victory. Indiana catcher Kyle Schwarber was 2-for-4 with a walk and his 47th RBI. First baseman Sam Travis was 2-for-3 with two walks and his 59th RBI. The two players could be options for the Pirates on day one, with Schwarber mentioned often to the Pirates with their 24th pick and Travis should go sometime in the second round. Stanford and Indiana play again on Monday night.
South Carolina third baseman Joey Pankake went 2-for-4 with two runs driven in and a walk in his team’s 9-0 win over Campbell. Catcher Grayson Greiner went 1-for-4 with a walk and run scored. In their second game, which was a 10-1 loss to Maryland, Pankake went 1-for-4 with a single, while Greiner was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. They could both be options for either of the Pirates later picks on day one.
Oregon State beat UNLV on Sunday by a 6-1 score. Right fielder Dylan Davis was 1-for-5 with a run scored. Left fielder Michael Conforto went 1-for-4 with a walk and run scored. They had a second game against UC Irvine in which Conforto was 1-for-3 with a double, walk and RBI, while Davis was 1-for-4 with a single. Conforto will likely be gone at least 5-10 picks before the Pirates make their first selection, but Davis could be an option with the later picks from day one.
In that second Oregon State game, UC Irvine third baseman Taylor Sparks went 0-for-3 with a HBP. He had been mentioned as a first round pick early in the year, but has dropped back to the second round. Depending on where he falls, he could be an option for the Pirates. Oregon State and UC Irvine are one of the ten games on Monday’s schedule.
Max Pentecost went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored on Sunday in a loss to Alabama. The Kennesaw State catcher in usually listed in the same area as Conforto and a strong tournament from Pentecost should keep him high in the draft. He took on Alabama again on Monday and went 1-for-3 with a walk and his 58th RBI.
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.