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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Perfect Game Mock Draft Has Pirates Taking Two High School Bats

Perfect Game released their final mock draft on Wednesday night. They had a seven man team contribute to the mock draft, with some pretty big names helping out, such as Kendall Rogers, Jason Parks and Allan Simpson. For the two early Pittsburgh Pirates picks, they went with shortstop Jacob Gatewood in the 24th spot and second baseman Forrest Wall in the 39th spot, both prep players.

Gatewood has been mentioned often for the Pirates recently. Most people believe the questions about his bat will cause him to slide down the draft charts, but a team like the Pirates won’t let him get past them due to his huge upside. At best, he is a power hitting shortstop in the majors, at worst he is a third baseman that doesn’t hit enough to reach the big leagues so many teams drafting higher might not want to take a chance with him.

You can read a scouting report along with video for Forrest Wall in our draft preview from a couple weeks ago. Not many teams draft a prep second baseman this high because most athletic players will player more important positions in high school and then move off them in the pros. Wall has limited throwing ability due to a couple arm injuries, but his bat projects to carry him to the majors and make him a solid regular.

Our tiered draft rankings had each of these two as solid picks where they are projected.

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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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IMHO I think Gatewood would be a very bad pick as prep SS seem to never work out in the first round. Taking Shortstops in rounds 2 through 10 has produced results but first round shortstops are one in a hundred chance, which is a very bad risk, and usually they have a really good bat (Jeter, AROD, Drew, Tulowitzki) and go in the first 10 picks. The best positions would be corner infield, OF or pitching. Middle Infield has to come from later rounds or international. If a shortstop drops out of the top 10 picks and falls to the 11 through 30 picks they almost never make it to the big leagues. Generally a franchise needs to be able to find a diamond in the rough shortstop like the Reds did with Cozart.
I think taking a prep SS is too risky, and not even worth it unless he has some really good tools (which if he did, he would be a top 10 pick anyway).


He’s not really a shortstop – he’s just a guy who plays shortstop in high school, because in a lot of high schools that’s where the best athlete ends up.

At 6’5″, he’s probably a 3B (or even an OF) in the majors, so based on your stated hierarchy of needs, that should make you happy.

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