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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Rounds 16-20: Pirates Keep With the Trend of College Players

Day three is a marathon when it comes to recapping the draft. We’ve got three people rotating between player pages, and the draft goes so fast that it usually allows you to take a quick break after your last player page, before you’ve got to start researching the next guy. So when a college player gets drafted when it’s your turn, it’s a big sigh of relief. It’s easier to find information on college players, which makes the process go quicker when rushing to research these guys.

But while college players make the writing process easier, they don’t always come with the highest upside from a draft perspective. That’s true when you’re talking about guys who were taken this late in the draft, and especially true when you’re talking about college seniors. The Pirates took two college seniors in this group, and five college players. Outside of day one, they have taken two prep players, and currently are on a run of nine college players in a row.

This approach will definitely help to fill the new Bristol roster, but it might not lead to any MLB players. The guy who looks the most promising (and not just because I did the research on him) is Chase Anderson. He seems like he has some good tools, and really took a jump this year with his power. He also has shown a good tendency to get on base, which is a trend the Pirates seem to be embracing more and more in the last year. – Tim Williams

16th Round, 491st Overall: Sam Street, RHP, Texas Pan-American

Street is from Australia, but came to the US to play college baseball. His career got a boost when he lowered his arm slot to just above sidearm. He doesn’t throw with much velocity, sitting 83-86 MPH, but has a lot of sink and plus command. He also throws a slider and changeup. Street was a fixture in the UTPA rotation, but profiles as a reliever in pro ball. Baseball America had him ranked 485th overall, and said he has the chance to be a future middle reliever. – Tim Williams

17th Round, 521st Overall: Michael Clemens, RHP, McNeese State

Clemens made some prospect lists coming out of high school, but not as a college junior.  He had a good season pitching mainly as the McNeese closer when he was a freshman, but his sophomore season was a disaster.  Whether he was hurt or not I haven’t been able to find out.  He took a regular turn in the rotation as a junior, but didn’t pitch well.  It’s possible the Pirates think he’ll improve if he goes back to relief.  I can’t find out much about what he throws, except that his fastball is around 90 MPH.  As a junior, it’s not a given that he’ll sign. – Wilbur Miller

18th Round, 551st Overall: Erik Lunde, 2B, Lander University

Lunde continued the trend of college seniors taken on day three of the 2014 draft. He is an undersized second baseman, who showed some pop his senior year, but it comes with the caveat that the team put up a .938 OPS, so his numbers didn’t stand out. Lunde gets on base at a decent clip, but offers very little speed. As a college senior, he should sign quick. – John Dreker

19th Round, 581st Overall: Carl Anderson, CF, Bryant University

Anderson has put up some strong numbers at the plate while playing for Bryant University. He shows a good tendency to get on base, displays a lot of speed, the ability to steal bases, and in 2014, he added some power to his game. Bryant’s speed was on display with 31 stolen bases in 34 attempts this year, and 56 in 64 attempts during his three-year career. He has a career .384 on-base percentage. Anderson has some solid tools, and could be a nice sleeper if the power he displayed this year is legit. He’s a junior, so there’s no guarantee that he’ll sign, but if he does, he could end up starting in center field for Jamestown this summer. – Tim Williams

20th Round, 611th Overall: John Sever, RHP, Bethune-Cookman University

Sever pitched for three different college teams in three years.  He spent 2012 with Erskine College in South Carolina, an NCAA Division II school, and 2013 with Daytona State College, which competes in athletics as a junior college.  He transferred to Bethune-Cookman for 2014.  Baseball America ranked him as the fourth best prospect in the Florida Collegiate Summer League in 2013, but did not list him among the top 500 draft prospects in 2014.  His fastball sometimes gets into the low-90s, but he needs to develop a useful secondary pitch and also work on his command.  He obviously had significant control issues in 2014.  The Pirates no doubt like his height (6′ 5″).  As a junior, he’s not an automatic sign. – Wilbur Miller

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.


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