Earlier today we took a look at recent mock drafts from both Keith Law and Baseball America. There seems to be an opinion shared by everyone that the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to go with high school pitching early in the draft. Even though they are picking at #19 and #32, there are a lot of good prep pitching options in that range, so while the players don’t match up between the mock drafts, the specific group of players is the same.
Jim Callis put out his own mock draft this afternoon and he has the Pirates taking lefty Kolby Allard with the #19 pick and righty Donnie Everett with the #32 pick. Both of these players have been mentioned for the Pirates with those picks before and Allard is getting mentions more often recently.
If the consensus is correct, and part of it is based on what they are hearing around the industry(not just guesswork), then the Pirates’ picks will rely more on who is available when they pick, not just who they are looking at in that spot. They probably have a list of names in order already and they will just go with the best prep pitcher available when their spots come up.
Mike Nikorak has been mentioned often for the Pirates, but Callis has him going one spot earlier to the Giants. The Giants also pick right in front of the Pirates at #31 and he has them going with pitcher Nolan Watson. He has been connected to the Giants due his father being good friends with the Giants’ area scout, so they know Nolan well. He is usually rated just a little lower, so that could be a misread by the draft experts, or if it’s true, it could open up a spot for a currently higher ranked pitcher to slide to the Pirates.
While most teams have already gathered all their data for the draft and they are now spending the weekend sorting it out, a match-up in California tomorrow could change things. Big lefty Justin Hooper is taking on righty Joe Demers. Hooper could be an option for that #32 pick if he looks good and it’s a potential steal, because some had him as a top 5-10 pick in the preseason. Demers would be more likely for the second round pick, but a strong performance on the big stage will sure to help his cause. You can read more on all of the pitchers mentioned here in our prep pitchers draft preview. Demers was an honorable mention back then, but we covered him here.
Draft starts in four days with the first two rounds and we will cover every pick through round 40 here, with player profiles and recaps of all three days. Stay tuned for our tiered ranking article, which should be out this weekend, or early Monday.
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.