Today we look at a couple new mock drafts, which both have the Pirates taking a player we haven’t discussed yet. I’ve also included some links of interest at the bottom. The Pittsburgh Pirates own the 22nd and 41st picks this year. The draft begins on June 9th and lasts three days, with the first two rounds selected on day one. You can view our draft preview here, which covers many of the names who fall in the Pirates’ range. It also focuses in on players who fit the recent draft strategy of the Pirates.
Baseball America posted their first attempt at a mock draft this week and they picked a local kid for the Pirates. They have them taking outfielder Alex Kirilloff, who attends Plum HS in Pennsylvania. You can read more about Kirilloff in this recent article here from the Post-Gazette. While he is somewhat intriguing due to his power potential, I don’t see the Pirates taking him.
Their focus recently has been athletic players at key defensive positions, who have the hit tool. They all make consistent contact and have the ability to get on base. Kirilloff is a corner outfielder, possibly a future first baseman, who has some swing-and-miss to go along with the power. He’s not at all like the players they have targeted recently with their early picks and it certainly seems like they intend to stick to this draft formula for the time being. So while this is probably the general area of the first round where Kirilloff will be selected, I don’t see him going to the Pirates.
Over at Scouts.com, they did their second mock draft and this one has an interesting twist. Instead of doing one as a group, they let two of their writers who cover the draft, do their own mock drafts and put them side-by-side for comparison.
I’ll start with the choice from Taylor Ward, because it’s someone we have talked about here before. I mentioned New York prep pitcher Ian Anderson in our draft preview, plus there has been some brief mentions of him in the coverage since then. His season starts later than normal because he’s from a cold weather state. Ward has Anderson going to the Pirates in his mock draft.
The Pirates have taken position players with each of their top two picks the last three years, but Anderson is a 6’3″, projectable right-handed pitcher, with a fastball that touches 95 MPH, which he throws on a downhill angle. He also has an average change-up and throws strikes, so he already possesses a lot of qualities the Pirates try to teach their young pitchers. Anderson is also ranked in this general area for most people and won’t have many opportunities(due to his team’s short schedule) to change opinions. You can read more about Anderson is this recent article from The 3rd Man In.
Jeff Ellis conducted the other mock draft for Scout and he went with Reggie Lawson, a right-handed prep pitcher out of California. Lawson is 6’4″, 185 pounds and sits low-90’s with his fastball, mixing it with a mid-70’s curve that has some inconsistencies. Sometimes the curve gets a little slower and loopy, while other times it can get to 77 MPH and have a sharp break. At the bottom of this article, I included a video of Lawson from late last year courtesy of Prospect Pipeline. You can view a second video of Lawson here, also from Prospect Pipeline. It was taken around the same time of year as the video below and shot at a slightly different angle to give you a second view of his delivery and pitches.
Just for reference, neither mock draft from Scout has Alex Kirilloff among their selections, which went up to the 34th pick. As for comparing their own picks, Ward has Lawson going 32nd in his draft, while Ellis counters with Anderson going 24th in his mock. The BA mock draft has Anderson all the way up at #10, while Lawson didn’t make the list.
One final note on these two mock drafts and it’s Georgia pitcher Robert Tyler, who was ranked 22nd overall twice recently. He didn’t make BA’s list, but he was 21st and 28th on the Scout lists, so he remains a player to watch for that first pick.
News and Notes
** Prep Baseball Report saw an outing from right-handed pitcher Bo Weiss(subscription required), which had him sitting high 90’s with fastball and showing a low 70’s curve with good bite. He also mixed in a change-up with good separation from his fastball. Weiss is looking like a second round pick at this point, but he has plenty of projection left in his 6’3″ frame and easy delivery.
** Jonathan Mayo posted his top ten prospects from the NHSI tournament last week. Four of the players on the list are 2017 draft prospects, while I gave observations on three of the others after watching them play.
** Scout.com has an article about recent draft trends, covering pitchers we have mentioned recently in Daulton Jefferies, Alec Hansen and Zack Brown. They also mention a pair of pitchers we haven’t covered, St Mary’s RHP Corbin Burnes and California prep RHP Matt Manning.
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.
I’d like the Pirates go with high upside HS position players at the top of this draft, after taking almost exclusively college players last year. I don’t have a problem with the kid from Plum HS – we have a lack of real power prospects in the system – and most power hitters have swing and miss in them.
As I said, he wouldn’t be a bad pick in that spot, he just doesn’t fit the mold and they seem to be just starting the process of high OBP guys. So I don’t expect them to go for a power-hitting corner outfielder/1B over a more athletic player at a premium position with a better hit tool. He would be a surprising pick for the Pirates at this point.
We’re going to take Ian Anderson? Can he also play the flute and sing Aqualung???
Why don’t you go find a 6’3″ kid and ask him if he plays flute. Let me know how that goes
Ian Anderson is (was) the lead singer for the band “Jethro Tull” (sp?)
I know that, but I don’t like encouraging Lee. You give him a thumbs up for word play(or word association is this case) and he keeps trying it. It can spiral out of control in a hurry. You have to hit him with a virtual rolled up newspaper and say “bad”, so he stops.
you are in good form today…..actually outstanding.
Shame I could only thumb this up once!!