New Mock Draft from Callis Has Hard-Throwing Prep Pitcher for Pirates

Jim Callis at MLB Pipeline posted his latest mock draft on Friday morning and he has the Pittsburgh Pirates taking right-handed pitcher Shane Baz.

We have mentioned the 17-year-old, 6’3″ Baz here before because he has gone to the Pirates in previous mock drafts, plus MLB Pipeline has him rated 12th overall, matching up with the first pick of the Pirates. As a refresher, he’s a prep pitcher out of Texas, who has solid control over five pitches that all rank as average or better, including a fastball that has touched 100 MPH recently. He has a strong commitment to TCU, but the Pirates also have a large bonus pool this year due to five picks out of the first 88 in the draft, so they could spend big on Baz if they believe his potential upside is a legit top of the rotation starter.

Callis also mentions something we touched on earlier this week, and that is the Pirates are showing interest in advanced college bats. He mentions three players we have covered here recently, Missouri State 3B Jake Burger, UC Irvine 2B/OF Keston Hiura, and Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall. The other player Callis mentioned hasn’t been covered here yet, and that’s Kentucky first baseman Evan White, so I want to make sure to cover him now just in case.

White is a 6’3″, righty batting, lefty throwing first baseman, who is extremely athletic and gifted on defense. He’s a 60 runner, with a strong arm, so he has the ability to play outfield as well, though MLB Pipeline has said he has Gold Glove potential at first base. He’s a line drive hitter, who works gap-to-gap and has a solid approach at the plate. He doesn’t have current power, but he has plenty of room to fill out still.

The other reason White isn’t considered a home run hitter is the approach, which has led to 23 doubles this season. A line drive hitter who uses the gaps isn’t going to hit a lot of homers until he fills out. That’s similar to the approach Josh Bell had in the lower levels of the minors, where even in batting practice he wasn’t hitting homers, but he would hit lasers to the gaps and straight away center field that hit the fence on the fly consistently, sometimes on one hop.

I’ve included this highlight video, which isn’t the best example for him because it shows the power he has when he does pull the ball on a few of the homers, but he generally is going to hit line drives and use the middle of the field. The second half shows his athleticism at first base, and you can see how he still has room to fill out, plus you could easily picture him in the outfield if that’s where a team wants him to play.

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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Love the Kentucky kid wow great athlete and nice bat too. I’d be very happy with a guy of that quality.

Daniel D

John Manuel’s latest mock put out about an hour before this post has the Pirates taking Evan White.

Only the mocks that have the Pirates taking Hasely or Hiura can be trusted 😉


If the prep RH is hands down the best value, yes. But for me I like the bat at this point. Whether White or Burger, 5 picks in the top 88 and can’t see any real difference in selecting arms with a couple of those picks.

Bill Harvey

I’m still a big fan of Burger. He offers the one thing no one else in this draft offers, the ability to hit and hit for power.


White looks like he could put on an easy 20 lbs as he matures.
What’s the possibility that any of these bats fall to the Bucs’ second pick?


The predictions lately have been all over the map – the first five are closely bunched by all of the experts, but then the next 10 or so spots are guesses at best. Will the Pirates risk picking another HS Pitcher solidly committed to TCU?

We are talking about a No. 12 pick – is there that much difference between Baz and Carlson? Nod to Baz on the FB with slightly more velocity, movement. Would it be safe to say Carlson has a much better change-up? Breaking pitch close to even? Command?


Love the Defense from White plus he has room to fill out. Does anyone think Will Craig pick will make the Buccos pass on White?

Daniel D

Although the “correct” answer is “No”, I think that is quite plausible especially since this is a college player. If he were to meet expectations, White would likely be ready by mid 2019. So would Craig. Both would be tethered to first while Bell would still have 3 years left. NH may not publicly admit that it matters, but I think it does.


Love the looks of this guy. The defense is stellar and I believe I heard the announcer say at one point that he had a .500+ BA! Can that be right? If so, who cares where he plays, just get him in the lineup.

Daniel D

“Thou shalt not draft for need” and “Take the best player available” are the absolute commandments that all FO’s, draft pundits, and fans must abide by. However, I think the Pirates should not target first baseman White, or Pratto, or even Pavin Smith. We can hope that Bell fulfills expectations over the next 6 years and Craig is the back up plan. Don’t waste a first round pick on the least valuable defensive position. If the need arises, any dolt (except Pedro Alvarez) can learn to play first base.

Phil W

Generally agree about not drafting 1st basemen, but this kid looks super athletic.

Daniel D

Burger, Hiuara, Kendall. Why no mention of Hasely? Is the assumption that he will be gone by the time the Pirates pick?

Bobby L

Love that defense. Also looks like hit several HRs. Has he played any in the OF? If the Pirates were to draft him and start him in the OF, he could move back to 1st when Bell is gone.

The biggest question would be if the PBC would draft 1B 2 years running.

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