New Mock Draft from MLB Pipeline has Pirates Taking Toolsy College Outfielder

Jonathan Mayo at MLB Pipeline posted his latest mock draft on Friday and he has the Pittsburgh Pirates taking Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall with the 12th overall pick. Yesterday’s new mock draft from Baseball America had the Pirates taking UC Irvine’s Keston Hiura. They’re both college position players, but two very different players. Mayo has Hiura going 22nd overall in his mock draft.

We covered Kendall here last weekend, where I called him a first round possibility for the Pirates. He is a plus center fielder, with plus-plus speed and some raw power. He is a risky pick at 12th overall because of his strikeout issue. In 259 plate appearances this season, he has 65 strikeouts. That’s a high total for the college ranks and 18 more than any of his teammates.

Kendall is far from a safe bet, but he also seems to have a decent floor. His defense, speed and raw power should get him to the majors, even if he ends up as a bottom of the order bat, who occasionally runs into a homer, but doesn’t get on base enough to take full advantage of his speed. Of course you want more from the 12th overall pick, but plenty of first round picks are riskier selections, who never make the majors. You have the tools present to get him to the majors, but also the major problem area that might keep him from reaching his upside. If he didn’t have the strikeout issue though, he wouldn’t be available at the 12th spot. He would be gone in the first three picks.

If you’re going risk vs reward, he seems like a much better pick than Hiura, who doesn’t offer the position value or speed, but has a better overall bat. Hiura is going to miss time due to elbow surgery after he is drafted, so that’s also something to weigh. There is no guarantee that he will be the same hitter after a major surgery.

The first day of the draft is just 23 days away. The Pirates will select 12th, 42nd, 50th and 72nd overall that day.




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Steve Zielinski

This draft class has the same ‘blah’ quality that marked the Tony Sanchez class. I hope the Pirates have better luck this time around.

Robert Reznik

I like Alex Faedo. Ifhe falls to buccos I think he is better than Kendal and Hiura.

joe s

You know the unfortunate thing about all these mocks is I think NH looks at them to determine who to take. The Pirates already have this guy in the system. Forgot his name, great speed and defense in CF, good power and strikes out allot, Hugtson in A ball. He was a third round pick, just like this guy should be. This reminds me of the Bullington number 1-1 pick. He had the potential to be a solid #3 starter the GM said. Guess he was wrong and wasted the opportunity to pick a possible star. You can not pick players this high without trying to hit a home run. Screw it being a safe pick to take a number 8 hitter that might hit a home run if he doesn’t strike out. That is pure bullshit at this point. They better take someone with true upside, and if that person doesn’t make it then at least they tried to get a star quality player. No more of this guy can make the 25 man roster but do nothing once he is on it, in order to justify the pick.

William R. Maloni Sr

Has anyone seen or heard from Bob Nutting in the past two months?

Why is he radio/visually silent?

michael t

There are two new slopes being added at Seven Springs and he is overseeing the timbering, construction process to make sure the cash will be flowing by Thanksgiving(weather permitting).
This will adjust for the big drop-off in attendance at Pirates games.

Daniel D

I like this pick. Roll the dice that the SO issues can be mitigated. As John said, without the SO issues a player of this caliber wouldn’t drop to 12. A Plus college CF’er >>>>>>>>>>>>>> than a smallish, non-power-hitting HS first baseman.


No to Kendall.
Jake Burger.

Robert Reznik

No to human windmills


New article up from Peter Hammond on trading Gerrit Cole to Yanks or Houston.
I actually think it’s time for the team to commit to a player of Coles caliber and sign him long term. Now they have to compete for that due to Boras but he’s also said if the right deal comes they would sign so what would that be?
At this point with injuries and success and market I’d say at least 25/yr? So say 200/8?
Would that get it done and would it be worth it?

Mark G

I read Gammons article it was very insightful. Look, the Bucs aren’t going to sign Cole, If they could get the same haul the Whitesox got for Sale from the Astros or Yankees it is a no brainer.


Hitters with k issues and pitchers with control problem, I know that they look at upside, but how I hate those picks.


Jeren Kendall almost sounds like Keon Broxton?


Probably not the best comparison but I thought of Jacoby Jones and was wondering how he was doing. Not so great. Kendall sounds like a better fielder.

Dale O

I don’t know… to me, Jeren Kendall sounds more like Jason Kendall than Keon Broxton…


Lol….I’m talking about the skills….but you knew that. 🙂

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