Jonathan Mayo put out a new mock draft late last night on MLB Pipeline. The 2018 MLB amateur draft begins in just four days and we will have full coverage for all three days, including information on each pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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Mayo has the Pirates going for pitcher Cole Winn with the tenth overall pick. He says that they are leaning towards a high school pick, but will be watching to see if a highly ranked college player falls to them. Winn has been mentioned for the Pirates before and he has consistently been ranked in this area for the last 3-4 weeks.
Here’s the write-up on Winn from our article covering him earlier this month. That link also includes a report on Grayson Rodriguez, who Mayo mentions as a possibility for the Pirates. I’ve also included a video at the bottom, which is different than the Winn video in that link.
“The 18-year-old, 6’2″, 195 pound Winn doesn’t have the size of Rodriguez, but he has been rated highly for the better part of this spring after pitching great in his early March starts. Coming into the year he looked like a late first round possibility, though that quickly changed.
According to MLB Pipeline, he has a 60 grade fastball that sits in the low-90s, a 55 slider that has improved a lot this year and a seldom-used 50 grade changeup, giving him a nice three-pitch mix with control. They also note that each of his pitches look like plus offerings at times. Scouts like the clean mechanics and easy delivery, which should lead to better command as he continues to get more mound experience in the pros.
Winn gets excellent marks for his athleticism, work ethic and baseball IQ. He has been dominating at times this season facing strong high school competition in California. He has averaged almost two strikeouts per inning and his WHIP is in the 0.60 range, with an ERA nearly the same. He’s a Mississippi State recruit, but that won’t come into play if he’s taken tenth overall.
Winn has the right combination of tools you look for in a pitcher, with control, clean mechanics, a three-pitch mix and a solid frame, plus room for more upside. He might not be the big flamethrower type who scouts dream about, but he’s got a much higher floor than some of those players, and still has enough potential to be a front of the rotation pitcher.”