Baseball America posted an updated mock draft on Wednesday afternoon, though their pick didn’t change for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
With the 18th overall selection, BA has the Pirates taking right-handed pitcher Alek Manoah out of West Virginia. That’s the same player selected for the Pirates in their previous mock draft about three weeks ago. We covered Manoah in our Draft Prospect Watch two weeks ago. Check the link here to see his scouting report and three videos of Manoah on the mound.
Since you can find recent info on Manoah in the link above, I decided to focus on the other name BA mentions. Here’s an excerpt from their article:
Pittsburgh has also been bearing down on prep Florida lefthander Hunter Barco, but pick No. 18 might be too rich for him at the moment.
The fact that seem to really like Barco based on that report wouldn’t prevent the Pirates from taking him with their 18th pick. They have selected players who they didn’t think would be available when their next pick came around. The Pirates make their second selection with the 37th overall pick.
BA has Barco ranked 34th in their latest draft prospect rankings. They also have him trending up, so he might not be much of a stretch with that 18th overall pick when the draft rolls around in 54 days. MLB Pipeline hasn’t posted an updated draft top 50 recently, but they had Barco at 37th in this draft class, which again isn’t much of a stretch at 18th overall if he’s been trending up.
As far as the reports on Barco go, he’s a prep pitcher from Florida, with a commitment to Florida. The 18-year-old, 6’4″, 210 pound southpaw has a fastball that gets up to 92 MPH. He mixes it with a slider that looks plus at times and a changeup that has a chance to be average. The intrigue here is that he has a frame that still needs to fill out, and he’s also been a position player, so more time on the mound should lead to better results. Basically, he has a little more projection than your average high school arm. His delivery isn’t ideal, but it does add some deception, which helps his pitches play up.
Here’s a video from three weeks ago, which was posted by Perfect Game Baseball
Prospect Pipeline posted this video from last year, which has velocities for each pitch