The Pittsburgh Pirates have drafted USC right fielder Blake Sabol in the seventh round of the 2019 draft. Sabol was listed as a catcher, but announced by the Pirates as a right fielder. An interesting note: Troy Polamalu is his second cousin.
Sabol was ranked 174th by Baseball America, but taken 214th overall. He’s got plus raw power, but is a free swinger without a lot of discipline at the plate. BA noted that he needs to get into his lower half more to tap into his power.
The power didn’t show up much in his three years with USC, with a .275/.341/.381 line in that span. That includes a .278/.360/.382 line this year with three homers in 212 at-bats. He sounds like a project who could be interesting if he can make an adjustment to hit for more power.
He has a fringe-average arm, so he doesn’t profile well as a right fielder. He did catch in high school, so you wonder if the Pirates would try to convert him at some point in pro ball, which is something they’ve done with other players in the past, despite what they were announced as on draft day.