Keith Law has posted his first mock draft for subscribers to The Athletic. He has the Pittsburgh Pirates going for New Mexico State second baseman Nick Gonzales with the seventh overall pick on June 10th.
We had a mock draft from Baseball America yesterday that had Reid Detmers, a lefty starting pitcher from Louisville, going to the Pirates with the seventh overall pick. BA also posted an updated draft rankings list and they have prep outfielder Zac Veen ranked seventh overall (link is same as the one for Detmers).
Law believes that Gonzales won’t go any lower than seventh overall. He’s consistently been rated among the top five players in this draft due to his elite bat. He has performed well in college and the wood bats summer leagues. Sources have called him the best pure bat in this draft. We profiled Gonzales in one of our first Draft Prospect Watch articles of this year.
Here’s a video from Prospect Live taken last summer:
Law also mentions the Pirates could like catcher Patrick Bailey or outfielder Heston Kjerstad would their first round pick. Bailey was covered here in a Draft Prospect Watch article about possible catcher options. Kjerstad was a more recent Draft Prospect Watch article in which we looked at two top college hitters. Bailey is a guarantee to stick behind the plate due to above average defensive skills, but there are some questions about the bat being anything more than average. Kjerstad is a corner outfielder with huge power potential. Some minor strikeout issues and lack of speed/defense keep him from being higher, though his arm is legit.
Here are videos for the two highly rated prospects:
Bailey (from this year, posted since our article)
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.