New Mock Draft for MLB Pipeline Has Pirates Taking Heston Kjerstad

Yesterday was a popular day for mock drafts. We wrote about three of them in one article, as ESPN, Baseball America and Fangraphs all had their guesses on how the first round of the 2020 MLB draft could play out. Today we add the fourth attempt from MLB Pipeline, which is also the second mock draft presented by Jim Callis.

Callis has the Pittsburgh Pirates going with Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad, who was also the pick for the Pirates yesterday by Kiley McDaniel (ESPN) and Eric Longenhagen (Fangraphs). Our Draft Prospect Watch on Kjerstad has been a popular article lately with all of the attention he has received. That link includes video and a scouting report on the 21-year-old left-handed hitter with plus power.

Callis also had the Pirates going for Kjerstad in his first mock draft two weeks ago. He noted in both articles that they are said to be looking for a college bat. In fact, he gave North Carolina State catcher Patrick Bailey and UCLA outfielder Garrett Mitchell as other options for the Pirates in both mock drafts.

Austin Hendrick, the local prep outfielder from West Alleghenys HS, is going 12th overall to the Cincinnati Reds in today’s mock draft.

Nick Gonzales, Zac Veen and Emerson Hancock have all been mentioned as possibilities for the Pirates, but Callis has them going off the board in the 4-6 spots.

Here’s a recent video showing Heston Kjerstad highlights from this season:


Keith Law also posted a mock draft today on The Athletic, his second attempt. He has the Pirates taking Nick Gonzales. He also mentions Kjerstad and Bailey as possibilities if Gonzales is off the board earlier. In his opinion, this is the lowest Gonzales will drop. Law also had Gonzales in his first mock draft for the Pirates.

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.

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