New Mock Draft from MLB Pipeline

Jim Callis at MLB Pipeline decided to try his hand at a mock draft on Wednesday, making his current predictions for the top 30 picks in the 2022 draft, which takes place in two months. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the fourth overall pick, and we have heard multiple names in that spot during the early stages of mock draft season. Today we hear a familiar name, while we take a look at the order at the top of this draft class.

Callis has Druw Jones going first overall to the Baltimore Orioles. Not a surprise, as he has been first for a lot of people. The second pick is Elijah Green going to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He’s not always second, but he’s always near the top. In the third spot, Callis has the Texas Rangers going for Jackson Holliday. You can read about all three of those players in our Draft Prospect Watch articles linked here. They were our first three players covered in that same order.

The fourth pick going to the Pirates is Brooks Lee, who has been named for the Pirates numerous times. He’s a shortstop at Cal Poly with an advanced bat. In fact, that’s the reason that Callis has him in this spot. The Pirates went for two advanced college bats in the last two drafts, so he fits the mold. Obviously early results for Nick Gonzales this year aren’t encouraging, but they are for Henry Davis.

What is very interesting with this mock draft is the seventh pick. If you click that link above, it takes you to our last Draft Prospect Watch, which covered Termarr Johnson, who some consider to be the second best player in the draft class. Callis has him dropping to the Chicago Cubs. That would be a tough pass for the Pirates because his bat is special (he was getting Wade Boggs comps).

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2022 Draft
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CTBucco

So, whenever looking at a college hitter, I like to check their game performances against the tougher college pitching – Friday and Saturday starters from major college programs. I think all of the top guys clean up against the smaller schools they play. But how do they do facing tougher competition. Obviously, not as well. But if their performance is way off, that’s a big red flag.

Lee, as a smaller school player with lesser conference competition, fits this profile perfectly. In looking at how he did against the bigger schools this year – which was a set of Pac10 schools only – I’m not impressed. He barely hit. No power.

Gonzales was similar. He didn’t do much against the big boys. Will Craig played in a major conference, but struggled against Fri and Sat starters. Davis produced less, but still did pretty well.

Given this, I looked at how Parada has done. Pretty well. It’s a mixed bag. He has hit some HRs and had some very good lines. And, apparently, he’s really cleaned up against the Kennesaw St’s of the world. If we don’t go HS hitter (I hope we do), I’d lean toward Parada now. He’s hit better against the tougher competition and has lots more power than Lee. We’ll find a place to play him.

I still want to look at Jung’s lines. And DeLauter’s.

Last edited 3 days ago by CTBucco
Danatural08

Agree big time with your assessment on Lee, I don’t see the eye popping stats. Parada’s stats pop big time, his bat is truly special

CTBucco

DeLauter – super small sample size, but also meh.

Arky Wags

DeLauter I think broke his foot too, so he’s done for the season. Also got concussed.

CTBucco

Yeah. He hasn’t played in a month.

CTBucco

Jung – meh. He killed Kansas. Other than that, not much against the big boys.

agent00

i was wondering if the pirate would claim him

https://twitter.com/mlbtraderumors/status/1524821298597470208

Bucs'N'Pucks

I read the Trade Rumors article, and here’s the part that sticks out the most to me

so there’s a chance he sticks around long-term if the Bucs can help him regain his control of the strike zone.

Looking at his career numbers, even going back to his Vandy days, I’m trying to figure out at what point he even had “control of the strike zone”

Last edited 3 days ago by Bucs'N'Pucks
agent00

probably just saw that he was a former first round pick and thought why not!

Bucs'N'Pucks

There’s one corresponding move. They actually did it.

https://twitter.com/JMackeyPG/status/1524825252643098626?s=20&t=3KB8Q_IAHi0WiIH7M2u-2Q

Bucs'N'Pucks

Must be why they’re calling up Castro. They claimed Beade and thought, “We gotta pair something with this move. It isn’t going to go over well”

WTM

Huh. I wanted to reply to this but it said “awaiting approval.” So I approved it, but I’m not sure what that’s about. Must’ve missed something.

Anyway, doesn’t somebody have to go bye now?

Bucs'N'Pucks

I’ve had that happen a couple times too. It’s at weirdly odd times lol

WTM

Maybe when you link something?

agent00

yeah. i’ve found that any time i posted a twitter link, my comment was flagged for approval

agent00

yeah. castro up, beede claimed…..maybe marisnick goes to the 60…but someone still has to go for castro

actually tucker has been optioned apparently. so there’s one move!

Last edited 3 days ago by agent00
agent00

it’s so pirates to call up an infielder to replace an outfielder

https://twitter.com/JMackeyPG/status/1524786312552845317

Bucs'N'Pucks

Bye bye, Co Tuck

WTM

At least it’s Castro. Plus, I’m happy to minimize the chances of Jack not playing every day.

agent00

the more players who get called the more watchable the pirates get (assuming they play lol) so i’m all for it

WTM

Yep, I can watch a prospect struggle. Jack has, but him bombing LA was super cool.

Bucs'N'Pucks

Bucs'N'Pucks

But also happy to see Castro coming up

steve_zielinski

Johnson, like Jones and Green, is a special player. I would rather have Johnson instead of Lee, Jung, etc. Power plus a strong hit tool.

jeffw3000

I agree. If Johnson is there, and Jones and Green are gone, you have to take Johnson. There is just too much potential in his bat.

steve_zielinski

This is not the year to play games with the first pick.

Scranton

I would prefer Johnson or Jace Jung in that scenario.

MShaeffer4444

Nick Gonzales will be fine.

Scranton

I’m not sure. I’m very concerned and lean heavily towards him being a bust. Though I haven’t completely given up.

Scrappy2499

Gonzales started out slow last season as well. towards the end of summer and in the AFL, he played well. Maybe he just takes a bit to acclimate to the new levels. I would hope with what was said about his advanced bat out of college that isn’t the case but who knows…

jeffw3000

It is way too early to give up. Minor league players often go thru rough stretches. Especially when they move up a level. If this was July or August and he was still below the Mendoza line, I would be worried, but it is not. we have not even gotten to the end of May. Even if it was July, I would not give up on him. Sometimes even good players have bad seasons in the minors, but they turn it around. Just have to give him sometime to work thinks out.

NMR

Of course too early to “give up”, but at some point you gotta update his evaluation for the reality that has occurred since the draft.

Nick Gonzales doesn’t hit good pitching.

He got shoved by every Top 30 arm he faced last year, and hasn’t hit a lick since arriving in AA.

Nick Gonzales looks like he can turn around anything you throw at him on a rope. Premium bat speed, ideal modern swing, patient approach at the plate.

But when quality stuff is in front of him, the reality we face is that he has been unable to handle it. What’s the developmental approach to fixing such a thing?

And at what point, in light of quality of competition being the massive red flag on his collegiate record, do we consider that he maybe just isn’t as good as our eyes tell us he should be?

jaygray007

Of course the important thing is really just picking a good player, regardless of timeline or position, but Lee just feels a little redundant.

HS position player or college pitching just feels like theyd be more addressing more relevant needs and timelines for this org.

i happen to think theres a nice crop of hitters coming over the next few years, and not enough pitching. so, college pitcher would be nice. and then a HS hitter would take long enough to marinate that he’d be able to arrive for the next wave of winning. (or hopefully just continuing the first wave)

Scrappy2499

Since Lesko went down there is no one that is moving up the charts to go in the 4th pick just yet. I don’t know, if Lesko would take a something like 3.5mil to be picked in the top 5 would you all as a Pirate GM for the day do it??

Arky Wags

Hard no on the pitching at 4, Jay. I’m fully on board with at least one (maybe two, depending on who falls) with their second and third pick. But I just don’t see anyone good enough since Lesko went down.

docdon385

Good redundancy is not a bad thing. There aren’t any college pitchers (unless you’d feel comfortable taking a chance on Kumar Rocker) nor healthy high school pitchers for that matter, who are worthy of that high a draft spot. Drafting high level prospects in order to trade for pitching sometime in the near future might be one thing to consider.

Johnson would be a great choice if he’s still there but, being somewhat self-absorbed and getting older by the day, I’d prefer a more advanced college player who can fit in with the current crop of prospects and contribute to the team now being assembled.

Even the best high school player would likely take at least 5 and probably 6 years to make it to Pittsburgh and unless ownership changes or changes it’s ways by then the Pirates will be talking about trading away the guys we currently all consider to be the future.

Lee would be a good choice because he has an advanced bat (I think one scout called his bat to ball skills otherworldly) and could be playing in Pittsburgh while the guys we all want to see called up today are still there.

Bucs'N'Pucks

Everyone is getting older by the day. And Lee wouldn’t just be redundant, he’d be over the top redundant, as the Pirates have an overload of MI prospects, especially at 2B. So much that they’re turning everyone into a super utility player. Not to mention, they just selected a “SS” projected to move to 2B, with an “advanced bat”, and he isn’t exactly looking like he’s going to beat everyone to the majors.

A prep kid that MIGHT take a few extra years is kind of the point, with the convergence of prospects they currently have at upper levels.

NMR

He’s not “redundant” if he’s better. The goal is to field better players!

Bucs'N'Pucks

You put the quotes around the wrong word. Should’ve been “if”

NMR

My bro, then should we not apply the same caveat to your original rebuttal?

He’s only overly-redundant “if” he’s no better than the marginal 2B prospects who haven’t taken control of the position in a manner that makes turning them into fungible UT guys too stupid to try.

Bucs'N'Pucks

Should also say that my opinion is probably heavily weighted one way due to Gonzales. A “pure hitter” from a small school (not sure if Cal Poly is a hitter’s park), but “excelled in Cape Cod”. The Cape Cod itself just feels like, “Oh, here we go again”. Will he be more Matt McLain, who seems to already be seeing some success (although fallen off a bit this month), or Gonzales?

Which, as you somewhat noted in another comment, it LOOKS like he should/could turn it around. What is this missing link? Maybe Lee has that missing link. I dunno.

Bucs'N'Pucks

Maybe in part. But I also think some of that is tied to I’m really starting to question if this FO has any idea what they’re doing, or just trying to play the “smartest guy in the room” routine.

PirateRican21

Nonsense, every infielder is capable of playing the OF, proven almost daily…..

Arky Wags

Oh that’s good…

Bucs'N'Pucks

agent00

but, being somewhat self-absorbed”

???

jeffw3000

The pitching at the top of this draft is really not inspiring, especially after what happened with Dylan Lesko. I hope the Bucs would not pass up Temarr Johnson just because he is a HS guy. Everything I hear of him is they rave about him. If he is there when we pick, and Druw Jones and Elijah Green are not, that is who we should pick. Recently we have gone with College players, but our minors has been restored. We can afford to draft someone like Johnson, with his talent and wait if necessary until he is ready.

agent00

another college player….yayyy

BA has an interesting nugget of info though. apparently the pirates are connected with cam collier with the 4th pick. i’d imagine he’d be an underslot pick?

Bucs'N'Pucks

I can’t imagine he’d be underslot. He reclassified from 2023 draft to 2022, so he’s already really young for the draft. Way too much leverage to sign underslot.

agent00

that is true. definitely something to consider. at the same time, most rankings and mock drafts (except keith law) have him as a middle of the first round pick. so i guess that’s why i was thinking he could be an underslot deal. plus it’s something the pirates have done in the past.

Bucs'N'Pucks

It’s possible. Maybe something along lines of $6M with the slot being a shade over $7M? Went back and Jobe, ranked 7th and picked 3rd, signed for roughly $300K underslot. Mozzicato, ranked 39th and picked 7th, signed for almost $2M underslot. Benny Montgomery, ranked 15th and picked 8th, signed for $20K under.

Last edited 3 days ago by Bucs'N'Pucks
agent00

yep we’ll see. i also have a hard time seeing them pick collier over someone like….holliday/lee/parada if they’re there, unless it’s an underslot deal.

but who knows, maybe they have the same opinion of him as law does.

mpejkrm

keith law had kevin newman ranked as the #2 prospect in the 2015 draft and was predictably an ass when questioned about it. i hope the pirates are never paying any attention to what he thinks.

Arky Wags

It’s always a good idea to write off an outlet after they make a bad scouting observation nearly a decade ago.

Bucs'N'Pucks

And he STILL mad Kevin Newman became what he did lol

Bucs'N'Pucks

I think at this point it’s highly likely they go prep. I think Parada could be the one outlier, but otherwise I think they go prep.

agent00

i certainly hope so!

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