Updated Draft Rankings from Baseball America

On Wednesday, Baseball America updated their draft prospect rankings for their top 300 players in this year’s draft, which is still about six weeks away. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the fourth overall pick this year.

BA has the same top two players on their list as before, Druw Jones followed by Brooks Lee. They moved up Jackson Holliday to third on their list, but the #4 player stayed the same. Once again they have Termarr Johnson, a high school middle infielder from Georgia, ranked fourth in this draft class.

Johnson is followed by Elijah Green, who was in the third spot before this update. All five of those players have been covered in our Draft Prospect Watch articles. That link has a link to the individual articles for all five players.

The rest of the top ten includes Georgia catcher Kevin Parada, LSU corner infielder Jacob Berry, Texas Tech second baseman Jace Jung, Virginia Tech outfielder Gavin Cross and JUCO infielder Cam Collier, who is also part of that link just above. That group of ten players includes only position players. The highest ranked pitcher is #12 Brock Porter, another one of our Draft Prospect Watch players.

While Brooks Lee remains steady on their list at #2, he has been connected to the Pirates in a large majority of mock drafts during the spring, and that majority has grown a lot in the last few weeks when he’s been the choice of everyone of note.

I am legally obligated by family to mention that Monmouth pitcher Trey Dombroski is ranked #114. While he and I are not related, we have a large group of relatives in common.

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CTBucco

As it stands, I’ll be happiest with any one of Jones, Green, or Parada. I’ll be fine with one of Johnson, Holliday, or Berry – in that order. I’m okay with Collier, but I think it’s the hype getting me. I’ll be concerned if they go Lee, Jung, or Susac and curious if they take Cross.

If they go with a HS guy at 1-4, I’d bet we see a college arm with the comp pick (and possibly one that’s a bit of a reach.

ArkyWags

The other rankings lining up with the Bucs picks in the top 100 are: Starlin Thompson, OF at Florida at 36 (meh, his write up sounds less than thrilling), Dalton Rushing, C at Louisville (sounds like Hank Davis light with the tools, but a lefty), and a prep SS out of DC, Nicholas Morabito.

Of far more interest to me are the rankings of prep pitchers from 32-51: Jacob Miller, Jackson Ferris, Andrew Dutkanych, Jackson Cox, Noah Schultz, Walter Ford, and JR Ritchie. Ferris and Schultz are lefties…Schultz is enormous (6’9) and feels like a big boom/bust guy, even more than most prep pitchers. Among the righties, Cox (monster breaking ball), Ford (among the youngest and big time velocity and slider) are my picks.

Also in this range are the college arms: TJ twins (Prielipp from Bama and Palette from Arkansas), and Cannon and Sproat, a pair of healthy college arms. Whoever they pop first (likely a position player, I’d love for the next two to be one of the TJ arms and a prep arm.

Last edited 3 months ago by ArkyWags
AdministrativeSky236

This is my ideal scenario tbh

Wilbur Miller

I figure the more these guys say Lee, the less likely it is to happen.

AdministrativeSky236

Danatural08

Can anyone with a membership tell me where Ivan Melendez & Griffin Doersching rank? 2 of my favorite bats coming out

NMR

Melendez up to #86 with a super interesting report.

Griff unranked.

Colin

Is Melendez that far down the list because he’s a 1st baseman or possibly some obvious red flags? Didn’t really know anything about him but his numbers look fantastic

NMR

I know absolutely nothing more than you about him, but righty 1B prospects are gonna always struggle in rankings like this.

Colin

Right on, I appreciate it

Danatural08

NMR

for that, you get the whole blurb! 😉

Tools: Hit: 50. Power: 60. Run: 40. Field: 55: Arm: 50.
Melendez has put together a monster spring for the Longhorns. Heading into postseason play, the 6-foot-3 225-pound slugger had made a legitimate run at the Division I triple crown, registering a top 10 batting average at .406, tied for the lead in home runs with 29 and just two RBIs short of the nation’s leader with 87. The Longhorns’ first baseman brings a relaxed but aggressive approach with him to the plate. He likes to sink into his lower half before letting his hands fly. Unlike a lot of power hitters, Melendez rarely overswings. With more of a bat-to-ball approach, he allows his power to come naturally rather than forcing the issue. Melendez’s spray chart is a work of art. He has the ability to drive the ball the other way with authority, and opposing arms are cautious of attacking zones where Melendez can get extension. Some teams will find success if they’re able to pitch inside effectively or get him to chase spin down in the zone, but the attempts come with a warning, as Melendez will crush mistakes that catch too much of the plate. Melendez has strong plate discipline, as he walked more than he struck out heading into NCAA Tournament play (47 to 43). Melendez’s skill on the defensive side is equally impressive. He committed just one error all spring with a .998 fielding percentage, and he should have no problem holding the position down at the pro level. Melendez moves fairly well for a big man, too, as he’s not a clogger on the basepaths. Melendez’s performance has put him in a favorable spot for July’s draft. He’ll likely be one of the earliest first basemen off the board and could be a quick riser up the minor league ladder.”

Danatural08

That’s a great write up & goes with what i’ve seen from him this year too. He does sink into his swing & rarely does he overswing. He has one of the prettiest RH swings I can think of, it resembles a lefty more than a righty for sure. He’s also quite good defensively, I think Texas’ field is turf tho, so that makes it a little easier, but glad to see they gave him a 55 grade

AdministrativeSky236

If he lasts til our third round pick, we gotta go get him

gosteelers69

At #4 they need to not gamble. Take what is considered to be the safest route. What that is, I don’t know. But I’m going off of the fact I do not believe we’ll be drafting in the top 10 much longer. Personally, I’d take Parada. I think that bat is special and his makeup just exudes a MLB player. Doesn’t matter that they already took Davis and are deep at the catching position. I guess we’ll see what happens.

skliesen

It’s not possible for any pick to not be a gamble. And I personally disagree with your philosophy of taking the safest player. I want them to take a high risk/high reward player for under slot so they can take even more high risk/high reward players in later rounds. The more of these type players they take the more likely it is they get an All-Star player or two.

NMR

barf.

NMR

wait i commented before getting to the player, I like him!

PirateRican21

I personally think that Davis will end up at 1b, so not opposed to Parada if he is worth the spot.

PirateRican21

Cane we get the reasons as to why the change in rankings, like how is Johnson doing and Green….

Colin

I thought I seen on mlb network that Green hit 3 bombs in the state finals. I’m not 100% sure on that though. I’ve been curious of Johnson but haven’t heard a single thing about him this spring

Colin

After some searching I can’t find anything on the 3 homer game from Green. I must’ve been high as hell and mistaken him for someone else

agent00

at this point i’m sick of seeing mock drafts because every single one of them has the pirates taking lee  😂 

they don’t even say the pirates like lee. pirates just like college players, so he fits the bill.

AdministrativeSky236

Also this is just based on 2 years of picking college bats, i wouldnt call that a given yet

agent00

looking over his career…..you can say he’s been involved with the draft since 2009 (i think).

since then he’s been involved in picks that have been….6 college players vs 4 high school players.

so yes they could of course pick a high school player. but his resume skews towards college. and while his pirates record is small, it’s still all college so far. so to me, it seems like a trend.

we’ll see though!

jeffw3000

Really you can only start with 2012. Before that he was not the GM, so you cannot assume his input was that much involved in the draft. If you look at his years as GM. If you look at his years as a GM he has had 6 drafts. Looking only at his first pick in the draft, he has picked 4 college position player, 1 high school position player, and 1 High School pitcher.

I do not think there is enough credence to say he would not draft a High School player if that made sense. Basically in Boston he split his drafts with 2 High School players, 2 College bats, and 1 a High School pitcher which has the most risk. Of course, Trey Ball has never made it, so that might influence his future picks, of course he did use a comp pick on Kopech, and he has become a very good pitcher. Of course Boston used him to help land Chris Sale, so he is a good pitcher for Chicago.

I just think it is weak to assume he took 2 College bats, that he will definitely take a bat. The Pirates need pitching. This draft does not have enough pitching at the top to take a pitcher at 4. If Lesko did not have TJ, he would be the one pitcher you could take, and I would be all for them taking him. If he is there for our comp pick I would love to pick him there. Doubt he makes it that far, but never know. It is not like his 2 picks with us were bad picks. When we picked Gonzalez, most were saying he was the best bat at 7. Many did not think he would last that long. As for Davis, there was not a clear #1 in 2021. You really cannot say Davis was a bad pick. Some had them taking Mayer, but right now I cannot look and say Mayer is a better hitter. I really liked the Davis pick. I don’t think you can take anything from the fact that they have taken 2 College bats under BC, except that is just how the draft played out. I would not say they are more likely now to take a College player and with all the HS guys at the top this year they might be more likely to take a HS player.

agent00

i actually started at 2012, but figured to go back earlier cause he may have had some influence in the draft.

i’m not saying the pirates are going to draft a college hitter, based on his last two drafts with the pirates. he could absolutely draft a high school player. he has before, he will sometime again.

however, like you said looking at the drafts where he was GM, it is skewed towards college players. so i’m taking that into account.

also, and i think this is important to note…..these mock drafts are saying the pirates are looking at college players! they may not be 100% accurate but they talk to people in the industry. they have an idea of who the pirates are going to take.

so if you combine cherington’s history, with the talk of the pirates wanting to draft a college player…..i think it’s likely they go college.

obviously they could go high school…and i hope they do! but i never said they absolutely wouldn’t.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Snippet from summary of Kettleer’s scrimmage on Tuesday:

 An unsettled Sharks pitcher, who walked three runners, plus aggressive base stealing early on in the inning laid the groundwork as Cam Collier (Chipola College) stepped up to bat. He hit a deep ball that sailed over the fence into the lavender outfield of the Shark Tank, bringing in two additional runners for a 4-0 lead in the top of the first.”

AdministrativeSky236

This is me pounding the table! Collier at 4! Get a well underrated draft talent plus probably some savings to go for high school guys with our comp and second round picks

AdministrativeSky236

Collier’s slash at chipola as a 17 year old was .333/.419/.537 with only 33 K’s in over 200 plate appearances! He’s only 17!

Colin

Pretty impressive numbers for a 17 yr old. I’m buying in, you fellas have me sold

NMR

Is it though? How many have even tried?

A 17 yo is months away from being a college freshman, and I bet a large number of high-end D1 players would wipe up JUCO pitching.

Not doubting Collier as a first round bat, but it seems his stock is skyrocketing off a gimmick that many in his position would succeed pulling off if they tried.

Colin

That’s fair and I guess didn’t really think of his age being close to a college freshman. If he goes out and tears up the cape, then I would start leaning a little more toward him being legit

Colin

But he’d still be facing better competition at JuCo than the rest of the high schoolers, right? Is Green facing better pitching being at an academy then others? I’m certainly not the brightest of folks but I think I gotta give Collier the benefit of the doubt. He reclassified into this year’s draft, and is still more than holding his own

NMR

Yes he is facing better competition than those high schoolers, but my point is that those other high schoolers haven’t even gotten the chance. Who’s to say Green wouldn’t hit better if given the opportunity?

Collier’s not advancing up boards because of anything inherent to him, he’s advancing based on performance relative to competition.

And he’s doing it as a kid who’s maxed out physically at a level that’s almost certainly advanced even in relation to the older JUCO players he’s facing. Ain’t gonna find a bunch of 6’2″ 220 lb dudes on JUCO fields.

I think of the draft more in terms of projection than performance, and I don’t see much left but polish in Collier’s future. That pretty much negates the age benefit, in my opinion.

Last edited 3 months ago by NMR
Colin

I can see where you’re coming from, good insight. Is there someone you’d like to see the Bucs take? I personally like Lesko, Green if he happened to be there, Parada if we absolutely have to take a college bat

NMR

I could also be full of shit! 😉

I don’t think Lesko at #4 , assuming a steep discount, is even a hair more risky than popping a dude like Bubba Chandler for $3m and would bring way more upside. I’d love to see them do it.

I think Termarr is the smoothest stick we’ve had a chance to grab in recent memory, no-doubter for me at #4 .

And also would take Parada head to head vs Hank, both serving plenty of needs here.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Give me Collier and then either a slipping prep arm, or one of the top tier college arms that slipped from injury, with comp pick, and Eric Brown or Doughty with 2nd rd. Probably lean Eric Brown just cause he looks to stick at SS, where Doughty may not stick at 3B. I’ll be happy. Then I’ll take Bryson Worrell either 3-5 rd as a SR sign, or closer to 10th rd.

Last edited 3 months ago by Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)
ArkyWags

Prep arms always fall, so you can likely get one no matter who you draft with the first pick.

NMR

…just not one of the top ones.

ArkyWags

Berrios, McCullers, Kopech, Flaherty, Soroka, McKenzie are some from 2012-2016 time period who went comp or early second. That actually ain’t a bad list.

NMR

Got my convos mixed up, thought we were talking later than that. Sorry!

ArkyWags

Oh no worries. Your comment certainly stands, I don’t think you wanna dick around and try to pop those prep arms fourth round or later if you’re gonna go heavy on them.

The guy I want is Walter Ford. Because he’s good and his Twitter handle is the Vanilla Missile.

AdministrativeSky236

Dont know much about brown or worrell but if they are your guys then im all for it! Would love at least 1-2 overslot high school arms in there if possible. That would make me a very happy camper post draft

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I’ll say my purview is very limited lol but of games I’ve watched, these are a couple of the guys I like. Brown has a real weird pre-load, but like Parada, it works for him.

Also just seeing Brown actually played for Kettleers last summer lol the team Collier is playing for this summer.

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