Updated Top Draft Prospects List from MLB Pipeline

On Wednesday, MLB Pipeline expanded their draft prospects list to 250 spots and provided some updates to the rest of the list. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the fourth overall pick in the draft, which begins on July 17th.

Pipeline has the top four spots in their rankings all going to high school hitters, led by outfielder Druw Jones in the top spot, followed by shortstop Jackson Holliday and outfielder Elijah Green. All of those players have been near the top for the last two months since Holliday improved his draft stock. While this isn’t a mock draft, the fourth spot where the Pirates pick, matches up with second baseman Termarr Johnson. He’s an elite bat, with more polish than an average top high school hitter, as well as the potential to hit for decent power.

The next six spots go to college hitters, though one comes with an asterisk.  Brooks Lee, who has been connected to the Pirates throughout the entire mock draft season, ranks fifth on this list. He’s followed by Georgia catcher Kevin Parada and Jacob Berry, a corner fielder/DH from LSU. The eighth spot in Cam Collier, who is in college, though he’s still 17 years old, and younger than all of the four high school picks at the top. Texas Tech second baseman Jace Jung and Virginia Tech outfielder Gavin Cross round out the top ten. The top pitcher in the class is high school RHP Cole Porter in the 11th spot.

You can read more on ten of these 11 players and see videos on them in these articles linked here.

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jsdspud

My preferences are Druw Jones, Holliday, Green, then Collier. I like Collier more than Johnson because of his age and physicality.

The system has good depth but lacks star power. Why not offer Jones $10M to fall to 1.4 like the Red Sox did with Mayer last year?

mpg43952

Draft can get weird, hoping for Johnson or Parada.

AdministrativeSky236

Adding rocker and that Oklahoma pitcher this high gives me a shade more hope that we will get some intriguing HS arms that make it to the sandwich round and even the second, which makes me happy

tedwins

Scotty K., must be busy at work, let me step in for him… Dylan Lesko, hard stop!👍

AdministrativeSky236

This board felt empty without a good lesko table pounding! Lol

NMR

Promote Lesko to Altoona already, you cowards! 😉

AdministrativeSky236

15 year extension right out of the draft? On it

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

He’ll step right into the rotation, just as Jack Leiter did, just as local yinzer media predicted!!!! Oh wait… lol

jeffw3000

He did step right into the rotation for AA Frisco.

bradlej31

Kiley says collier and college bats are who Bucs are looking at.

NMR

Man, I just don’t get it.

AdministrativeSky236

I know you arent a collier believer, so whats your preference?

NMR

Less that I don’t believe he’ll be a fine payer than that I don’t believe he’ll be better than any number of HS kids they seem to be ignoring.

I think about it this way…Collier isn’t known for tools or projection, he’s known for success relative to age.

Do we really think a kid like Termarr Johnson couldn’t succeed in JUCO right now if given the opportunity? Kid’s 4 months older than Collier.

Just feels to me like punching numbers into a draft model.

ArkyWags

I’d also add that it feels like Termarr won’t cost as much as the other HS bats (Jones, Green, Holliday seem like full slot guys). Maybe I’m misreading the tea leaves on things I’ve read, and especially because it looks like TJ has slipped in mocks.

If they’re definitely going college bat, then I’d prefer Parada by a good bit.

Agreed on the draft model type thinking. Slot value for the pick is a shade over 7. If they could get TJ at 6 or so they can still spread out with a couple prep arms after.

AdministrativeSky236

Jim Callis was saying that Temarr really wants to go 1 and thinks the Orioles could save 2 mill by going that route. Assuming that puts his bonus a bit under 7, so we could also see some nice savings if that were the case

jaygray007

i feel like i’ve seen a lot of fawning for Collier’s swing/hitting tools, but maybe i’m just connecting dots with my own biases.

Once again noting that every player mentioned in this article would be fine for his own special reasons.

Last edited 1 month ago by jaygray007
jaygray007

not that this is the end all be all but fangraphs had him as 50 hit, 55 game, 60 raw, 60 field, before the season. I think there’s more to it than the fact that he’s playing vs college kids.

NMR

A 50 hit, 55 game dude isn’t very good unless he’s a plus defender up the middle.

Thus my point.

jaygray007

ehh, i think a 60 at 3rd is plenty valuable. We all love Hayes, after all. And Hayes never had a 60 raw grade.

i’ve said i’m happy with any of these guys. We can agree to disagree on whether Collier would be among the acceptable picks i guess. It’s fine.

Last edited 1 month ago by jaygray007
NMR

Kebryan Hayes came up in an era of relative ignorance where raw was literally measured by the eye test.

In reality, he’s currently sitting in the 90th percentile of all big leaguers in max exit velo. Exit velocity is the purest indicator of raw power, meaning that Hayes should’ve been graded to at least 60 raw.

This makes him the perfect indicator of why such a tool hardly matters.

Similar to what has been scouted of Collier, Hayes does not have the swing nor the approach to maximize his raw. As we’ve seen with any number of dudes, moving towards that direction risks the hit tool they’re known for.

Brooks Lee falls in this exact same camp, btw.

jaygray007

Just curious, if Jones and Johnson are gone, who do you want at 4? not a gotcha question. just askin.

Last edited 1 month ago by jaygray007
NMR

Assuming you’d also have Holiday off the board, I’d probably be happy with Parada or Collier.

But honestly would be even more excited to get ballsy and grab Lesko underslot.

AdministrativeSky236

Fair point! I like a few HS more than him, but he would be my personal preference if we have to go college bat, which seems to be the plan

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Unsure why, but Collier played in his final game for Cotuit yesterday. Finished 5 for 23 with 1 RBI, 6 BB’s, and 6 K’s.

jaygray007

sounds like a kid who wasn’t overmatched vs kids 2-4 yrs older than him. I wonder what those 12 outs that weren’t K’s looked like.

overall thats a 20 pct K rate and BB rate. pretty impressive for a 17 yr old in college.

NMR

I think I get your take now, you like him because he’s a safe pick and are willing to sacrifice upside. Fair enough!

jaygray007

right that’s exactly what i said  🙄 

Last edited 1 month ago by jaygray007
NMR

I wasn’t being flippant, dude!

Nobody is projecting this kid to have elite tools.

His body is already physically maxed.

With that as context, success relative to age simply means he’s closer to reaching his potential than kids of similar age.

That speaks to risk, which would be implied to be lower. Lower risk players are safer players.

Safe clearly has value in the draft!

Not sure what makes you a fan of him otherwise.

jaygray007

to answer the last bit, i just like players who seem to project to field well and hit well lol. it’s *truly* that simple!

I *probably* prefer a Druw Jones or Termarr Johnson to Collier. maybe you’re under the impression that i don’t? mostly just kinda seems like they’d be gone by pick 4.

i guess we just view upside differently. I’m not sure i think the probability that Jones becomes a healthy Buxton or Jackson Holiday become idk, Seager, is all that different than the probability that Collier becomes Devers.

Last edited 1 month ago by jaygray007
NMR

Ah, I get that now…I was thinking you had Collier over those types.

As for the upside question, I’m just listening to the dudes who are way better at this than me!

AdministrativeSky236

Hmm not great, not bad. Controlled the zone well enough but wouldve liked a bit more than 20 odd ABs there

hoffmark83

Just wondering, if you were the GM of the Pirates and Jones was available with the 4th pick but wanted over slot money, would you take him?

ArkyWags

Damn right I would.

NMR

In a heartbeat.

AdministrativeSky236

Absolutely, i dont think any chance he gets through arizona at 2 but if he did, i would be ecstatic

bradlej31

yes. scouts aren’t very wrong on players like this. There are great bats in this draft and they still all have Jones at #1 . Go back and look at consensus #1 high school players over the years; really nice track record.

Colin

The more I see and here about Johnson, the more I like him. Very positive kid and I’m starting to picture him wearing out the Clemente wall. I’d still take Green if he were available but I’d be perfectly happy with Termarr

jeffw3000

I like Johnson a lot. If Holliday or Jones was there, I still take one of them, but if not would probably take Johnson over Green. The tools for Green are hard to deny, but I feel there is still a lot of risk with Green. Everything I see of Johnson I really like him.

jaygray007

Hot take: anybody here would be fine!

ArkyWags

They’re all wonderful!

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