Draft Updates: Best Tools, Pirates Narrowing Choices?

Despite the disappointing season, Rendon was named the best pure college hitter in the draft.

Yesterday, Baseball America released their top 200 prospects, naming Anthony Rendon the number one prospect in the draft.  Today there are two more big draft updates:

-The first comes again from Baseball America.  They’ve released their “Best Tools” list, detailing the best tools in the draft, broken down by college and prep players.  Anthony Rendon was all over the college ranks.  In the college ranks, Baseball America named him the best pure hitter, the second best defensive player, the best strike-zone judgement, the second best power hitter, and the third closest to the majors.

The last list was interesting, as Gerrit Cole ranked second, and Danny Hultzen ranked first.  Cole’s only other ranking was number one on the “best fastball” list.  Hultzen has the third best secondary pitch, behind Trevor Bauer and Sonny Gray.  He was also named as having the best command in the college ranks.  For Bauer, the secondary pitch category was the only area he showed up.

Dylan Bundy dominated the prep ranks, with the best fastball, the best secondary pitch, the best command, and the closest to the majors.  Bubba Starling got the best athlete ranking from the prep ranks, and the second best arm.  Francisco Lindor got the third best arm, the second best defense, and the second closest to the majors.

-Keith Law has an article on Matt Purke, and at the end he has a blurb about the Pirates:

It sounds like the Pirates have narrowed their list for the No. 1 overall pick to Hultzen, Starling, and Cole, with Rendon still a possibility. If they take Hultzen, Seattle probably takes Rendon (although there’s still an outside chance they go rogue and take Lindor) and Arizona takes Bauer. If the Pirates take Starling or Cole, Seattle goes Rendon and Arizona takes Hultzen, which could push Bauer all the way to Washington at No. 6.

In the past I’ve mentioned that I don’t buy in to Law’s rankings.  However, rankings are totally different than rumors as to what a team might do.  It’s important to note that Law was all over the Tony Sanchez pick in 2009, and had the Pirates taking Jameson Taillon over Manny Machado in 2010.  So I would give this information a bit of credit, although nothing is set in stone with the draft almost two weeks away.

You’ll notice that Dylan Bundy isn’t on this list.  The biggest news is that Rendon is being mentioned more as an after thought.  It also seems that Trevor Bauer and Francisco Lindor aren’t on the radar, although that makes sense, as we haven’t heard much about them.

My top three would include Rendon, Cole, and Bundy, with Rendon at the top of the list.  The fact that Bundy isn’t on this list, and Rendon is more of an after thought is a bit of a concern.  Danny Hultzen is good, but if they’re taking a college pitcher, I’d rather go with Gerrit Cole, who has more upside.  Bubba Starling is a great athlete, but he’s also on the raw side at the plate, and is far from a guarantee.  He might have the most upside, but he’s a bit of a gamble.  If you’re making comparisons to the 2001 draft, when the Minnesota Twins surprised everyone and picked Joe Mauer over Mark Prior and Mark Teixeira, Starling wouldn’t fit.  Before the 2001 draft, Mauer was rated as the second best pure hitter in high school, and the third best power hitter.  Starling isn’t anywhere near what Mauer was at the plate when he was drafted.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Zielinski/100000181161454 Steve Zielinski

    Law had a 50% chance of correctly predicting the Taillon/Machado choice. He could have based his prediction on a coin flip. The Sanchez prediction would have been the one that indicates the quality of Law’s sources. But that pick came when the Pirates had already asked numerous players and their agents about their contract demands. Are the Pirates doing something similar today? If they are, Law and others are not reporting it.

    Except for the Sanchez pick, the Pirates have taken with their first pick the player with the highest ceiling, the highest according to the consensus among the talent hawks. That tendency points to a Rendon/Bundy dilemma. I’d take Rendon for any number of reasons. I hope the Pirates do too.

  • Anonymous

    Just please take Anthony Rendon…good hands, pure hitter…if he fails oh well…it happens, he was still the best position player on the board.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OGCKUSO5MA5VUCJHW2YSJ2K3TM Bob

    I agree, we need Rendon, Starling is too far away from contributing.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OGCKUSO5MA5VUCJHW2YSJ2K3TM Bob

     Anyone think Purke will fall into 2nd round for us?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AGRPLJJRC5GNBYXDY6LHF2U6DU white angus

      absolutely not…  Rays will select him if no one else will.  theres a good chance that he returns to college too.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AGRPLJJRC5GNBYXDY6LHF2U6DU white angus

      absolutely not…  Rays will select him if no one else will.  theres a good chance that he returns to college too.

    • Anonymous

      Any team that picks Purke is going to have to top the money he was offered by Texas and teams might be hesitant to do that w/ the shortened season this year by his shoulder injury.  If he’s there for the Bucco’s and they take him they’ll have to match or best Texas’ offer and be convinced he’s the same pitcher prior to this years injury.   I bet he’ll be gone by our pick at @yahoo-OGCKUSO5MA5VUCJHW2YSJ2K3TM:disqus2.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KEYHS3XWH74U3LRIHGWL7XPBA Nate

    The smart GM picks Rendon.  If after such a “disappointing” season he’s still ranked #1 that should tell you something.  The Pirates need position players and potential power, not pitchers that are 3-6 years away from making their MLB debut.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WE2E3TUUOSZBPYQY3QLCLHOYHE Thomas

    Mariner’s fan here. Pitching is just too valuable. You can buy a bat. Look at the top 20 position players (based on ave.) and you will find four free agents and that doesn’t include Pujols or fielder. The top 40 pitchers (era) only one (C. J. Wilson) will be a free agent.

    You can buy an all-star bat but try buying an all-star pitcher next year.  Both teams need to select a number one ace. Pirates- Cole and the Mariners- Bundy.

    • Anonymous

      And then look at the FA pitching for 2013, it’s outstanding. We aren’t going all in for 2012 anyways. I hope we take the BPA; Rendon.

    • Anonymous

      “You can buy a bat” should be “You can buy a bat if you are the Pirates, but not a really good one” (i.e. Lyle Overbay, Jeremy Burnitz, Matt Diaz, Derek ‘Operation Shutdown’ Bell, etc etc etc).  We know they won’t pony up or trade the farm for a big bat, so they’re going to have to grow them.  That is why if they are going to go position player they should take Rendon.  Earlier poster is right, if he’s still #1 in these rankings it does say alot. 
      Something tells me that all the loading up on pitching the past couple years means we’ll see loading up on position players this year.  Our ‘big’ batter picked last year was Mel Rojas, Jr. and although early, he’s not exactly making anyone think he has a big future as a major hitter.