Pittsburgh Pirates Mock Draft Roundup and Analysis

There is no decision yet, but Cole seems to be the favorite in the latest mock drafts.

The 2011 MLB draft is only three days away, which means we’re getting plenty of mock drafts with anticipation about how the draft will play out.  Normally we’d at least have a good idea about who the number one pick would be, although with the uncertainty surrounding this draft, the field is wide open.  Let’s take a look at the recent mock drafts to see who is predicted as the Pirates’ first overall pick on Monday:

-Keith Law (6/3/11): Gerrit Cole.  Law says that he hears the Pirates are taking a pitcher, which could mean Cole, Danny Hultzen, or possibly even Dylan Bundy.

-Jim Callis (6/3/11): Danny Hultzen.  Callis mentions that there’s a buzz that the Pirates are leaning towards Hultzen, although he mentions that they might wait to see how people perform this weekend before finalizing things.

-Jonathan Mayo (6/2/11): Gerrit Cole.  Mayo mentions that there’s no decision yet, which is important to keep in mind with all of these mock drafts.  He does mention that they’re looking at college guys, adding Anthony Rendon in the mix with Cole and Hultzen.

-Kevin Goldstein (6/3/11): Gerrit Cole.  KG adds notes from his calls, and based off the notes, you can tell that there’s no consensus here.

Charlie at Bucs Dugout mentioned something yesterday that I agree with.  Mayo had Anthony Rendon going second to the Seattle Mariners, and noted that teams have received medical reports on Rendon’s shoulder.  Charlie feels that if his shoulder is healthy enough to be taken by the Mariners, the Pirates shouldn’t pass him up.  I agree.

I’ll also add two points.  First of all, Rendon is advised by Scott Boras.  Boras is all about getting top dollar, and using every ploy in the book to achieve that result.  He has no requirements to release the medical reports.  So does anyone think that Boras would release the reports prior to the draft if there was something to be concerned about with Rendon’s shoulder?  That would be the opposite of how Boras operates.

Second, all four mock drafts above have Rendon going second.  In fact, here were some of the comments about the pick:

Law:

I know Francisco Lindor worked out for Seattle, but I’m not alone in thinking that would be a crazy move with Rendon (or Cole) sitting right there in front of the Mariners.

Callis:

The belief is that Seattle wants a bat, and Rendon would be the obvious choice.

Mayo:

Teams evidently have medical reports on Rendon and his uncertain shoulder at this point. If questions are answered, Seattle has always been a potential home for him.

Goldstein:

Rendon is still Seattle’s focus, but the Francisco Lindor rumors grow by the hour. He still looks like Plan B, but a shock here is possible.

If Rendon is such an obvious choice for the Mariners at number two, and if there’s no obvious pick for the Pirates at the number one spot, then why isn’t Rendon the obvious pick for the number one selection?  In my opinion, there’s too much over-thinking going on here.  The number one pick comes with the thought that you have to make the perfect selection.  If there’s some sort of flaw, you look elsewhere until you find someone without a flaw.  The problem with that approach is that you end up taking Danny Hultzen because he has no flaws, even though his upside is less than Rendon’s upside.

If we take a step back, it’s clear that Rendon is still the best talent in this draft.  He’s the obvious choice for Seattle at number two, and I don’t think that’s just because Seattle is looking for a bat.  I just don’t believe that there can be no obvious choice out of three players with the first overall pick, only to have an obvious choice with the second overall pick.  I also don’t think that there’s anything wrong with his shoulder, at least looking at it long term, mostly because I don’t think he’d be releasing medical records if there was an issue.

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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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