Rounds 26-30: Backup Plans and Organizational Players
The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted a few prep players in the 26-30 rounds, as well as two college players to round out the draft. In the last two years the Pirates have drafted seven prep players in their ten picks during this area of the draft, but haven’t signed any of them. They’ve also signed three players from the JuCo or NCAA ranks, and have signed all three. Expect the prep players to be back-up plans, with the college players serving as organizational depth.
Nicholas Flair, SS, 26th Round
Flair was the New Orleans metro player of the year. Despite the big hitting numbers, though, Baseball America did not rank him among Louisiana’s top 38 prospects in a subpar year for the state. He played third in high school, but the Pirates announced him as a shortstop. He has a scholarship to LSU, so he may be very hard to sign.
Ryan Hornback, C, 27th Round
Baseball America ranked him the 65th best prospect in Texas without explanation. At least some scouts seem to like his glove. He was an average hitter on his team in both years at San Jacinto. He has a commitment to Mississippi, so he won’t be an automatic sign.
Brandon Zajac, LHP, 28th Round
Zajac is a tall lefty whose fastball reaches the low 90s. He was a two-way player in high school, but figures to be a pitcher as a pro. Baseball America rated him the 26th best draft prospect in Tennessee, but offered no explanation. Zajac has a commitment to Tennessee, so he won’t be easy to sign.
Kirk Singer, SS, 29th Round
Baseball America rated Singer the 56th best prospect in southern California on the strength of his glove and good arm. He was a solid hitter until 2011, so it seems likely the new college bats impacted him quite a bit. If he signs he’s likely to be an organizational player.
Matthew Benedict, RHP, 30th Round
Despite the very different ERAs and W/L records, Bendict’s junior and senior years were very similar. Baseball America rated him the 42nd best prospect in North Carolina, without explanation. As a senior, he’s likely to sign quickly. He’ll probably be an organizational pitcher.