The Pittsburgh Pirates continued a familiar strategy in rounds six through ten, selecting three prep pitchers out of their five picks. They started out by taking third baseman Daniel Gamache out of Auburn in the sixth round. In the seventh through ninth rounds they took prep right handers Jake Burnette, Jason Creasy, and Clay Holmes respectively. Holmes was rated the 140th best prospect in Baseball America’s top 200 rankings. They selected center fielder Taylor Lewis in the tenth round.
Gamache has put up good hitting numbers at the plate. He’s lacked power, with just 16 homers in his three year career, spanning over 400 at-bats. He’s got an athletic frame with good defensive skills, highlighted by good range and a strong arm. He hits to all fields, which profiles well for his hitting abilities continuing as a pro, although he might not have much value at third base unless he manages to add power.
The Pirates on day two of the 2011 made several high-profile picks early, but quickly got back to their pattern in recent years of picking projectable high school RHPs. Burnette was one. He’s tall with long arms, and throws 86-88 according to Baseball America, although other sources have him throwing harder. He also throws a curve and change. He also played basketball in high school. He’s committed to Georgia Tech.
Creasy has a projectable frame, but so far only throws in the upper 80s, touching 90 MPH. He has good mechanics, with loose arm action that projects for added velocity going forward. He keeps his fastball down in the zone, and also throws a curveball. He was the #40 prospect out of North Carolina, and has a commitment to NC State.
Baseball America rated Holmes the 140th best draft prospect. He moved up draft boards when his stuff improved in his junior year. Scouts like his fastball, which ranges from 90-93. His slider is very erratic. His delivery is high-effort and erratic, so he’s probably going to be a project. Holmes’ improvement affected his college recruiting stock as well, getting him a scholarship to Auburn. He was valedictorian of his high school class, so he may not be easy to sign.
Lewis was rated the fifth best prospect in upper New England by Baseball America, and we first heard that the Pirates were interested in him last week from a report in the Bangor Daily News. He’s a line drive hitter who hits to the gaps, and runs a 6.5 60 yard dash. He is a good defender, although his arm might limit him to left field duties. He has power potential due to his forearm and wrist strength, which would really add value to his overall package.