Weekend Pirates Draft Prospects Preview: 5/4-5/6

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has released his mid-season top 100 draft prospects. A few weeks ago we saw the mid-season rankings from Keith Law and Baseball America released. Now that all three are out, we can put them together to get a consensus ranking of the top of the draft. I took the top 20 players from each list and averaged the rankings to come up with a consensus list of the top prospects in the 2012 draft.

Rank. Player, Position, School – Average Rank (BA, Law, MLB)

1. Byron Buxton, OF, Prep – 1 (1, 1, 1)

2. Mike Zunino, C , Florida – 2.33 (2, 2, 3)

3. Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford – 3 (4, 3, 2)

4. Kyle Zimmer, RHP, San Francisco – 4.33 (3, 4, 6)

5. Kevin Gausman, RHP, LSU – 5 (5, 6, 4)

6. Carlos Correa, SS, Prep – 6 (8, 5, 5)

7. Lucas Giolito, RHP, Prep – 8.33 (6, 11, 8.)

8. Max Fried, LHP, Prep – 8.67 (10, 9, 7)

9. Albert Almora, OF, Prep – 10 (12, 8, 10)

10. Michael Wacha, RHP, Texas A&M – 10.67 (7, 16, 9)

11. Deven Marrero, SS, Arizona State – 11 (13, 7, 13)

12. Marcus Stroman, RHP, Duke – 14.33 (9, 23, 11)

13. Gavin Cecchini, SS, Prep – 14.67 (11, 14, 19)

14. Richie Shaffer, 3B, Clemson – 15.67 (18, 12, 17)

15. Stephen Piscotty, 3B, Stanford – 16 (20, 13, 15)

16. Courtney Hawkins, OF, Prep – 16.33 (19, 18, 12)

17. Zach Eflin, RHP, Prep – 17.67 (16, 15, 22)

18. Andrew Heaney, LHP, Oklahoma State – 19 (22, 19, 16)

19. David Dahl, OF, Prep – 19.33 (15, 29, 14)

20. Addison Russell, SS, Prep – 21.33 (23, 20, 21)

The Tiers

As you may know, I prefer tiered rankings over a straight numbered list. A numbered list gives the impression that there’s a difference between two spots, or that there’s a big gap between the number eight and number 12 spots. In some cases a big gap in talent can exist when you go down one spot. In other cases, the talent can be the same spanning many spots. Tiers help show the talent ranges.

Tier 1

Byron Buxton, Mike Zunino, Mark Appel, Kyle Zimmer, Kevin Gausman, Carlos Correa

These guys all got consideration as top five talents in at least two of the three rankings. You could probably break this group down in to smaller tiers, but from the perspective of the Pirates, who are picking eighth, this is a big group of people who probably won’t fall to them. If someone from this group does fall to the Pirates, it would be a slam dunk pick.

Tier 2

Lucas Giolito, Max Fried

This is where the tiers start getting smaller for me. Giolito and Fried are both prep pitchers, and both throw for the same school. Giolito is the better prospect, entering the season as the second best overall talent. However, he fell due to an elbow injury that has put him out for the year. Prior to that he was touching 100 MPH.

Fried has a plus curveball and a projectable frame, but his fastball isn’t up there with Giolito’s. He’s a talented pitcher with a lot of upside, as shown by his top ten ranking in all three lists.

Tier 3

Albert Almora, Michael Wacha, Deven Marrero

You could combine this group with Tier 2, as there’s not much difference in talent. These are the only other guys who drew top eight consideration in at least one list.

They key guy in this list is Marrero. He entered the year as a consensus top five pick, but fell due to his struggles at the plate. He’s been linked to the Pirates at eighth overall. My personal opinion is that if everyone from Tier 1 is off the board, and Lucas Giolito is also gone, Marrero wouldn’t be a bad pick.

Tier 4

Marcus Stroman, Gavin Cecchini, Richie Shaffer, Stephen Piscotty, Courtney Hawkins, Zach Eflin, Andrew Heaney, David Dahl, Addison Russell

Just like Tier 1, you could probably break up this group in to smaller tiers. However, from the perspective of the Pirates, they’re all in the same group. It would be a reach to take one of these guys. It would probably be less of a reach for Stroman through Hawkins, since that group all drew strong top 15 consideration. Stroman would have been in Tier 3 had it not been for Keith Law’s low rating. That’s important to consider with the guys in tiers 3 and 4. A few of them are dragged down by one low rating, while others move up because of one high rating.

Outliers

When I’m putting together the rankings for the Prospect Guide, I start by removing any outliers. I take out the highest and lowest rankings for each player, then average the rest. That’s harder to do when you’re going off of three rankings, but just for fun, let’s see how things would change with the top and bottom rankings removed.

1. Byron Buxton

2. Mike Zunino

3. Mark Appel

4. Kyle Zimmer

5t. Kevin Gausman

5t. Carlos Correa

7. Lucas Giolito

8t. Max Fried

8t. Michael Wacha

10. Albert Almora

11. Marcus Stroman

12. Deven Marrero

13. Gavin Cecchini

14t. Stephen Piscotty

14t. David Dahl

16. Zach Eflin

17. Richie Shaffer

18. Courtney Hawkins

19. Andrew Heaney

20. Addison Russell

Nothing really changes in the top seven. Gausman and Correa move in to a tie, rather than being one spot apart with Gausman ranked higher.

Max Fried is still number eight, but Michael Wacha moves up for a tie. Wacha’s overall ranking was hurt by Keith Law, who rated him 16th overall. He was a top ten in the other two lists.

Marcus Stroman also moves up, thanks to the removal of Law’s #23 ranking. He was ninth and 11th in the other two lists.

Deven Marrero moves down, again due to the removal of Law’s ranking, which was seventh. The other two lists had him 13th. It’s not a big drop, as he only moved down one spot. If we’re doing tiers from this list, he might drop from Tier 3 to the top of Tier 4. Although there’s still not a big gap between him and Stroman, who is the last guy I’d include in Tier 3.

The schedule for the top draft prospects this weekend:

THURSDAY

7:30 PM EST – Florida (Mike Zunino) at Kentucky

FRIDAY

6:00 PM EST – San Francisco (Kyle Zimmer) at Pepperdine

7:00 PM EST - Florida (Zunino) at Kentucky

7:30 PM EST – LSU (Kevin Gausman) at Ole Miss

8:35 PM EST - Stanford (Mark Appel) at Oregon State

9:30 PM EST – Arizona State (Deven Marrero) vs Utah

SATURDAY

2:00 PM EST – Florida (Zunino) at Kentucky

9:30 PM EST - Arizona State (Marrero) vs Utah

SUNDAY

3:30 PM EST - Arizona State (Marrero) vs Utah

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://pulse.yahoo.com/_46YTB5OO4O7UM2OVB44UZSTXNA Nate

    If Victor Roache is around for our 2nd pick, do we snag him?

    • scrappy2499

      If he can show he is healthy and is there then I would say he would be a good pick there but he would have to show he is healthy.  How nice would it be for them to land Giolito 1 and Roache 2 (again if healthy for both of them). 

    • http://twitter.com/rinsana11 Ross

      i highly doubt he will be around for the buccos comp pick at #45 overall…and i heard he is a K machine
      the one guy i want is Christian Walker, 1st baseman from University of South Carolina….the kid is an absolute beast and he’s a first baseman. he’s a junior right now and I think he could be special

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TQC5HKTKJ52MK7PN2CBR4JIWYQ Kevin

    I’d love to see Marcus Stroman as the #8 pick but I don’t see that happening.  Same with the 1B/3B from Clemson.

    Hopefully Max Fried will last to pick #8.  Fried does look like Steve Avery circa 1988. 

    At the time the Braves were criticized for passing on Gregg Olson.  Then Avery became the #1 prospect in all of baseball.  Now that all is said and done, Olson did have a higher career WAR than Avery so maybe he would have been the better pick.