With their third round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected prep pitcher Jonathan Sandfort. The right hander is 6′ 5″, 220 pounds and has touched 94 MPH with his fastball. He typically sits 88-91 MPH, but has a projectable frame with the ability to add velocity going forward.
Sandfort was rated the 255th best prospect in the draft by Baseball America. He has a commitment to the University of Florida, so he probably won’t come cheap. He throws a mid-70s power curveball and has a feel for a changeup.
This is an example of how the new Collective Bargaining Agreement could be impacting the selection of prep players. The slot price for the third round pick is $462,900. In previous drafts, Sandfort might have been taken in a later round, and still given a bonus close to that $462,900. By taking him earlier under the new CBA, the Pirates can still try to buy him out of his commitment, while not going over-slot.
UPDATE 2:16 PM: Here’s a good article on Sandfort. He had an 0.92 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 68.2 innings this year. Sandfort said he expected to go in the second or third round, and had the following quote.
“I’m going to think about what’s going to be the best route for me to get to the major leagues,” Sandfort said. “It will depend on what kind of farm system they have, what kind of coaching they have.”
Based on my conversations with outside sources, the Pirates are seen as a good system for pitchers, due to their approach with the fastball command. More importantly, Sandfort expected to go in the third round, which is where the Pirates took him. He’s another guy I’d expect to sign.