The Pittsburgh Pirates took their first shortstop in the 2012 draft, selecting prep shortstop Kevin Ross in the eighth round. Ross was rated the 225th best prospect in the draft by Baseball America, and was taken with the 256th overall pick. He’s seen as a signable player, so the $138,200 slot price for the pick might not be an issue.
Ross is 6′ 1″, 195 pounds, and like most prep shortstops, he profiles more as a third baseman in the pros. He’s got a quick bat and good strength, giving him raw power, with the potential for plus power in the future. He’s got an above-average arm, which should allow him to play third base. He is a bit aggressive at the plate, and can be pull happy.
Ross played in the Area Code games, where he adjusted well to seeing more curveballs and fewer fastballs than he was used to in prep baseball. He had a .452 average and a .753 slugging percentage in 89 plate appearances this year, with two homers. He showed great plate patience, with a 2:14 K/BB ratio in those 89 plate appearances.
The right-handed hitter has a commitment to Michigan. If he signs, he’d be an interesting project for the Pirates, as they lack third base depth, and lack power depth in the system.