Rounds 26-30: Pirates Take A Potential Late Inning Reliever

When you get to this point in the draft, you’re looking for one of three things. Good tools, good stats, or a good name. The Pirates got that last part covered when they took Jake Post in the 29th round. They got the guy with good tools in the 27th round, taking Jake Johansen. However, Johansen didn’t come with the stats.

The Dallas Baptist right hander is a familiar story: great stuff, no control. He’s 6′ 6″, 235 pounds, and can touch 97 MPH with his fastball, while throwing a sharp slider which is a plus offering at times. He’s got the potential to be a late inning reliever if he can iron out the control issues. Part of that is getting used to pitching with his big frame, as he’s a bit raw in that area. The Pirates have done well to get these types of guys worked out. The big success story is Duke Welker this year, although there are other examples that are similar to Johansen, such as 2010 21st round pick Jason Townsend. That makes Johansen an interesting guy to watch if he signs.

Here are the reports for each player taken in rounds 26-30. Click their names to go to their player pages.

26th Round, 796th Overall: Jimmy Rider, 2B, Kent State

Rider was a four-year starter at Kent State and is the school’s all-time leader in hits.  He came back from a down junior year to have very strong senior season.  He appears to have some gap power but apparently not great speed.  Rider played short at Kent State but the Pirates announced him as a second baseman.  That may be attributable to his size.  He’s never previously been drafted.  As a senior, he’s likely to sign.

27th Round, 826th Overall: Jake Johansen, RHP, Dallas Baptist

Johansen has a great arm, throwing 93-95 MPH, and touching 97 with his fastball, which has arm side run. He throws a sharp slider with a lot of late movement, which is used as a strikeout pitch. The pitch is inconsistent, but is a plus pitch when it is on. His big issue has been command, and trying to pitch with his big 6′ 6″, 235 pound frame. If he can iron out the command issues, he could be a late inning relief prospect. Johansen comes from the same school as 2009 compensation round pick Victor Black, who also was drafted with command issues.

28th Round, 856th Overall, Thomas Mirabelli, 2B, Prep

Mirabelli was drafted out of St. Edward high school, which is the same school that Stetson Allie came from. He is the son of Cleveland Indians Vice President John Mirabelli. He’s a leadoff hitter and a strong middle infielder, playing mostly shortstop, although he’s small, at 5′ 6″, 132 pounds. He hit .450 as a senior. Mirabelli has a commitment to Kansas.

29th Round, 886th Overall, Jake Post, RHP, Prep

Post throws his fastball in the 86-87 MPH range, with good movement. He has the makings of a good breaking pitch. He gets a lot of strikeouts, including 19 in eight innings in a start during the 2011 season. It’s fitting that the start came against a team called the Pirates. Post has a commitment to Ohio State, and might be a tough sign, as he’d probably benefit from three years in college to improve his breaking ball and increase his fastball velocity.

30th Round, 916th Overall, Chase McDowell, RHP, Rice

McDowell hasn’t pitched much at Rice as a result of having Tommy John surgery in 2011.  Another factor in 2012 may have been a very deep Rice staff.  Before the injury his velocity had gotten into the low 90s.  He also throws a curve and change.  McDowell is also a backup outfielder and DH for the Owls.  As a junior, he may want to go back and try to have a healthy senior year.

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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