Rounds 36-40: Pirates Close Out Draft With Pittsburgh Kid
The Pirates closed out the draft with five prep players in rounds 36-40, making their last seven players prep picks. The final pick was Zarley Zalewski, a third baseman and a Pittsburgh native from New Kensington, PA. Zalewski played for Valley High School, and led the WPIAL in home runs this year with eight, while hitting for a .574 average in 54 at-bats.
Here are the profiles for the picks in rounds 36-40. Click their names to see more on their player profiles.
36th Round, 1096th Overall: Brody Russell, 2B, Prep
Russell had great numbers throughout high school, with a ton of power, although that power doesn’t project for the long term. He’s got quick hands and an upper cut swing. He’s a gap hitter and has pull power. Long term he profiles to have below average power. He plays shortstop and has a plus arm, but doesn’t profile to stick. The Pirates announced him as a second baseman, but he’s athletic enough to play center field. He has a commitment to Fresno State and could be a tough sign.
37th Round, 1126th Overall: Jacob Waguespack, RHP, Prep
Waguespack had a big junior year, with a 1.83 ERA in 55.1 innings, along with 73 strikeouts. That gained the attention of Ole Miss, where he is currently signed to attend. He has good command of his fastball and breaking ball, throwing both for strikes. He throws his fastball in the mid-to-upper 80s, topping out at 90. He’s got loose arm action and throws on a downhill plane. The arm action, plus his size, gives him the chance to add velocity as he fills out. He doesn’t spin his curve or slider that well. He is expected to honor his commitment to Ole Miss.
38th Round, 1156th Overall, Matthew Pope, RHP, Prep
Pope has a good frame and throws his fastball up to 93 MPH, usually working in the 90-91 MPH range. Long term he profiles more as a closer, as his secondary stuff isn’t as good or promising as his fastball. He currently has a commitment to Kentucky, and probably won’t be signable.
39th Round, 1186th Overall, Jared West, LHP, Prep
West is a projectable pitcher, throwing from a three quarters arm slot. He had 109 strikeouts in the regular season in 2012, and was named to the 3A All-State team in Louisiana. West throws 85-88 MPH and attacks hitters with his fastball. He led his team through the 3A playoffs, throwing a no-hitter in one start, a two hitter in another start, and striking out 24 total in both starts. The left-hander has a commitment to the University of Houston.
40th Round, 1216th Overall, Zarley Zalewski, 3B, Prep
Zalewski is a Pittsburgh native from New Kensington, PA. He’s a switch hitter who has a loose swing and handles the bat well with good bat speed. He doesn’t run well and doesn’t have a good arm, although the Pirates drafted him at third base. He had a .574 average, and tied for the WPIAL lead with 8 homers in 54 at-bats. He has a commitment to Kent State.