Baseball America released their mid-season top 50 draft prospects today for subscribers. When the original rankings came out, I noted that a lot can change throughout the season, especially with players making the jump from the middle of the first round to the top of the first. It looks like a lot of players have already made that jump.
Jonathan Gray, a right-hander from Oklahoma made the biggest jump. Gray went from being unranked to the number two prospect in the draft. Kohl Stewart, a prep right-hander, went from 18th to 5th overall. Kris Bryant was originally ranked 12th, but his power this season has propelled him past the Pirates to number seven. Reese McGuire also made that jump, going from 14th to 8th.
Other guys who made the jump were Braden Shipley (RHP from Nevada, UR to 10th) and Chris Anderson (RHP from Jacksonville, UR to 11th).
On the flip side, there’s guys who have dropped. Sean Manaea, a left-hander from Indiana State, went from the second best prospect to number six. That’s still a few picks higher than the Pirates are selecting. Third baseman Colin Moran went from 6th to 9th, which is the first pick for the Pirates. College right-hander Ryne Stanek went from 5th to 18th, going from before the Pirates pick to after they’ve made two picks. Jonathon Crawford (RHP from Florida, 10th to 27th) and Austin Wilson (OF from Stanford, 11th to 33rd) also dropped. Wilson’s fall could be due to an elbow injury that has kept him out most of the year.
Based on the rankings, it looks like there’s more position players than pitchers in the 9-14 range. If the draft went according to Baseball America’s rankings, the Pirates would take Moran 9th, and prep catcher Jonathan Denney 14th. Personally I’d like to see one of Kris Bryant or Reese McGuire fall to the Pirates at the number nine spot. I don’t see that happening with Bryant, but it could be possible with McGuire. If Sean Manea drops to them, that could also be interesting. The Pirates certainly have a lot of pitchers, but a left-handed college pitcher who throws 94-96 and touches 98 would be appealing, especially for PNC Park. It’s still probably too early to project who could go where, since there’s about two months to go until the draft.