Baseball America Releases Mid-Season Top 50 Draft Prospects

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.

Tim Williams

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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  • http://www.facebook.com/pskell02 Patrick Kelly

    How about Austin Meadows? I know it is a long shot for him to fall to #9, but he would be a nice get for the Bucs.

  • https://profiles.google.com/109574077056716189484 Joel Davis

    Looks like this draft that was once described as “weak” is looking strong at least thru 15. Good news!

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      I think it’s considered “weak” more because of the top. It’s not like there’s a lot of top talent to choose from. From the Pirates’ perspective, picking 9th and 14th, the draft looks to have some good talent.

      • NastyNate82

        It would be really hard to pass on Manea if he falls there; he’s got lots of talent, and as you note he’s the one type of arm their system doesn’t have. Shipley seems pretty interesting too; maybe another college arm will stand out in the next 2 months.

  • http://atung.net/ Steve Zielinski

    The short-term options the Pirates would find it hard to pass over: Moran and Manaea. The long-term options the Pirates would find it hard to pass over: McGuire, Denney, Kaminsky, Clarkin, JP Crawford and Stewart, It’s difficult for an organization to be overly strong up the middle. And the organization could use more lefthanded pitching and hitting.