Today Baseball America released their mid-season top 50 draft rankings. Jim Callis also released a list of suggestions for the top ten picks in the draft. The list isn’t really a mock draft. It’s not Callis predicting what teams would do, but Callis saying what teams should do.
With the number nine pick in the draft, Callis said the Pirates should take UNC third baseman Colin Moran. He notes that Moran’s approach and hap power is reminiscent of former Tar Heel Dustin Ackley. Here is Moran’s draft profile, along with his stats this year. He’s hitting well this year, with a .384/.503/.600 line in 125 at-bats, and seven homers. His 19.20 AB/HR ratio is the best of his college career, and he’s two away from his career high in homers. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com predicted before the season that Moran could add more power, and so far it looks like that prediction is coming true.
Moran would be a good fit for the Pirates. The system is thin on third basemen, and he’s also a left-handed hitter. He would eventually provide the Pirates with an option to move Pedro Alvarez over to first base, or a replacement for Alvarez when he inevitably leaves via free agency.
Callis also had Mark Appel first overall to the Astros. It seems that Appel is more likely to go first overall this year, as his strikeout rate is up, and so is his velocity. Callis feels he could get close to slot, which is almost double what the Pirates offered him last year.