Jim Callis Thinks the Pirates Should Draft Colin Moran

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.

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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  • jg941

    They ABSOLUTELY should be drafting Moran with the #9 pick. In fact, the only reason they should pass on Moran is if 3B Kris Bryant happens to still be on the board, but I don’t think he will be.

    IMO, the Pirates level of pain on draft day will be determined by whether both of those guys are gone before #9, or if one is still available.

  • emjayinTN

    I do not think that either Bryant or Moran will be able to keep up the pace with which they are currently hitting. But, is that the best direction for the Pirates? I see the 2013 draft as the last for at least a few years and the way to prep for the future is to load up on front line pitching. They can either become pitchers with the Pirates, or very valuable trading chips for the future. I know you suggested Denney, but the Pirates have at least 5 Catchers spread through the system, and Mathisen looks to be the real deal and is only a year out of HS. Very few college hitters carry the same level of quality through the minors – if they did, we would be loaded with MLB-ready hitters. LHSP’s Manaea (c), Ball (HS), Clarkin (HS), Krook (HS), Puk (HS).

    • jg941

      I know it’s a good idea to load up the gun on pitchers, but not when you actually have zero bullets at third base – you can’t NOT address the issue.

      Flip over to the depth tracker on this site and look at 3B all the way down to low A – it’s the only position in the system that looks like that all the way to the bottom, not one P2 top 50 prospect anywhere in the food chain.

      This year is a unique opportunity to address that one black hole with two college 3Bs ranked in the top 10……gotta make that move now.

      • emjayinTN

        Depth at a position would not be my primary reason for starting somebody through the system. Our current 3B hit 30 HR’s/86 RBI in 2012 and will not even get to Arbitration until 2014. At that point we will still have him under control for 3 more years. Wyatt Mathisen, 19, our second round pick last year played SS in HS and will be either a C or 3B as he matures. Another to look at is our sixth round pick last year, Eric Wood, 20, who had a VG year in the GCL last year.

  • jimfalbo21

    Fans will debate on which position we need to address w their first pick, however the Pirates will take the top player available on their draft board, regardless of position. Which is exactly what is best for the organization.

    • meatygettingsaucy

      I second this