With exactly one week to go until the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, we are getting the second mock drafts from the industry experts. Earlier today, we posted Keith Law’s picks for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now we get the latest picks from Jonathan Mayo, which has the Pirates taking Reese McGuire in the ninth spot and Hunter Renfroe five picks later.
If you read the Law article from earlier, he also picked McGuire, but had the Pirates taking DJ Peterson with their second pick. I mentioned that most people have Peterson going higher(Mayo has him at #12), so Hunter Renfroe might be a more like target for the Pirates if they were trying to go the route of a polished college bat at a corner position.
McGuire has been connected to the Pirates more than any other name in the draft. It has been mentioned by Law and some others that the Pirates are high on him and GM Neal Huntington himself, went to see him play twice. It is possible that he was an early focus of the team, played well this year and still might not be taken due to the names that have fallen. We have also heard from other sources that some teams feel there are better HS catchers out there, namely Jon Denney and Nick Ciuffo, who will both go somewhere in the first round. Both at some point have been called the most polished catcher available.
As of right now, it looks like North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran, won’t be available when the Pirates make their first selection. It does seem a bit odd that he was getting mention in the Pirates range earlier this month, then has suddenly moved up into the top five. Moran did not have a strong past weekend during the ACC tournament, going a combined 1-for-14 in their two extra inning games.
Playing the “If the draft goes as he predicts” game, the Pirates would pass over Austin Meadows, the potential five tool HS outfielder from Georgia, who went #10 in Mayo’s mock draft. This wouldn’t be a surprise, as Meadows has fallen in most polls, but it would be a tough player for the Pirates to pass on. Meadows has a huge ceiling, with lack of power this season holding him from the top end of the draft, where he was ranked early in the process. He may have hit just four homers this year, but Meadows is already 6’3″, 215 pounds and has shown tremendous power during batting practice, so the potential is there and youth is on his side.
Also mentioned in the Law article, the Pirates would be passing on JP Crawford and Dominic Smith, two high upside HS kids out of California. While Law has them going tenth and eleventh, Mayo has the Pirates passing on both with their second pick as well. Instead the two go back-to-back at the #15-16 spots. That wouldn’t be surprising, as both have been mentioned in that same general area for awhile now.
It would mean the Pirates would be going polished college bat over upside if they took Renfroe. Crawford is a shortstop that will stick at the spot and get on base, plus add speed at the top of the lineup. Smith plays first base, can play outfield and has pitched, showing a strong arm. He possibly has the highest power potential of any bat in the draft including San Diego’s Kris Bryant, who will go top three and who also led all of college in homers this year.