Over at Scout.com, Kiley McDaniel has released his latest mock draft and he has the same two names going to the Pittsburgh Pirates, that we just heard a few days ago from the latest Baseball America mock draft. The link is well worth checking out, filled with great info on each player in the draft.
With the #9 pick, McDaniel has the Pirates selecting High School catcher Reese McGuire. This pick wouldn’t be a surprise at all if it happened. McGuire has been mentioned in this area all season long and he has been linked to the Pirates numerous times. It’s to the point now, that if he were available when they pick at #9, you would almost expect them to take him and then move on and start thinking about the #14 pick.
Five picks later, McDaniel has the Pirates taking Mississippi State outfielder Hunter Renfroe. While he has been linked to the Pirates recently by Baseball America, Renfroe hasn’t been in this range all year long, he moved slowly into the rankings this year, taking a huge leap when he won the SEC Player of the Week in mid-April.
If the top eight spots of the draft were to go down just as McDaniel predicted, the Pirates would be passing on a group of four High School players that seem to be mentioned a lot by fans as potential targets.
Austin Meadows, the potential five tool outfielder from Georgia would still be on the board. A few weeks ago, that was surprising, as he had been mentioned as a possible first overall pick early on in the process. It now seems likely he could be available for the Pirates at #9, so is it possible they too pass on the huge upside? His main question this year has been power, hitting just four homers. The thing to look at with him though, is the age(18 years old) and the size (6’3″, 215) plus the quick bat and very athletic body. He isn’t done growing and it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see 20-25 home run power develop.
Also being passed over would be 6’6″ lefty Trey Ball, who has been mentioned numerous times going to the Pirates, and would certainly look good pitching at PNC Park with that huge left field to work with. Ball is also intriguing because he is the best two-way player in the draft, a possible second round pick if he were to be selected based solely on his hitting and outfield play.
The other two HS players passed over haven’t been mentioned as high as #9, but they would be two players you take a long look at if they were available five picks later for Pittsburgh. JP Crawford, a toolsy shortstop and Dominic Smith, a power-hitting first baseman, have been on the radar for these top picks all season long. Besides being from California, these two couldn’t be more different. Smith looks to be a corner player, possibly moving to the outfield and he will likely hit in the middle of the order. Crawford will stick at shortstop and hit at the top of the order, with stolen bases and a decent ability to get on base.
The most surprising name left on the board after the #14 pick is Arkansas right-hander Ryne Stanek. He was also mentioned early on as a possible first overall pick, but inconsistency almost all season long has scouts down on him. He has been linked to the Pirates a few times and has also dropped even further down than #17 in some mock drafts, the spot where McDaniel places him. He is a true wildcard, someone who could possibly go much higher and allow another strong name drop to the Pirates with their picks, or he could fall into the 20’s and be a huge payoff for some team.
The draft begins next Thursday night and will include the first two rounds on day one, which means the Pirates will also make the 51st overall pick that night.