Now that we have the final mock drafts in from three of the leading experts, we can now take them all and figure out an average ranking. The Pittsburgh Pirates have been linked heavily to HS catcher Reese McGuire and Keith Law, Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis all believe that he will be the Pirates pick at that spot. That could change of course if a better name happens to fall, which we saw last year, or if a team ahead of the Pirates takes McGuire first.
With the second pick in the first round, there is no consensus about who the Pirates will take. The three experts have D.J. Peterson, Hunter Renfroe and Dominic Smith. The latter is a huge upside HS hitter, while the first two are strong college hitters who provide a little more certainty when it comes to the final product. They might not have the ceiling Smith does, but when dealing with a HS player, there is always a better chance he will fail.
With that in mind, here are the average rankings. Next to each name is their rankings with each draft expert, which are just arranged in the order they were released today(Callis, Law, Mayo). Check the links above under their names for more details.
1. Jonathan Gray – 1, 2, 1
2. Mark Appel - 2, 1, 2
3. Kris Bryant – 3, 3, 3
4. Kohl Stewart – 4, 4, 4
5. Colin Moran – 5, 5, 5
6. Braden Shipley – 6, 6, 6
7. Trey Ball – 8, 8, 8
T8. Clint Frazier – 7, 13, 7
T8. Austin Meadows – 10, 7, 10
T8. Reese McGuire- 9, 9, 9
You will see that because of the uncertainty with others, Trey Ball is ranked 7th despite everyone thinking the Royals will take him one spot later. Even more interesting, you’ll also notice that three players tied for eighth overall. That includes Reese McGuire and the two huge upside HS outfielders from Georgia.
Early in the year, I would make passing mention of Clint Frazier and Austin Meadows for a simple reason, no one mentioned them any lower than fifth best in this class and both got mention at the very top. Both played well during their season, so I didn’t expect either to be available. This is a recent occurrence with these two, within the last month there has been talk that one or both could slip, so their names have been mentioned more on this site.
Despite the fact both have been rated higher than McGuire all year, that doesn’t mean the Pirates will take either if they drop. McGuire is a solid pick where he is, normally getting mentioned throughout the year in this range, occasionally lower by people who think Jonathan Denney is the better overall catcher in this class. Basically, McGuire isn’t a reach, it’s just that some people don’t agree that he will be the best available when the pick comes up.
As for the second pick, this is the group that gets mentioned for that #14 pick most often. You should also remember that if Meadows and/or Frazier do pass the Pirates the first time, they may be a possibility with that second pick, which would be a major accomplishment to get McGuire and one of them. The group below includes every other player mentioned in the top 14 in any of the three mock drafts.
11. J.P. Crawford – 12, 10, 13
12. D.J. Peterson – 14, 11, 12
13. Hunter Renfroe – 13, 12, 14
14. Ryan Stanek – 11, 18, 11
15. Dominic Smith – 16, 14, 17
Some other names to watch include pitcher Alex Gonzalez from Oral Roberts. He was really a later addition to this list, someone I never heard much about until very recently. He falls in the 15-20 range in all three mock drafts. Ian Clarkin, a HS lefty, also got mentioned close to the Pirates, going 15 and 16 in two of the mock drafts. Also we have heard some college bats that the Pirates might look at if Peterson and Renfroe are off the board. Those names to remember are Aaron Judge, Phillip Ervin, Eric Jagielo and Austin Wilson.
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