With the draft now just hours away, Keith Law has linked a new name to the Pittsburgh Pirates and it is a very interesting one. Starting with the #9 pick, he has Reese McGuire. If you have been following all the mock drafts we have posted over the last few weeks, it would be a shock to you if the Pirates took anyone else but McGuire with this pick. In fact, the only way it likely wouldn’t happen is if some big name fell, or someone else who hasn’t been linked to McGuire ahead of the Pirates, decides to take him.
With the 14th overall pick, Law brings up a new name for the team, but one that has been mentioned here often as a strong pick at that spot. He has the Pirates taking High School first baseman Dominic Smith out of California. Most recent mock drafts have the Pirates taking either D.J. Peterson or Hunter Renfroe with this pick, both college players. While each would provide solid bats to the lineup in the near future, Smith has the higher upside of the group. He has a strong bat, already with tons of power. He is also strong defensively and has a great arm.
Law doesn’t have the Pirates passing on Peterson or Renfroe with the second pick, he thinks both will go off the board in the 11-13 range, leaving the Pirates with a higher upside bat, but one further away from the majors, who obviously has a lower floor than the other two players.
With the 9th pick, he has the Pirates passing on Georgia outfielder Clint Frazier, who he thinks will go 13th to the Padres. He also mentions the Padres will take Renfroe if he is there. Frazier is the best HS bat in this class and is an athletic player, who plays center field now, but may need to move to a corner position. It would be tough to pass on someone who has been mentioned at times as having 30-35 home run power(some have said 35+). He isn’t just all power though, he can actually run, field, throw and should hit for average. Early in the year, Frazier was mentioned as a possible first overall pick and he had a strong season, so his fall is the rankings is a bit of a head-scratcher.
The first round of the draft starts tonight at 7:00 PM. We will have complete coverage on the site. All the links to follow tonight and over the next three days, can be found here in this draft day primer.