Rounds 11-15: Pirates Add Some Hitters to the System
The Pirates often go with a lot of pitchers, with Pirates fans asking for hitters. They started day three of the draft with five straight hitters. A few of these guys profile as organizational options, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have value. 15th round pick Max Rossiter should play a key role in Jamestown handling the young pitching staff. The Pirates saw a lot of value with that approach last year from Jacob Stallings, who was also an all-defense, weak-bat catcher.
Two interesting power options are Danny Collins and Nick Buckner. Collins has put up power numbers at the college level, but that doesn’t always translate over to the pros. Buckner has some raw power and seems like a very raw project with the upside to be a power hitting corner outfielder. Beau Wallace also added to his power numbers this year after adding 11 pounds to his frame.
The Pirates were short on position players in the lower levels this year, to the point where they couldn’t play intrasquad games during Spring Training due to that lack of position players. So it’s not a big surprise that they’re drafting guys who will most likely fill out the Jamestown and GCL rosters if signed. - Tim Williams
11th Round, 329th Overall: Erich Weiss, 3B, Texas
Weiss struggled as a Junior this season, after putting up very impressive numbers as a Freshman, then slightly lesser stats as a Sophomore last year. He is a line drive hitter, who still has room to fill out, so there might be a little power in his future, but not enough for a corner infielder. His defense is also below average, so he doesn’t profile well as a third baseman. His future will likely be as a utility player. Weiss is a very smart player, gives full effort and he is a good baserunner with decent speed. His father Gary Weiss spent two seasons in the majors. - John Dreker
12th Round, 359th Overall: Beau Wallace, 3B, Hinds CC
Wallace wasn’t rated on any of the top prospects lists, but was rated the 14th best prospect in Mississippi by Baseball America in what was rated a “Solid, not spectacular” group. Wallace added some weight to his frame between 2012 and 2013, going from 194 pounds to 205. His power numbers may have gone up as a result, going from a .107 ISO to a .212 ISO. He hits for average, and has good plate patience, with the ability to draw a walk and a low strikeout total. He is also effective on the bases, stealing 27 bases in 31 attempts in his two years at Hinds CC. - Tim Williams
13th Round, 389th Overall: Danny Collins, 1B, Troy University
Collins originally signed with the University of Alabama and redshirted as a Freshman. In 2011, he transferred to Northwest Florida State College, where he hit .419 with some power and won the Conference Player of the Year. He then transferred to Troy, where he has played the last two seasons. Collins puts up some big offensive numbers, both for average and power. He has a quick bat, with good hand-eye coordination. He has played third base and right field as well, but was announced as a first baseman. Last Summer, he played in the New England Collegiate Summer League and set league records for home runs, slugging percentage, total bases and extra base hits. – John Dreker
14th Round, 419th Overall: Nick Buckner, CF, North Shore HS (TX)
Buckner stands out for his power potential, with a lot of raw power and a quick bat. He has a long, uphill left-handed swing and is a dead pull hitter. That’s not a huge concern due to PNC Park, although it does make him susceptible to infield shifts. He was drafted as a center fielder, but profiles for the corners due to a lack of speed and arm strength needed for center field. He’s got the power potential to handle a corner spot. There are some concerns about his swing and whether he can make good contact with the ball to utilize his power. He’s got a commitment to the University of Houston. - Tim Williams
15th Round, 449th Overall: Max Rossiter, C, Arizona State
The Pirates took Rossiter for the second year in a row, only 17 round earlier this time around. He didn’t have much of a bat last year, and hasn’t done much to improve that bat. He did see improvements this year behind the plate, and handles a pitching staff well. Rossiter is a college senior, so he will sign and should go to Jamestown to work with a young pitching staff. He’s got an average arm, but it’s accurate and he has good footwork behind the plate. - Tim Williams
2012: Rossiter transferred to Arizona State after two years in junior college at Central Arizona College. As a hitter he makes contact and hits for a decent average, but hasn’t shown more than doubles power. He reportedly is a good defensive player with a good arm, but he threw out only 16% of base stealers in 2012. Baseball America rated him the 14th best prospect in Arizona. - Wilbur Miller