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Rounds 16-20: Billy Roth Shows Future Promise, But Might Be Hard to Sign

2013 draftThe Pirates added several players here who should serve as organizational guys to fill out the lower levels. One guy who stands out among the organizational is Justin Topa. He didn’t show up on any top prospect lists, and was listed by Baseball America in a weak draft class in New York, but throws 91-93, touches 95, and has a projectable frame.

The guy with the highest upside in the group is Billy Roth, who Baseball America rated 421st overall. He’s got a commitment to Arizona, and has room to add velocity and improve his secondary stuff, with the chance of becoming a high draft pick in a few years. It might be hard to sign him with very little slot money projected to be available. - Tim Williams

16th Round, 479th Overall: Billy Roth, RHP, Visa HS (CA)

Roth was drafted as a pitcher, but he also shows some promise with the bat. His Junior season on the mound was much better across the board than his Senior year, in which he showed some command issues and got less work. He has had his fastball up to 92 MPH, sitting high 80’s most of the time. He has a low-effort delivery and plenty of room to add muscle, so there is a good chance for more velocity as he gets older. Roth throws a curveball that is solid already and he also has a changeup that needs work. On the offense side, he has above average raw power and his arm plays well in right field. His future though, is as a pitcher according to most scouts. He has a commitment to Arizona. – John Dreker

17th Round, 509th Overall: Justin Topa, RHP, Long Island University

Topa was drafted by the Reds last year in the 33rd round, but decided to go back for another year at Long Island University. He redshirted in 2012 after having Tommy John surgery in 2011, so he still has a year of eligibility. He’s got a projectable frame with a clean, effortless delivery and throws 91-93, touching 95. He throws a good changeup, but his breaking ball hasn’t come back since the surgery. He improved his numbers in 2013, seeing a drop in hits allowed, an increase in innings, and a drop in his overall ERA. - Tim Williams

18th Round, 539th Overall: Jeff Roy, CF, University of Rhode Island

Roy is a small, speedy center fielder who didn’t hit as well his Junior year as he did the two previous seasons. What he did do, was steal 30 bases in 30 attempts this season. He has shown the ability to get on base at a decent clip, so should add value as a top of the order hitter. Last season, he reached base in 41 consecutive games. – John Dreker

19th Round, 569th Overall: Brett McKinney, RHP, Ohio State

McKinney moved to the bullpen during his senior year with Ohio State, and his numbers improved significantly. He throws his fastball around 90 MPH, but can hit 94 out of the bullpen. McKinney is a senior, and should sign and go fill out the bullpen in Jamestown this year. - Tim Williams

20th Round, 599th Overall: Ryan Lindemuth, 2B, William & Mary

Lindemuth is the ultimate team player, taking the term “take one for the team” to the extreme. The second baseman has been hit-by-pitch 64 times over his three seasons of College ball, the equivalent of just over one full major league season. He doesn’t take many walks or strikeout a lot, so when he isn’t getting hit, he is putting the ball in play. Lindemuth also has a little bit of pop in his bat and showed strong stolen base skills as a Sophomore, though that seemed to disappear his last season. He started every game as a Freshman and had a fairly strong Prep resume, but was not drafted out of High School. - John Dreker

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Rounds 11-15: Pirates Add Some Hitters to the System

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