The draft is just three days away, so more inside information about who might go where is available. For the Pittsburgh Pirates with their top two picks, we are hearing the same names over and over. Keith Law posted his latest mock draft today and he has the Pirates taking HS Catcher Reese McGuire with the ninth overall pick and Mississippi State outfielder Hunter Renfroe with the 14th pick. Both of these players have been linked to the Pirates quite often recently.
Draft rankings have had these players in this same range for awhile now. McGuire has been mentioned as a strong option for the Pirates since the pre-season, while Renfroe moved up slowly into this range in early April, after starting his season strong and continuing to play well all year.
There is a surprise name in the top ten for Law, one that hasn’t been there before. He has California High School right-hander Phil Bickford going to the Royals with the 8th pick. I highlighted Bickford’s last performance a couple days ago, when he threw a one-hitter, with 18 strikeouts in his team’s championship game. He was normally mentioned around 20-25 for most people, but the buzz around that start may have pushed him up the charts at the last minute.
There is possibly a bigger surprise in the #16 spot, Kohl Stewart, a Texas HS pitcher with huge upside. He has a scholarship to Texas A&M to play quarterback, so there is some questions about his signability. If the Pirates have a chance on him at #9, I think it would be very tough to pass on that upside. A few have mentioned him as having the highest ceiling among all pitchers in this draft class, including the college pitchers.
Law also has Clint Frazier lasting to the 13th pick, another tough player that the Pirates would have to pass on to take McGuire. Frazier has five tool potential, with power being a plus tool. I would also rank HS lefty Trey Ball slightly ahead of McGuire and Law has him going tenth. With Bickford going eighth and Arkansas’ Ryne Stanek going to the Red Sox at #7, that would leave some very interesting players for the Pirates in the nine spot.