While it’s still early in the college baseball season and extremely early for prep players, with some high schools not even start their schedule yet, mock drafts can give you an idea of what the Pittsburgh Pirates might expect with the 24th overall pick. Three mock drafts were released since last night from three sources worth following all year. Not surprisingly, they all had three different results for the Pirates, though one player gets mentioned in their range three times. Two of the players going to Pittsburgh in these mock drafts have been covered here a couple times early, while one is a brand new name to watch.
Dan Kirby from Through The Fences has the Pirates taking Sean Newcomb, a huge workhorse lefty from Hartford. There were some reports that scouts were down on Newcomb early on, but the numbers he has put up are impressive. He is 1-1, 0.00 in three starts, with 23 strikeouts in 17.2 innings. Batters are hitting .138 against him, but he has had some control issues, walking nine batters. Newcomb is 6’5″, 240 pounds and hits mid-90’s with his fastball.
Chris Crawford from MLB Draft Insider has the Pirates taking Braxton Davidson with their first pick. We just covered Davidson here on Saturday. He is a big lefty high school hitter, who will likely end up at first base in the pros. Check out our link for video of Davidson.
Over at Minor League Ball, Matt Garrioch provides the draft coverage and he has the Pirates picking Chris Ellis, a right-handed pitcher out of Ole Miss that I have yet to mention this year. That will obviously change with this report. Ellis is 2-0, 0.00 in three starts this year, with 13 strikeouts in 22 innings. Batters are hitting just .147 against him. Ellis pitched mostly in relief last year, getting in 21 innings and the results weren’t good. Big League Futures has an excellent report on Ellis, mentioning that he can get it up to 94 MPH with a smooth/easy delivery and strong control. I’ve posted a video of Ellis below courtesy of Bullpen Banter
So while these mock drafts don’t mean much this early, it gives you the idea of the talent the Pirates could be looking at with this pick. A possible workhorse lefty starter, a big bat at first base, or a right-handed starter that has dominated early and could move through the system quick.
For comparison sake, Garrioch has Newcomb going 13th and Davidson going 17th. Crawford has Newcomb going 15th and Ellis unlisted. Kirby has Davidson going just one pick before the Pirates, while he has Ellis going 41st overall. There seems to be a consensus early that Davidson is falling in the Pirates range, but he shouldn’t last much longer than that.