Kyle Schwarber would be a great bat for the Pirates to take in the first round. (Photo Credit: IU Athletics)

Baseball America’s First Mock Draft Has Kyle Schwarber Going to Pirates

Kyle Schwarber (Photo Credit: IU Athletics)

Kyle Schwarber (Photo Credit: IU Athletics)

Baseball America released their first mock draft of the year and they have the Pittsburgh Pirates selecting Indiana catcher Kyle Schwarber. This might seem like an odd choice to some with the Pirates having Reese McGuire at West Virginia and Jin-De Jhang at Bradenton, both legit prospects, but there are two things to point out. First is that you always take the best player available, because nothing is a guarantee as far as the future and that leads to the second point, very few people think Schwarber will stick at catcher.

He is a strong lefty bat with good size and power. His future is likely at first base, or at a corner outfield spot, with DH also likely if he goes to an AL team. Schwarber is hitting .345/.452/.598 with 32 walks and 24 extra base hits in 44 games for the Hoosiers. All of his value is in his bat, but he is projected to hit in the middle of the order in the pros, so you can live with the limited defensive value. I’ve included a video below from Baseball America.

This is the first of many mock drafts you will see in the upcoming weeks from major sources. The draft starts on June 5th, four weeks from today, with the Pirates making their first three selections that day. Check back a little later today for our second preview of players in the Pirates range. You can check out the first one here.

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John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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  • Macchamp74

    Does he throw right handed? Can he play 3rd base?

    • John Dreker

      No. Some people think DH is his best position, others say he will hit enough to fit in a 1B or LF, but left field obviously wouldn’t be an option playing your home games at PNC. If he was taken by the Pirates, you could almost guarantee he would play first base because there is no sure thing in the system at that spot, especially with Lambo recently moving back to the outfield

  • sweetleb

    can he part-time catch and play 1b?

    • John Dreker

      He would probably be more of an emergency catcher, because his defense behind the plate is not highly rated

  • sweetleb

    also is he using a wood bat?

    • John Dreker

      He’s on Team USA there, so he is using wood bats as per tournament rules.

  • CTBucco

    His bat looks quick, but his feet are not. I wonder how his college stats compare to IU alum and former Pirate prospect Dickerson? I think I’d rather have Gillaspie who goes with the next pick or a high-upside prep bat a la Meadows – preferably an IFer.

    • John Dreker

      Dickerson was a junior when they switched over to the new bats. He saw his homer total drop from 24 down to nine. His final slash line was .367/.440/.540, so the BA/OBP is about the same, but the power was less for Dickerson.

      • http://atung.net/ Steve Zielinski

        Dickerson also had a sore during his draft year.

    • Kevin_Young

      Scharber definitely has a more powerful/athletic build. Dickerson has always looked a little bit awkward…

  • Y2JGQ2

    Don’t like it. There are plenty of power hitters with no defense you can pick up in the 8th round.

    • John Dreker

      You won’t get an 8th rounder with a bat like his, Schwarber’s floor as a hitter is higher than almost anyone else in this draft. If he was good defensively or not a future 1B/LF/DH, he would probably be a top ten pick

      • EWS34

        I like a top 10 bat at 24. The team needs more players who can hit, and hit for power. We have too many hope he develops, and need more cant wait for this guy in the infield minor leagues.

        • Y2JGQ2

          Who need players who can hit, run, and play defense. Noone’s fault but our own if we keep using our top picks on pitchers instead of highly ranked infielders when we have a SINKER BALL pitching staff

      • Y2JGQ2

        ….and they said Pedro would hit for average and power too. I stand by my previous statement. I’m not concerned by the floor of an 8th, 11th, and 14th round prep power hitter. you draft ten of them per year, sign 7 and if 1 player out of 14 comes out of it, great. In the first round, you don’t take players who suck at defense, he’s a 3 tool player…at best, that’s not a first rounder, especially in the national league

  • Y2JGQ2

    As i’ve said before: best available at 24 or wherever we pick is irrelevant. The actual consensus difference of best available talent between 20-45 is insignificant, so you move on to quite simply, “in the range of talent where this pick is, what will give us the MOST VALUE” Again a first baseman who is rated very slightly higher than a 3rd baseman who is projected to stick at 3rd- you take the third baseman. Noone with a brain would ever do differently. A) harder position to fill B) more trade value C) more projected team need in ML D) lack of organizational depth at the position. Best available is only useful when there is a huge different between levels of talent. There won’t be at where we are picking this year

    • John Dreker

      Why wouldn’t the third baseman be rated higher if they were that close? Teams take position value into consideration, so if a third baseman has a bat that is close to a first baseman with poor defense, then the third baseman would be the higher rated player. Best available player covers everything about the player, not just the bat.

      • Y2JGQ2

        John- I know what you are saying, but the very definition of “best available player” means simply the best available player. That’s what i always have an issue with. Just like MVP is most valuable player, not player who had the best year. I stand behind my statement that we should be saying the pirates should draft the player with the highest value to the organization, not the “best player available” because i don’t believe its the same thing

        • Y2JGQ2

          There are going to be about 10 players at least who are about equal in terms of talent at 24, so at that point, best available player is irrelevant, its too close to make a determination on that (unless a top ten talent falls) so what do you? You pick the player with the most organizational value, which would literally never be a right handed starting pitcher or a catcher. So….if they choose either one of those players, they really aren’t paying attention

  • leadoff

    When you draft in the 20’s you don’t get a 5 tool player. I like Gillespie better, but I would not have a problem if they took this guy. The Pirates are still kicking themselves for not taking a guy named Adams playing college ball right down the road because he was not a 5 tool player. St.Louis has done well taking a player that has 1or 2 very good tools drafting down in the draft.

    • stickyweb

      And every other MLB team is kicking themselves for passing him up too, though he very well could be a platoon player. And if STL thought so much of him, they’d probably have taken him in one of the 22 rounds before the one they actually took him in.
      The difference with the Cards is that they can develop players very well, whether or not they’re highly rated by the industry. So in their case it’s much more about the development than the drafting.

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