It’s been a busy last two days for mock drafts and three of the bigger names that cover the draft have put their best guesses out there for all to see. Yesterday we saw the first mock draft from Keith Law and he had Vanderbilt pitcher Tyler Beede dropping to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Baseball America had their second mock draft, selecting toolsy prep outfielder Monte Harrison for the Pirates. Jonathan Mayo posted his draft prediction and his name in the 24th spot has been mentioned with the Pirates a couple times before, Wichita State first baseman Casey Gillaspie.
Gillaspie was part of our first draft preview two weeks ago. We also posted a scouting video on him at the same time. Gillaspie is a switch-hitting first baseman with huge power. Just over two weeks ago, Gillaspie was rated 24th by MLB.com and a mock draft from Chris Crawford had him going to the Pirates. There has been a lot of coverage of him recently, so if you’ve been following the draft here, he is definitely a name you are familiar with already.
Gillaspie is hitting .401 this year through 53 games, with 48 walks and 24 strikeouts. He has 15 doubles, 14 homers and a 1.229 OPS. His bat plays up from both sides of the plate, with power and average from the left and the right. He can handle first base well and his running is below average despite going 8-for-8 so far in steal attempts. Due to that lack of foot speed, he is strictly a first baseman, but his bat has a chance to be special. One scout according to Mayo, said that Gillaspie has a chance to be as good as a couple other top switch-hitters, Lance Berkman and Mark Teixeira. That is high praise and definitely the type of value you’d like to get when selecting far down in the first round.