Latest Mock Draft From Jim Callis Has a Power-Hitting Shortstop For Pirates

Jim Callis released his second mock draft this afternoon and it’s a new name for the Pirates, although it’s someone we have mentioned here often. Callis has the Pirates taking prep shortstop Jacob Gatewood. We have heard a bunch of names associated with the Pirates recently and below you can find the college action from this weekend, highlighting many players that have been mentioned as possible picks for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Gatewood is one of the biggest question marks in this draft. Some scouts think you’ll get a third baseman with huge home run potential, while others believe that he will have trouble hitting at the next level and he is too big of a gamble in the first round. He has been rated higher most of the year, so Gatewood dropping to #24 in the mock draft could mean that he didn’t answer any of these questions this year. Very few scouts believe he has the chance to stick at shortstop due to his glove and range, but the arm will play well at third base.

Gatewood is 6’5″, 180 pounds, so he has the chance to pack on plenty of muscle. The fact that he has a quick bat and already hits for power, gives him tremendous upside, as long as he can hit enough. There is a huge difference in his floor and ceiling, a possible 30 homer shortstop, or a third baseman that doesn’t hit enough to reach the majors. With the extra pick on day one due to the Bryan Morris trade, that’s a gamble the Pirates might take now.

I’ve included a recent video for Gatewood below, courtesy of MaxPreps

Sunday’s College Action

Recapping the Sunday action from the NCAA Regional Tournament. The Pittsburgh Pirates now have the 24th and 39th overall picks, plus they will select again at #64 and #73 on day one of the draft, which is this Thursday. Many of these players mentioned below are strong options for one of those picks.

We took a look yesterday at how the draft pick acquired in the Bryan Morris trade could affect the Pirates. There is also coverage of Saturday’s action from the NCAA Regionals.

Jim Callis posted a nice article on Wichita State first baseman Casey Gillaspie, who has been mentioned often for the Pirates first pick. We previewed Gillaspie here, with a scouting report and video

Virginia outfielder Derek Fisher went 2-for-4 with four RBIs in a 9-2 win over Arkansas. He is a possibility for the Pirates first pick(Callis mentions him in the mock draft), while first baseman Mike Papi could be someone the Pirates look at with the #39 pick. He was 0-for-3, but he scored two runs, walked twice and drove in a run.

On Sunday, Kentucky first baseman A.J. Reed went 0-for-2 with two sacrifice flies and and HBP. Reed went 0-for-4 in a second Sunday game against Louisville. He could be a possible pick for the Pirates with either of their top picks, although he may not last until the 39th spot. In that second game, Louisville closer Nick Burdi threw a scoreless ninth for the save. He has an 0.54 ERA this year and a triple digit fastball, which will get him picked some time in the second half of the first round.

Third baseman Matt Chapman and outfielder J.D. Davis had a tough time in their team’s 4-3 win over Nebraska. The Cal State Fullerton pair went 1-for-8, with a single by Davis accounting for the only hit.  Davis threw a scoreless ninth for the save. In their second Sunday game, a 6-4 loss to Oklahoma State, Davis was 1-for-5 with an RBI, while Chapman went 1-for-4 with a walk. Both players are second round options and Chapman is rated as one of the best defensive players in college.

Stanford third baseman Alex Blandino homered, drove in two runs and walked twice in a 12-4 win over Youngstown State. He has been mentioned numerous times as a possible Pirates pick, though he has also been rated much lower by some sources, so he could end up being someone they look at with the 39th overall pick. We featured Blandino in our draft preview on Thursday.

Stanford had a second game on Sunday against Indiana and this one had three players of interest. Blandino went 1-for-4 and drove in two runs in his team’s 10-7 victory. Indiana catcher Kyle Schwarber was 2-for-4 with a walk and his 47th RBI. First baseman Sam Travis was 2-for-3 with two walks and his 59th RBI. The two players could be options for the Pirates on day one, with Schwarber mentioned often to the Pirates with their 24th pick and Travis should go sometime in the second round. Stanford and Indiana play again on Monday night.

South Carolina third baseman Joey Pankake went 2-for-4 with two runs driven in and a walk in his team’s 9-0 win over Campbell. Catcher Grayson Greiner went 1-for-4 with a walk and run scored. In their second game, which was a 10-1 loss to Maryland, Pankake went 1-for-4 with a single, while Greiner was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. They could both be options for either of the Pirates later picks on day one.

Oregon State beat UNLV on Sunday by a 6-1 score. Right fielder Dylan Davis was 1-for-5 with a run scored. Left fielder Michael Conforto went 1-for-4 with a walk and run scored. They had a second game against UC Irvine in which Conforto was 1-for-3 with a double, walk and RBI, while Davis was 1-for-4 with a single. Conforto will likely be gone at least 5-10 picks before the Pirates make their first selection, but Davis could be an option with the later picks from day one.

In that second Oregon State game, UC Irvine third baseman Taylor Sparks went 0-for-3 with a HBP. He had been mentioned as a first round pick early in the year, but has dropped back to the second round. Depending on where he falls, he could be an option for the Pirates. Oregon State and UC Irvine are one of the ten games on Monday’s schedule.

Max Pentecost went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored on Sunday in a loss to Alabama. The Kennesaw State catcher in usually listed in the same area as Conforto and a strong tournament from Pentecost should keep him high in the draft. He took on Alabama again on Monday and went 1-for-3 with a walk and his 58th RBI.

John Dreker

Author: 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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  • Lee Young

    I want EVERY player that EVERY mock draft has us taking.

    Mock me not, either.

    :) :) :)

    • John Dreker

      Well it’s good to see that fans like the talent available with the 24th overall pick. It’s not always the case. I thought last year’s questions started around the 17th best player(according to me), while this year, there are some good names that won’t make the first round. You would hope that means they are there for the 39th pick.

    • piratemike

      I think I read that only 15% of the players taken where the Pirates are drafting make it so it may take all those players to get a good one but hope springs eternal (or so I read).
      Frankly I lost my optimism after EL TORO. What is Spanish for BULLSH* TER.

  • R Edwards

    Gillaspie at #24 and Burdi at #39 – that would be two great pickups that could help the parent club inside of two years. Burdi could possibly go straight to the majors, or after a brief stint in AA or AAA…

    • meatygettingsaucy

      yes on Gillaspie, no on Burdi. Not a fan of taking a reliever in the first round. Burdi has a great fastball/slider but I’d much rather go upside than what can help immediately

      • John Dreker

        I think Burdi goes to the Tigers, so I doubt he’s around for the Pirates, even if they considered him. He doesn’t seem like someone they would pick anyway. They would go upside

        • meatygettingsaucy

          I hope you are right John. It’d be maddening to me if the Pirates went with Burdi because he can help sooner and pass up someone who has potential top of the rotation ability but would take longer. Thankfully, Huntington seems to have a similar view to mine on upside > proximity to majors

        • Jared

          Gillaspie and Weaver would be my choices if we got the opportunity.

    • Bill Kline

      Any other team yes about Burdi however the Pirates are notorious for keeping prospects back to work on things. (and yes I mean work on things). If there’s a plethora of injuries in the upper levels than possibly but highly unlikely.

      • R Edwards

        You are probably right – guys like Trout, Leake, Wacha, Machado, etc. would all likely still be in Altoona playing AA if they were in the Pirates system.

        • Lukas Sutton

          Did you really just compare Trout to guys the pirates have held back? Yeah, that Trout-Walker comparison makes sense. Also, if you look at STL they leave the majority of their pitching prospects in the minors for similar length of time as the pirates do. Grass is always greener. Exceptions to rules arent wise to use as examples, particularly ones like Trout who are once-in-a-generation players. Look at Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly Trevor Rosenthal and Lance Lynn as examples of the cards taking their time with guys.

          • R Edwards

            First of all, when did I mention anyone named Walker in comparison to Trout?
            Secondly, I was being sarcastic….obviously, you did not pick up on that.

    • emjayinTN

      My thought remains Gillaspie, if available at #24; if not available, Burdi at #24. Relievers are easy to locate for the Pirates, but Closers are big buck folks and he seems to be a legit ++fastball at 100 mph with a + slider. Two teams who have guys like this? Cincy and St. Louis. I doubt that either Gillaspie or Burdi will be available at #39, but there are a few HS RHP’s named Jack Flaherty from Cali and Michael Kopech from Texas who BA has listed at #38 and #39; Scott Blewitt is listed at #48, or since we just got rid of our only guy from Tullahoma, TN (Morris), how about Justus Sheffield, a compact HS LHSP with 4 pitches and a 95 mph fastball who BA rates at #49. His brother pitches at Vanderbilt.

    • moose7195

      I seriously don’t care who we draft, the only player drafted by NH to
      join the Bucs inside of two years, that I can remember, is Gerrit Cole.
      We aren’t getting another Gerrit Cole at 24, so I can’t agree with the
      idea that anyone we draft this year will be up that quick. The GM wont
      allow it. He’ll stick the guy in West Virginia for a year, then maybe
      split A+ and AA for another year, and if we’re lucky, that player may be
      a callup by July of year 3.

  • R Edwards

    #39 is not a first round pick – more like a second round pick.

    • jalcorn427

      Well in every year prior to the new competitive balance system, the compensations picks placed after round 1, counted as 1st round picks. They occur before round 2.

      At any rate, Gatewood or Beede would be a dream scenario

      • R Edwards

        Well, in all the articles that I read, I have yet to see one that refers to the pick that the Pirates just traded Morris for – #39 – as a first round pick.
        Anything can happen, but I doubt if either of those guys are at #24, let alone #39.

        • John Dreker

          Technically, it’s a first round pick. The second round starts with pick #42

          • R Edwards

            Okay, I guess I am puzzled by why the new articles on the Morris trade do not refer to it as such – its always referred to as a comp pick or sandwich pick – not a first round pick.

            I also never see a mock draft of the first round includes pick #39?

            • Erik Johnson

              Technically, it’s a competitive balance pick. But MLB considers it a first round pick, even though most mocks only cover the “true” first round picks

  • jalcorn427

    Anyone else want to see Brendan McKay in round 4 or so? Hometown kid would be fun to follow and they do love prep pitchers.

  • https://www.facebook.com/clementewall21 N_Cap

    Take highest potential/ value player at 24, so probably not a rp or 1b n

  • stickyweb

    A power bottling SS? No thanks, there has to be good OF or RHP available. Seriously John, why label him a SS when nobody thinks he can stick there. Pimping for page views? :-)

    • stickyweb

      Umm thats power HITTING ss…damn auto correct

      • Erik Johnson

        Most people never thought that Pedro would last as long as he has at 3B. He’s a SS until he proves he can’t handle the position.

  • Monsoon Harvard

    I sure hope they don’t waste any first round picks on a relief pitcher. Were still trying to forget about the Danny Moskos over Matt Wieters bonehead pick. We don’t need anything to to remind us and keep it fresh.
    I would take all hitters with first 4 picks. I like Blandino, I hope he keeps falling in the ratings. I’d take a gamble on Gatewood too. Papi, Reed, Schwarber, Fisher, Harrison, they’d all be fine picks.
    I don’t think I’d take Gillaspie since his brother hasn’t really done anything in the majors.

    • Jared

      You wouldn’t take Gillaspie because his older brother who is all of 26 years of age hasn’t done anything in the majors? He did make it to the majors, right? Furthermore, his older brother has no impact at all on how Casey will progress. Connor has been OK in the majors. He hit 13HRs last year and is hitting for a great slash-line so far this year. Again, what his older brother does has absolutely no bearing on Casey, but it is not like his brother was a complete flop who did not even make it out of the minors!

  • Jared

    Guess we won’t have to worry about seeing any potential top prospects from Oregon State, Florida, Indiana, Florida State, or LSU in the upcoming Super Regionals or CWS. All 5 got ousted from the tournament in the regional stage…crazy the way this game works some times.

  • Jared

    Gillaspie is the player I want. A guy who had more extra base hits than K’s this year. Who had double the walks than Ks. Who had an amazing OBP and batting average to go with top home-run totals. Beyond that his results in the Cape Cod league last summer (.321 BA and a league leading 8 HRs)…and one scout recently saying he has the potential to be Mark Teixeira or Lance Berkman good. If he’s there at #24, he’s my pick.