Pittsburgh Pirates 23rd round pick Zach Warren was just on ESPN 97.3 FM in South Jersey, talking with Tyler Donohue about being drafted by the Pirates and his upcoming decision. Warren is a prep left-hander who throws in the mid-to-upper 80s, and has room to add more velocity with a 6′ 4″, 185 pound frame.
The lefty said that he knew the Pirates were going to be drafting him on day three, and knew around when they would be taking him. Before the 23rd round, he received a call from his advisor, saying he was about to be drafted. After the pick, he was called by a Pirates area scout (possibly Steve Skrinar) with congratulations.
Warren has a commitment to Tulane, but he said that commitment is no longer a strong one. The head coach at Tulane recently stepped down, leading to an overhaul of the coaching staff. Warren said that he expected the assistant coach to get the head coaching job. When that didn’t happen, he expected the assistant coach to stay on. Instead, the assistant coach and the pitching coach were replaced.
“I had a real attachment to the old coaching staff,” Warren told Donohue.
Because of this change, Warren said he is requesting his release from his commitment with Tulane. He said that he expects to receive interest from Tennessee, UNC, and Miami if that happens.
Of course this could help the Pirates out if he doesn’t get his release. He said that the area scout hasn’t been pressuring him, understanding that he “wants more clarity on the college situation before making a decision.” It does sound like Warren has received the Pirates City sales pitch, as he was describing the benefits of the dorm life, the food, and the atmosphere and how it relates to college. Warren also said that he believes his risk for injury is lower, due to a low effort delivery. My speculation is that this is something that could lead him to believe that there’s less risk in going to college and entering the draft three years later.
Warren would be a great player for the Pirates to sign. They have a ton of projectable right-handers, but not as many projectable lefties. His situation with Tulane could help them out, especially if he doesn’t get his release from the program. If he does get a release, the Pirates would have competition from other programs, especially now that a lot of big programs have lost some of their big commitments to the draft. It will be an interesting situation to follow with about a month to go before the signing deadline.