(Photo Credit: David Hague)

Pirates 23rd Round Pick Trying to Get Out of His Commitment to Tulane

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.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • jaygray007

    Not bad news for sure!

  • SteveW

    Let’s hope Tulane refuses to give him a release in a reasonable amount of time.

  • emjayinTN

    I think Tulane has to grant the release, but then the Pirates have to compete with NC, Miami, and Tennessee for his services, so that means the price needs to go up – smart kid, negotiating through the media. Dave Serrano at Tennessee was very successful in Cali, at UC-Irvine for 4 years, and then from 2008 through 2011 at Fullerton State. He guided both of those programs to the CWS before leaving to come back to Tennessee in 2012. They were pitiful, and he has had to completely rebuild the Vols baseball program – I think in 2013 they had 18 Freshmen on the team, and this year, they made the playoffs in the SEC for the first time in about 10 years. They have solid pitching already, but he lost a few guys in the draft and would love to get a strong LHSP.

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