The first pick on day three of the draft was a classic Pirates move, taking a projectable prep pitcher with a commitment to a big college. Gage Hinsz was rated 188th overall by Baseball America, and could require more than the $100,000 limit for post-10th round picks. Any player after the 10th round who signs for more than $100,000 has the difference applied to the bonus pool. So if the Pirates have any day one savings remaining, I’d expect them to make a run at Hinsz.
The other picks seem much easier to sign. The two hitters profile best as third basemen, and have some power, which is always an interesting thing. Tyler Filliben looks to have the higher upside, especially if his hitting this year is an indication of what he can do when healthy (wrist problems limited him in 2012 and 2013).
The pitchers won’t be hard to sign. Frank Duncan has excellent control and good velocity, plus a sturdy frame. Eric Dorsch is a huge pitcher who profiles as a reliever. If he can get some consistency on his fastball and slider, and pair that with improved control this year, he could be a nice sleeper for a future MLB bullpen. – Tim Williams
11th Round, 341st Overall: Gage Hinsz, RHP, Billings West HS (MT)
Hinsz was the Pirates first pick on the third day of the 2014 draft, taken in the 11th round. A 6’4″, 210 right-handed high school pitcher, he fits the Pirates mold of tall, projectable righties. He’s from Montana, a state not known for producing talent and his high school didn’t even have a team. He pitched in British Columbia and then played American Legion ball in May this year. Baseball America rated him 188th overall in this draft class due in part to a fastball that sat 90-93 MPH this Summer. Hinsz has an easy delivery and throws on a downhill plane from a three-quarters arm slot. Both of his secondary pitches need work, but he is considered to have tons of projection left due to inexperience and room to fill out, which should allow him to remain a starter in the pros. He is a strike-thrower that has huge upside. He has a commitment to Oregon State, so he will likely require an overslot bonus to sign. – John Dreker
12th Round, 371st Overall: Tyler Filliben, SS, Samford University
Filliben saw his college career derailed after a promising freshman season. He was hit in the wrist in the summer of 2011, and ended up having surgery to repair torn cartilage in his wrist, following a 2012 season that was impacted by his injured wrist. A setback and a second surgery put him out for the 2013 season. He returned in 2014 and put up big numbers, raising his profile to the point where Baseball America ranked him the 320th best draft prospect. Filliben was drafted as a shortstop, but due to a lack of range, he profiles best at third base. He could eventually move to first base or the outfield. He hits for power, and while he doesn’t strikeout a lot, he also doesn’t have a good hit tool. Filliben has below average speed. His value is largely going to depend on his bat going forward. He could be a decent pick if he can stick at a position like third base while hitting for power in pro ball. – Tim Williams
13th Round, 401st Overall: Frank Duncan, RHP, Kansas
Duncan was taken by the Pirates in the 13th round of the 2014 draft as a college senior out of the University of Kansas. He fits the Pirates mold of pitchers they love, 6’4″ right-handers. He was taken by the Cleveland Indians in the 39th round of the 2013 draft. He has been a starter at Kansas for the last three years, plus played a large role out of the bullpen as a freshman. Duncan showed excellent control as a senior, with a 14/82 BB/K ratio. According to reports, he throws four pitches for strikes and his fastball sits in the 90-93 range. As a 22-year-old senior, he should sign quickly. – John Dreker
14th Round, 431st Overall: Chase Simpson, 3B, Wichita State
Simpson has moved around a lot in his college career. He started as a freshman at Weatherford College. He then moved to Oklahoma, where he didn’t get much playing time in 2012. Simpson transferred to Wichita State in 2013, and spent the season as a redshirt. He played on the same team as top prospect Casey Gillaspie this year, and was described as having real power from each side of the plate. Baseball America didn’t have him on their top 500, but he was ranked one of the top ten prospects for the 2014 draft out of Missouri Valley heading into the 2014 season. He was ranked right behind Cy Sneed, who went in the third round. Many of the other players ahead of him went on days one and two of the draft. He should be an easy guy to sign, and the power and ability to play third base is interesting. – Tim Williams
15th Round, 461st Overall: Eric Dorsch, RHP, Kent State
The Pirates seemed to be going heavy with college seniors on day three of the 2014 draft and Dorsch is one of the older players they took, just months shy of his 23rd birthday. He was rated 443rd overall by Baseball America despite the advanced age. He was drafted in the 21st round by the Cincinnati Red in the 2013 draft. As a junior, Dorsch put up huge strikeout numbers, with 47 in 32.1 innings. He is strictly a bullpen arm, who flashes an inconsistent fastball that sometimes can touch 95 MPH, other times it sits high-80′s. He throws a fringy slider and relies heavily on his fastball. Despite his big size (6′ 8″, 270), he offers very little projection due to his age and lack of average secondary offerings. As a senior, he should sign quickly. Dorsch went to North Allegheny HS. – John Dreker