The Pirates once again went heavy with the college players, taking five in a row in rounds 26-30. They have now taken seven college guys in a row. This isn’t that uncommon at this point in the draft. Most of the high school guys who are taken at this point don’t sign, even if they’re not highly regarded. That said, it’s not a guarantee that the college guys will sign either.
The bonuses in these rounds are usually slim. College seniors like Nicholas Neumann or David Andriese have no choice but to sign. College juniors can turn it down, go back to school, and try again next year for the same amount.
Last year the Pirates drafted three prep guys after the 25th round, and didn’t sign any of them. They drafted six college juniors, and only three of those guys signed. Those three were in rounds 26-30. The one who went un-signed was Jake Stinnett, who took a huge jump this year as a college senior, and was drafted 45th overall by the Cubs.
Most of these guys, if they do sign, will be filling out the bench for short-season teams, and possibly serving as injury replacements or occasional starters. – Tim Williams
26th Round, 791st Overall: Jerrick Suiter, RF, TCU
A multi-sport athlete, Suiter started off at TCU as a two-way player, pitching in a half-dozen games, including two starts, as a freshman. He hit fairly well that year, but slumped very badly as a sophomore. Baseball America listed him as the 19th best draft prospect in the Big 12 going into the 2014 season, partly on the supposition that he’d do better having given up pitching. He didn’t do a lot at the plate, though, and despite having good size, finished the year still without a HR in his college career. He has a good arm and profiles as a right fielder, but he’s going to have to do a lot more with the bat. He’s just a junior and may decide to return to TCU. – Wilbur Miller
27th Round, 821st Overall: Jess Amedee, RHP, Texas
Amedee made six appearances with Central Arizona Community College in 2013, then transferred to Texas in 2014. The numbers were poor, with 35 walks in 48.1 innings, and a 6.52 ERA. He went to Northern Colorado as a freshman in 2012, and Baseball America said he showed command of four quality pitches at the time. One of those is described as a big breaking ball. Perfect Game projected him to go in the 10-15 round range heading into the season. It was hard to find information on Amedee, since he mostly played at smaller schools, and moved around a lot to different schools, never becoming familiar at any one of them. He pitched some as a starter with Texas, but probably will be used to fill out the bullpen in the lower levels for the Pirates. – Tim Williams
28th Round, 851st Overall: Nicholas Neumann, RHP, Central Connecticut State
Neumann is a 23-year-old college senior, draft in the 28th round. He red-shirted during his junior season due to Tommy John surgery, so he is one of the older players in the entire draft class. MLB.com listed his as a junior when he was drafted, but he played four seasons at Central Connecticut State (plus sat out a year) so that appears to be wrong. Neumann put together some numbers that stand out over his last two seasons, with a low walk total each year and just one homer allowed over 142.1 innings. As a sophomore in 2011, he had a 2.61 ERA over 72.1 innings. – John Dreker
29th Round, 881st Overall: Zachary Lucas, 2B, Louisville
Lucas had a solid freshman season for Louisville, but missed part of his sophomore season with an injury. His hitting took a step backward in his junior season, as he became much less patient at the plate. Lucas appears to be a likely organizational player, but he’s a junior so he may not sign. – Wilbur Miller
30th Round, 911th Overall: David Andriese, RF, UC Riverside
Andriese is a senior, so he’s an automatic sign, and is probably going to end up filling a bench spot with one of the short season teams. He was rated by Baseball America as one of the top 50 college seniors in this draft, being named 50th overall on the list. Despite being a college senior, he has never been drafted. He has displayed a good hitting ability, and a strong on-base percentage the last two years, taking a big jump his senior season. He also stole 12 bases this year, which was almost double his total from the first three years. Andriese will be an interesting bat to watch, but probably won’t make it out of A-ball. – Tim Williams