When looking at draft prospects you want to find a balance between potential and current results. It’s always nice to see players with talent putting up strong numbers. However, you’re drafting for future performances, and not the results a player put up in his junior year in college.
The Pirates pick eighth overall, and I’ve talked a bit in the past about how there aren’t really many exciting choices at the eighth spot. That could change throughout the season. A lot of that could change just by seeing players in the six through ten spots having good seasons.
Take Kevin Gausman, for example. He throws 92-96 MPH, and could add velocity due to his projectable frame. He has the potential for three plus pitches and he’s draft eligible as a college sophomore. He has the potential to be a top of the rotation starter one day. But what separates him from Chris Beck, who is ranked close to Gausman in most of the early season rankings? Beck also has the potential for three plus pitches, throws 91-94, and touches 96.
One thing that is separating them is their performance this year. Beck has struggled, with a 4.33 ERA, along with an 8.7 K/9, a 4.3 BB/9, and a 1.3 HR/9 ratio. Meanwhile, Gausman has dominated, with a 1.32 ERA, plus a 10.2 K/9, a 15.5 K/BB ratio, and no homers in 27.1 innings pitched.
It could be a situation where we’re just spoiled. One of the few benefits of the Pirates being so bad over the last few years is that it has afforded the team the opportunity to draft Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole. These are guys who rank as two of the top pitching prospects in the game. No prospect is guaranteed, but you’d feel better about calling Taillon and Cole future aces than you would Beck and Gausman.
There’s a lot of teams who would probably place a guy like Gausman at the top of their pitching ranks. For the Pirates he would easily be third or fourth best, depending on how you feel about Luis Heredia’s risk/upside scale.
Perhaps that should change our perspective on the draft. Gausman is a good prospect. Beck is a good prospect. But we’re used to getting guys who are ranked in the top three, and who are good bets to end up as top of the rotation starters, which makes those good pitching prospects look a little less desirable.
Mark Appel – 9.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 14 K, 0 HR, ND (2-1)
Chris Beck – 8.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 1 HR, L (2-2)
Kevin Gausman – 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, 0 HR, W (4-0)
Deven Marrero – 3-for-14 (.214), 1 R, 1 2B, 2 SB, 1 K, 0 BB
Mike Zunino – 7-for-18 (.389), 5 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 5 K, 0 BB
Trey Williams – No Games
-Deven Marrero missed the mid-week game for Arizona State, but returned from an ankle injury for the weekend schedule.
-Trey Williams was off this last week.
-Mike Zunino and Florida play two games this week on Tuesday and Wednesday.
-Deven Marrero and Arizona State play a two game series this week on Tuesday and Wednesday.
-Trey Williams and Valencia high school resume their schedule on Wednesday.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.