Baseball America has released their first mock draft of the year, with the actual MLB draft coming three weeks from Monday. The mock draft doesn’t include right-hander Lucas Giolito, due to his injury status and the new draft rules making him a wild card.
The top seven picks were Mark Appel, Byron Buxton, Mike Zunino, Kyle Zimmer, Kevin Gausman, Albert Almora, and Carlos Correa. With the eighth pick, Baseball America had the Pirates taking shortstop Deven Marrero from Arizona State. They noted that the Pirates have been searching for a shortstop for years, and may go with a position player after taking Cole and Taillon the last two years.
I can’t see the Pirates drafting a guy based on need. I also don’t like the pick of Marrero. The talent drops off after my top seven are off the board, and with Giolito not included in this draft, none of my top seven would have been available when the Pirates picked. Outside of my top seven, I’d take Almora or left hander Max Fried before I’d go with Marrero.
Marrero has great defense, and he’ll stick at shortstop, which is good. But that’s about it. He’s not hitting this year, and his value mostly comes from his defense. I think that if you look at his upside, and look at the upside of guys like Almora, Fried, or Giolito, the upside for the latter three is much higher.
If Giolito didn’t go in the top seven, I’d take him at eighth overall. If Giolito did go in the top seven, then I’d pick between Fried and whoever didn’t go in the top seven (ideally Correa) before I’d consider Marrero.