The usual mock drafts at Baseball America have been run by Jim Callis, but they switched up the process for their latest mock draft released today. They had four of their draft experts take turns making the picks. Nathan Rode picked first, followed by Callis, Conor Glassey and John Manuel. As they note, this is a little different than a mock draft, as this one is based on who they would personally take in that spot.

Reese McGuire fell to tenth in the latest BA mock draft
Reese McGuire fell to tenth in the latest BA mock draft

Despite the new process, there doesn’t seem to be many surprises with the picks, with most players going where we have heard them recently. With the ninth overall pick, Rode took Austin Meadows. In doing so, he passed over Reese McGuire, who has been linked to the Pittsburgh Pirates numerous times. I think that is a case of him going with the best player available, banking on the upside of Meadows and the likelihood that he develops the power that was missing from his game this season.

Rode also notes that he would have taken Trey Ball over McGuire had he been available. In most mock drafts, Ball usually falls in the 10-14 range, but he was taken eighth in this mock draft.

With the 14th pick, John Manuel had the pick for the Pirates and he took Ryne Stanek. He mentions that he considered Stanek with the tenth overall pick, but went with McGuire instead. If HS shortstop JP Crawford was available at #14, he may have taken him over Stanek, but he went one pick earlier.

The two names we normally hear in this second spot, went 11th and 12th in this mock draft. They had DJ Peterson going 11th, followed immediately by Hunter Renfroe, then Crawford.

Going with best available at this spot, Stanek seems like a strong choice, though he also could have considered power-hitting first baseman Dominic Smith out of Serra HS in California. Smith has been in the 12-20 range all year, so he is a solid bat, with tons of power, who performed up to his standards this year, never moving more than a few spots up or down at any time. I mentioned last night that Stanek could be a strong choice at #14 if available and another recent mock draft also had the Pirates taking him there.

The draft is just three days away, with the first two rounds on Thursday night, followed by rounds 3-10 on Friday and 11-40 on Saturday.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I am not a Ryne Stanek guy, I feel he projects more to the pen. I would look at McKinney or Bickford big time at that #14 spot. McKinney would be a better reach than the ND 3B. Instead of jumping on guys who are slotted there (that will be mediocre Renfroe, Peterson, Stanek) you have to take a gamble and look down the board a bit and pick up some high end talent. This goes against moneyball strategy but the Pirates have had for quite some time a strategy known as Bob Nutting’s wallet strategy (28M profit last year). Last year was a debacle and I don’t think they got one good prospect. I have basically only commented on HS guys I like bc outside of the horses at the top I don’t really like the college guys early part of the draft. This draft has QUALITY high schoolers early and that’s where you have to get them and then you can take college guys rounds 3-10 to pick up extra money to ensure you sign those HS guys that you take early. You don’t waste a first round pick on a reach college guy to be able to sign your other picks. These picks are protected for two years and if you can’t get them signed no big deal and re-evalute the talent next year

  2. I don’t think there is a big difference between the two hitters, so that is the same thinking. Jagielo might be just as good as Renfroe, but he plays 3B. There has to be some added value there over a right fielder. To get a potential ace, I’d take that trade off.

  3. I would definitely take a top of the rotation type guy at #9 if you can get him. You can’t say that too often. Plus what’s the difference between an Eric Jagielo and say a Renfroe at #14? If you’re saving a couple bucks on taking Jagielo for example to send to Stewart I’d do it in a heartbeat. That said they’ll probably take McGuire and Renfroe and there’s no use in these questions.

    • Ward is coming out early from HS to get into the draft, so he will definitely sign. He is ranked around top of the third round, but he might be someone you take with a 2nd round pick to save some money for another pick. Wouldn’t be a huge stretch and honestly, he was ranked much higher earlier on. Not sure if that means he struggled this year, but there was talk of his possibly sneaking into the end of the first round. I don’t think he lasts until the 3rd round, but also think they will have better choices left in the 2nd round when the pick comes up. I’m hearing/reading some pretty big name college pitchers could be there then, Friday night starters

  4. Completely agree with Rode here. I don’t see a world where Neal drafts based on position rather than BPA. Especially when I don’t see catcher as any must-solve need seeing as how we have 3 prospects there already.

  5. I have always wondered. When people are doing Mock drafts, are they really trying to figure out what the team will actually do with the pick based on the circumstances, or are they picking whom THEY want to pick? I really don’t know what the parameters are there.

    • This one is different from the others. They are picking who they think is best and you are talking about four guys who follow the draft close. I know a small handful of players for next year, they could name 100’s.
      Early mock drafts are placements based on talent. As you get closer, experts use information they here, maybe scouts tell them something, or players, or they just notice someone important watching a player often. Neal Huntington saw Reese McGuire twice, he made the trip cross-country for it, that is an important bit of info. The GM doesn’t just make those trips for the heck of it. That has a lot to do with McGuire being connected to the Pirates

  6. ESPN’s latest mock has the Pirates passing on Kohl Stewart. Not going to pretend that I’ve seen him pitch but why would he now last this long after being #4 on every mock I’ve seen in about the last month? Signability?

    • He has a scholarship to QB and play baseball at Texas A&M. There are some worries with him not signing, so if anyone falls because of that, it will be him. I don’t think any team in the top 5 has to worry, they have huge slot amounts available. If he does slip to Pirates, they need to take him and then go safer in the second pick. Maybe Eric Jagielo from Notre Dame. Stewart has the highest ceiling of any arm in this draft class. If he’s there, Pittsburgh should take him. The pick is protected, so worse case, he doesn’t sign and you pick 10th next year. I’d chance it for him

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