Draft Rumor Roundup: Appel, Gray, Moran, Astros, Royals, Bickford

Mark Appel is still in consideration for the first overall pick. - Image Courtesy: Pittsburgh Pirates
Mark Appel is still in consideration for the first overall pick. – Image Courtesy: Pittsburgh Pirates

We will keep track of all of the draft rumors today in this post. In previous years it was easy to guess what the Pirates would do, since they were picking at the top. This year it’s up in the air, and the guys available to them will be largely influenced by the first eight picks in the draft. So we’ll focus on the rumors there, but also anything that comes up for the Pirates that isn’t “they’re looking at Reese McGuire”.

**Peter Gammons says the Astros are still undecided on the first overall pick.

I’m not sure that decision will impact who is available to the Pirates at number nine.

**Gammons also says the Royals could have an over-slot deal with Phil Bickford at number eight.

That’s something that could impact who the Pirates pick from. The Pirates will probably have their choice of 2-3 players from the Reese McGuire, Austin Meadows, Clint Frazier, and Trey Ball group. Every mock draft this morning had the Pirates taking McGuire. If the Royals go with Bickford (every mock today had them on Ball), then there could be a chance that the Pirates get their choice of three or all four of those prep players.

**The Twins may be taking Kohl Stewart at number four.

**Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe predicts Austin Meadows to the Red Sox at number seven.

**Seattle has LHP Rob Kaminsky in the mix at number 12.

If that happened, combined with the Bickford/Royals rumor earlier, it would increase the chances of the Pirates landing two from the McGuire/Ball/Frazier/Meadows group, in my opinion.

*** Still no news at the top as the clock ticks away.

** Astros might take Moran or Stewart. Wouldn’t have much effect on Pirates, but it does shake things up a bit if one of them goes first

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I don’t understand why people do not want Reese McGuire ? Have you people watched his highlights or that beautiful swing from the left side? Even if he didn’t stick at catcher I would still take that bat of his and the fact that he is going to stick at catcher and has great defensive skills is only a plus. Reese McGuire should be the pick at 9 and whoever else falls to 14 maybe will get lucky.

Lee Young



Look at these teams making moves grabbing the top talent leaving the Bucs with their “top talent” in Peterson, Renfroe, Ball, McGuire, all of which are so unappealing. Notice how no other teams have been linked to these guys but the Pirates. Here we go again. And for the record McGuire is the biggest reach ever. His bat is a big time question (love his defense) and what makes it worse is Denney is like maybe a few spots below him and then Ciuffo is a few spots behind that. And then like SEVEN other guys in the first few rounds. If McGuire was once in a lifetime (like Mark Appel was last year, who would replace Appel with this pick) I would be all for it, but there is debate whether he is the top prep catcher. The sky is falling, the sky is falling. I knew I should have got some maryjane, we got Cole, Bell, Appel the last time I turnt up. SMDH


Hoosier: I don’t know what your obsession with Bickford is. He has a good fastball but he has no decent breaking ball they grade at a 40. No MLB starting pitcher only has a plus fastball and no secondary offerings. Also with Kaminsky, he’s an end of the 1st round talent. His fellow prep lefty clarkin would be better.


Peterson, Renfroe and Ball will probably all be off the board when the Pirates choose at 14, which suggests that there are other teams who will have been “linked” to them. Hell, even McGuire is suggested as a possible pick for the Twins at 4 if they think Kohl Stewart will be too difficult to sign.


Dominic Smith is not what you want either. I was excited about him but he can’t hit the damn ball and he will get eaten alive by pitchers even in A ball


McGuire is still a top 10 overall talent according to everybody but Keith Law. It wouldn’t be a reach or anything. There are definitely risks with a guy like Meadows or Ball too. Quite a few people, including Law, think Frazier is being overvalued as well. If the Pirates take McGuire I would love for them to get a riskier, but high upside guy like Dominic Smith at 14 instead of DJ Peterson or Hunter Renfroe.


Is the whole OF/LHP helping or hurting trey ball? .Are there concerns about him sticking as a pitcher and being a big reach as a hitter.


May be that his velocity is not exactly “top end” right now, but is projectable based on his frame and athleticism. Curve ball sounds like needs development. But sounds like he already has a very good change-up, which is usually something HS pitchers need the most development on. I like that mix!


Personally I don’t see the need to draft a catcher like McGuire at all considering our current depth at the position in the farm system (Sanchez has started to hit consistently recently and he’s also picking off more and more base stealers, then we have Jin-De Jhang and Mathisen who are supposed to be decent players plus guys like Cutler, Diaz One and Two or Carlos Paulino). Unless McGuire’s bat is too good to miss and he can switch to 1B or 3B I would prefer other hitters like Frazier, Meadows, Peterson or Renfroe.
But we’ll see…


Catching in baseball a lot scarcer commodity than outfielders. Have you looked at batting averages for catchers around MLB? Pretty abysmal overall.


I still think we are set up nicely at the position already.
Sanchez should be a solid catcher for us at the MLB level for years to come and then there are 2-3 other options I mentioned who may at least turn out to be decent backups, so the McGuire rumours are not filling me with confidence. Catcher is not an area of need for us, SS and 3B surely are or at least good hitters who may find a spot anywhere in our lineup, but not necessarily another catcher.


Plus, the track record of first-round catchers is not particularly stellar. Posey and Wieters, of course. Mauer. Some guys get drafted as catchers, but eventually end up moving out into the field. Not sure this kid has the luxury of doing that with his bat being a bit of a question. The position is such a grind. If Frazier or Meadows is there at #9 , that is hard to pass up, despite an apparent surplus of OF prospects. Even Ball at #9 sounds like he is a more polished overall product. But I guess we will see in a couple hours. Whoever they pick, just hope both end up being impact players!


Man, if Clint Frazier (or Meadows for that matter) were both available it would sure be a shame to pass on them for McGuire. Actually, the same goes for ball. A draft class of Meadows/Frazier/Ball and a guy like Dominic Smith would be quite good.

Lee Young


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